Byetta

Generic Name: Exenatide

  • What is Byetta?

    Byetta is an injectable medication used alone or with other antidiabetic medications to improve blood sugar control in adults with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, along with diet and exercise.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Byetta?

    Byetta is not a substitute for insulin in people whose diabetes requires insulin treatment.

    Byetta may cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis); if you develop severe pain in your stomach area that will not go away, call your doctor immediately as it may be a sign of pancreatitis.

  • Who should not take Byetta?

    Do not use Byetta if you are allergic to the drug or any of its ingredients.

    Byetta should not be used in people with type I diabetes.

    People with severe kidney disease should not use Byetta.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Byetta?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Byetta. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have severe problems with your stomach or food digestion, pancreatitis, stones in your gallbladder, a history of alcoholism, high blood triglyceride levels, have severe kidney disease, a kidney transplant or are on dialysis, are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Adults: The starting dose of Byetta is 5 micrograms (mcg) given twice a day. Based on your response, the dose of Byetta can be increased to 10 mcg given twice a day after 1 month of therapy.

  • How should I take Byetta?

    Byetta comes in a prefilled pen. You must do a "New Pen Set-Up" when you first start a new prefilled Byetta pen. Inject your dose of Byetta under the skin of your upper leg, stomach area, or upper arm. For full injecting information see the "Pen User Manual" that comes with your Byetta Pen. If you have questions or do not understand the instructions, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

    Byetta is injected twice a day at any time within the 60 minutes before your morning and evening meals. Do not take Byetta after your meal.

    Pen needles are not included; you may need a prescription to purchase pen needles; ask your doctor which needle length and gauge is best for you.

    Follow instructions for diet, exercise, and how often to test your blood sugar during treatment with Byetta.

  • What should I avoid while taking Byetta?

    Avoid using alcohol while you are taking Byetta.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Byetta?

    If Byetta is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Byetta slows stomach emptying and can affect medicines that need to pass through the stomach quickly. Ask your doctor if the time at which you take any of your oral medicines should be changed. Also tell you doctor if you are using insulin, other antidiabetic medicines, an antibiotic, warfarin, blood pressure medications, especially if you are taking a diuretic (water pill), pain medications, or lovastatin.

  • What are the possible side effects of Byetta?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, feeling jittery, upset stomach, low blood sugar, weakness, confusion, irritability, hunger

    Signs of low blood sugar: headache, drowsiness, hunger, fast heart beat, sweating, feeling jittery

  • Can I receive Byetta if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Byetta during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Talk with your doctor before taking this drug if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Byetta?

    If you miss a dose of Byetta, skip the dose and take your next dose at the next prescribed time. Do not take an extra dose or increase the amount of your next dose to make up for the one you missed.

  • How should I store Byetta?

    Store new, unused Byetta in the refrigerator in the original carton. After first use, keep your Byetta pen cooler than 77°F. Do not freeze and protect from light. Throw away a used Byetta pen after 30 days even if some medicine remains in the pen. Do not store the Byetta pen with the needle attached; if the needle is left on, medicine may leak from the Byetta pen or air bubbles may form in the cartridge.

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