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Byetta (Exenatide Injection) Drug Information
- Other Uses
- Special Dietary
- If I Forget
- Side Effects
- Storage Conditions
- Other Information
- Brand Names
Why is this medication prescribed?
Byetta (exenatide) is used along with diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetes (condition in which the body does not use insulin normally and therefore cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood). Byetta (exenatide) is in a class of medications called incretin mimetics. It works by stimulating the pancreas to secrete insulin when blood sugar levels are high. Insulin helps move sugar from the blood into other body tissues where it is used for energy. Byetta (exenatide) also slows the emptying of the stomach and causes a decrease in appetite. Byetta (exenatide) is not used to treat type 1 diabetes (condition in which the body does not produce insulin and therefore cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood). Byetta (exenatide) is not used instead of insulin to treat people with diabetes who need insulin.
Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer's patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with Byetta (exenatide) and each time you refill your prescription. Read the information carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm085729.htm) to obtain the Medication Guide.
How should this medicine be used?
Byetta (exenatide) comes as a solution (liquid) in a prefilled dosing pen to inject subcutaneously (under the skin). It is usually injected twice a day within 60 minutes before the morning and evening meals. Byetta (exenatide) should not be injected after meals. Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of Byetta (exenatide) and may switch you to a pen with a higher dose of medication if your blood sugar control has not improved after you have used Byetta (exenatide) for 1 month. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use Byetta (exenatide) injection exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Byetta (exenatide) controls diabetes but does not cure it. Continue to use Byetta (exenatide) even if you feel well. Do not stop using Byetta (exenatide) without talking to your doctor.
Byetta (exenatide) comes in prefilled dosing pens that contain enough medication for 60 doses (two doses a day for 1 month). You will need to buy needles separately. Ask your doctor or pharmacist what type of needles you will need to inject your medication. Be sure to read and understand the manufacturer's instructions for injecting Byetta (exenatide) using the pen. Also make sure you know how and when to set up a new pen. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to show you how to use the pen. Follow the directions carefully. Never remove the cartridge from the pen or attempt to add any other type of medication to the cartridge.
Always look at your Byetta (exenatide) solution before you inject it. It should be as clear, colorless, and fluid as water. Do not use Byetta (exenatide) if it is colored, cloudy, thickened, or contains solid particles, or if the expiration date on the bottle has passed.
Never reuse needles and never share needles or pens. Always remove the needle right after you inject your dose. Throw away needles in a puncture-resistant container. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to dispose of the puncture resistant container.
Byetta (exenatide) can be administered in the thigh (upper leg), abdomen (stomach), or upper arm. Use a different site for each injection, about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) away from the previous injection but in the same general area (for example, the thigh). Use all available sites in the same general area before switching to a different area (for example, the upper arm). Do not use the same injection site more often than once every month.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using Byetta (exenatide) injection:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Byetta (exenatide) or any other medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril (Monopril), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril (Univasc), perindopril, (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), and trandolapril (Mavik); diuretics ('water pills'); aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); medications for high blood pressure; sulfonylureas such as chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glimepiride (Amaryl), glipizide (Glucotrol), glyburide (DiaBeta, Micronase), tolazamide, and tolbutamide; and warfarin (Coumadin).
- if you are taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills) or antibiotics, take them at least 1 hour before you use Byetta (exenatide) injection. If you have been told to take these medications with food, take them with a meal or snack at a time when you do not use Byetta (exenatide).
- tell your doctor if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, and if you are experiencing nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea or think you may be dehydrated, or if you develop these symptoms at any time during your treatment. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had pancreatitis (swelling of the pancreas), gallstones (solid deposits that form in the gallbladder), a high level of triglycerides (fats) in the blood; severe stomach problems; high blood pressure; or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using Byetta (exenatide), call your doctor.
- ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking Byetta (exenatide).
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Be sure to follow all exercise and dietary recommendations made by your doctor or dietitian. It is important to eat a healthy diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not inject a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
This medication may cause changes in your blood sugar. You should know the symptoms of low and high blood sugar and what to do if you have these symptoms.
Byetta (exenatide) injection may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- jittery feeling
- acid stomach
- weight loss
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- ongoing pain that begins in the upper left or middle of the stomach but may spread to the back
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- changes in the color or amount of urine
- urinating more or less often than usual
- swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- excessive tiredness
- changes in appetite or digestion
- dull ache in the mid to lower back
Byetta (exenatide) may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Store unused Byetta (exenatide) pens in their original carton in the refrigerator protected from light. Once in use, store Byetta (exenatide) pens at room temperature (up to 77°F [25°C]) protected from light. Do not freeze. Do not use Byetta (exenatide) if it has been frozen. Do not store Byetta (exenatide) pens with the needle attached. Keep Byetta (exenatide) pens out of the reach of children.
When traveling, be sure to keep Byetta (exenatide) pens dry. Unused pens should be refrigerated or kept at a cold temperature between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C). Pens that are in use can be stored at room temperature up to 77°F (25°C) (not in a car glove compartment or other hot place).
Make a note of the date you first use an Byetta (exenatide) pen, and throw away the pen after 30 days, even if there is some solution left in the pen. Throw away any Byetta (exenatide) pens that are outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- severe upset stomach
- severe vomiting
- symptoms of hypoglycemia
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your blood sugar and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) should be checked regularly to determine your response to Byetta (exenatide). Your doctor will also tell you how to check your response to this medication by measuring your blood or urine sugar levels at home. Follow these instructions carefully.
Do not let anyone else use your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
NOTE: Content on RxPharmacyCoupons.com serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician.