Important Information for Your Healthcare ProviderYou should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using this medication if you have:
- A history of pancreatitis
- A history or family history of cancer, especially thyroid cancer
- Diabetic gastroparesis
- A severe gastrointestinal condition
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Bydureon and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Bydureon and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Extended-Release Exenatide to learn more, including information on who should not use the drug.)
How Does It Work?Extended-release exenatide belongs to a small group of medications known as incretin mimetics. These drugs mimic the actions of incretin hormones in the body. As a result, extended-release exenatide increases insulin production in response to meals and decreases the amount of glucose (sugar) produced by the liver. The medication also slows down the emptying of food from the stomach, an effect that usually decreases the amount of food that people eat.
Extended-release exenatide is also known as a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. GLP-1 is the specific type of incretin hormone that this medication mimics. It is an "agonist" because it binds to and activates GLP-1 receptors in the body.
Because incretin hormones are more active in response to higher blood sugar levels and are less active in response to low blood sugar levels, the risk of dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is minimal with extended-release exenatide. However, combining it with other diabetes medications to lower blood sugar levels can increase the risk for hypoglycemia (see Bydureon and Blood Sugar).