Exenatide For Type 2 Diabetes

Exenatide is an injectable type 2 diabetes medication that is used along with exercise and diet in order to control the blood glucose level. It stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin efficiently when your blood glucose level is high. Exenatide also causes a significant decrease in appetite by slowing the emptying of your stomach. However, Exenatide should not be used to treat type 1 diabetes.

Using medication and making lifestyle changes such as exercising, dieting and quitting smoking will help you improve your health and manage your diabetes. This will also decrease the chances of having a stroke, heart attack and other diabetes related complications including nerve damage, kidney failure, gum disease, and eye problems. Your health care providers will advise you on the best way you can manage your diabetes.

When to Avoid Exenatide for Diabetes.

  • You should not use Exenatide if you are on dialysis or if you have severe kidney disease, diabetic ketoacidosis or if you have slowed digestion.
  • Exenetide should not be used together with Bydureon and short-acting or fast-acting insulin.

Is Exenatide Safe?  You should tell your health care provider if you have:

  • High triglycerides
  • A history of kidney transplant or kidney disease
  • A history of gall stones or pancreatitis
  • Digestion problems
  • A history of alcoholism

Birth control pills should be taken at least 1 hour before taking this medication.  You should also tell your doctors if you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant or become pregnant while using Exenatide.

Exenetide is not approved for use by people younger than 18 years.

How should I use Exenetide?

Exenatide immediate release, which is also known as Byetta, comes as a liquid (solution) in a prefilled injection pen for injecting subcutaneously.

Exenatide extended release (Bydureon) (long-acting) comes in powder form which is mixed with liquid in a prefilled injection pen or a vial to inject subcutaneously.

Exenatide immediate release (Byetta) should be injected twice per day within one hour before breakfast and dinner. It should not be injected before meals and your doses should be at least six hours apart. The doctor might start you on a low dosage and may switch you to a higher dosage of Exenatide if your blood glucose control does not improve after using the initial dosage for one month. The doctor might also adjust the dosage to make sure you have the best results.

Exenatide extended release solution should be injected once per week, on the same day each week without regard to meals. Use Exenatide exactly as instructed by your doctor.

Diabetics who use Exenatide immediate release need to purchase needles separately. Your doctor will tell you the needles you should use to inject the medication. Always look at your medication before injecting it. Exenatide should be as fluid, colorless and clear as water.  Do not use Exenatide in smaller or larger amounts or for longer than prescribed. Exenatide is injected under the skin and your doctor or pharmacist should show you how injections are used and how used syringes and needles should be disposed. Exenatide (Byetta) comes in a prefilled dosing pen with a user manual showing detailed instructions for using the injection pen.

Never share a cartridge, syringe or injection pen with anyone else since this can allow diseases or infections to pass from one person to the other.

Exenatide Dosage Information:

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you’ve not yet eaten a meal, take the missed dose immediately. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, or if you’ve already eaten, skip the dose you’ve missed.

What should I do if I overdose?

Seek medical attention immediately.  Exenatide overdose can cause nausea, vomiting and signs of low blood sugar such as feeling shaky, dizziness, headache irritability and hunger.

What are the side effects of Exenatide?

Stop using Exenatide and seek medical help if you have:

  • Low blood sugar: sweating, irritability, feeling anxious and shaky, dizziness, hunger and fast heart rate.
  • Kidney problems: Difficult or painful urination, little or no urination, swelling in your ankles or feet, short of breath or feeling tired.
  • Pancreatitis: Severe nausea and vomiting, severe pain in the upper stomach spreading to the back, or fast heart rate.
  • Feeling jittery and weak
  • Constipation, diarrhea, heart burn.

Seek emergency medical help if you notice any signs of allergic reaction to Exenatide; rapid heartbeats, hives, difficult breathing, feeling light headed, itching, and swelling of the face, throat, tongue or lips.

What drugs that can affect Exenatide?

Your doctor might recommend that you stop using:

  • Birth control pills
  • Antibiotics
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Pain medication
  • Oral diabetes medicine or insulin
  • Warfarin (Jantoven, Coumadin)

Exenatide might make it difficult for the body to absorb oral medication. Therefore, it is vital to tell your physician about all the medication you are taking including herbal products for Diabetes, vitamins and over-the-counter medicines.

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