August 13, 2008 by  
Filed under DIABETES

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Byetta is in a class of diabetic medications not mentioned in the August 11, Battling Diabetes post, Oral Diabetic Meds Unraveled.

Byetta (the trade name for exenatide) is an incretin mimetic. Incretin mimetics work by mimicking the body’s natural incretin hormones which lower blood sugar. Incretin hormones or gut hormones are released in response to food and act by stimulating insulin and inhibiting glucagon.


  • Assists pancreatic response to release more insulin as needed to digest food
  • Prevents the pancreas from giving out glucagon which causes the liver to release glucose into the blood stream when it is not needed.
  • Delays gastric emptying which makes you feel full longer.

Approved June 1, 2005 by the FDA and manufactured and marketed by Amylin and Eli Lily and Company, Byetta is considered an adjuvant therapy for Type II diabetics who do not have control with metformin, and or sulfonylureas and or thiazolinediones. Adjuvant therapy is treatment given in addition to primary therapy.

Byetta is a synthetic hormone first discovered in the saliva of the gila monster (lizard).

Basic Byetta use information:

Byetta is given as an injection, similar to insulin and comes in pre filled pens which are stored in the refrigerator. Needles do not come with Byetta.

Byetta is used one hour before eating a meal, and us usually injected twice a day at the same time each day, before the morning and evening meal. Byetta is NOT used after eating a meal. Dosing pens are in 5 mcg or 10 mcg. You can download a user manual for the 5 mcg pen or the 10 mcg pen.

The makers of Byetta are currently testing a long lasting injectable for use once a week. The current patent for Byetta expires in 2013

The most common Byetta side effects include:
  • Nausea — occurring in up to 44 percent of people
  • Low blood sugar
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling jittery
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach

2007 FDA Alert:

FDA has reviewed 30 postmarketing reports of acute pancreatitis in patients taking Byetta, a drug used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes. An association between Byetta and acute pancreatitis is suspected in some of these cases.

Healthcare professionals should instruct patients taking Byetta to seek prompt medical care if they experience unexplained persistent severe abdominal pain which may or may not be accompanied by vomiting. If pancreatitis is suspected, Byetta should be discontinued. If pancreatitis is confirmed, Byetta should not be restarted unless an alternative etiology is identified.

FDA has asked and the maker of Byetta, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has agreed to include information about acute pancreatitis in the PRECAUTIONS section of the product label.

Label revisions can be found here.

Byetta Resources:


The Diabetes Monitor: Byetta FAQS

Byetta at

Byetta User’s Group Blog

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2 Responses to “Byetta”
  1. It’s pretty expensive too. I am holding out for the oral insulin.

  2. BillyWarhol says:

    I think the fact it makes 44% of the People using it Nauseous speaks for itself* Thass ridiculous*

    + what Type 2 wants to Inject??

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