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Extended-Release Exenatide Side Effects

If you are treating type 2 diabetes with extended-release exenatide, side effects are possible and may include heartburn, headaches, or diarrhea. Fortunately, reactions to this diabetes medication are typically mild and treated easily. There are, however, some complications that require prompt medical treatment. Some of these serious problems include confusion, difficulty swallowing, and blurred vision.

An Introduction to Side Effects of Extended-Release Exenatide

Just like any medicine, extended-release exenatide (Bydureon™) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who uses the drug will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are treated easily by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with extended-release exenatide. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Extended-Release Exenatide Side Effects to Report

Some side effects of extended-release exenatide are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include but are not limited to:
  • Symptoms of low blood sugar, which is most likely to occur when extended-release exenatide is combined with other diabetes drugs, such as:
    • Sweating
    • Shakiness
    • Extreme hunger
    • Dizziness
    • Cold sweats
    • Blurry vision
    • Changes in behavior, such as irritability
    • Loss of coordination
    • Difficulty speaking
    • Confusion
    • Seizures
    • Persistent severe abdominal (stomach) pain
    • Back pain
    • Vomiting
  • Worsening of diabetes, which can sometimes occur in people who develop antibodies to extended-release exenatide
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Unexplained swelling, especially of the mouth, lips, or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing
    • A lump in the neck
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Shortness of breath
    • A persistent hoarse voice
    • Increased calcitonin blood levels (found using a blood test).
In rats, extended-release exenatide, as well as other similar medications, increased the risk for medullary thyroid cancer. At this time, it is unknown if there may be a similar risk in humans.
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Extended-Release Exenatide Information

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