Endocrine System Home > Exenatide

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.
(Click Exenatide Uses for more information on what this drug is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Side Effects of Exenatide

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.
The most common side effects include:
(Click Side Effects of Exenatide to learn more, including serious side effects you should report to your healthcare provider. You can also read about other possible side effects by going to Byetta for Weight Loss.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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