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What Is Extended-Release Exenatide Used For?

Using Extended-Release Exenatide to Treat Diabetes

The main goal of any diabetes treatment is to lower your blood sugar levels, as measured by your hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), enough to reduce your risk for developing problems related to diabetes (see Diabetes Complications).
Any type 2 diabetes treatment begins with lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, a diabetic diet, and exercise. If lifestyle changes are not effective at managing diabetes, medication, such as extended-release exenatide, may be necessary.
Some diabetes medications force the pancreas to produce more insulin, regardless of blood sugar levels (see Bydureon Alternatives). These medications are effective but can cause dangerously low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). Because extended-release exenatide increases insulin only in response to high blood sugar levels, the risk of dangerously low blood sugar is minimal (see Bydureon and Blood Sugar). However, combining extended-release exenatide with certain types of diabetes medications can increase your risk for low blood sugar levels.
To learn about controlling diabetes through lifestyle choices, click any of the following links:

How Does This Medication 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 an incretin mimetic, extended-release exenatide increases insulin production in response to meals and decreases the amount of glucose (sugar) produced by the liver. It 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.
Type 2 Diabetes: Fact or Fiction

Extended-Release Exenatide Information

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