Exenatide is used to help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It works by increasing insulin production in response to meals and decreasing the amount of sugar produced by the liver. Prior to taking exenatide, tell your healthcare provider if you have kidney problems, allergies, or diabetic gastroparesis. The dose you are prescribed will depend on factors such as how well your diabetes is controlled.
What Is Exenatide?
Exenatide (Byetta®) is a prescription medication licensed to treat type 2 diabetes (also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes). Although the medication is taken by injection, it is not a form of insulin and is not intended to treat type 1 diabetes. Interestingly, this medication was first discovered in the saliva of gila monster lizards.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with exenatide. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can be easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Byetta [package insert]. San Diego, CA: Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.;2009 October.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Information for healthcare professionals: reports of altered kidney function in patients using exenatide (marketed as Byetta) (11/2/2009). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/DrugSafetyInformationforHeathcareProfessionals/ucm188656.htm. Accessed November 6, 2009.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed January 15, 2007.
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