Byetta for Diabetes reviews – does Byetta for Diabetes work?
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Byetta for Diabetes (exenatide injection) is a twice-daily injectable drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. The drug is designed to work with diet and exercise to control blood sugar. Manufactured by San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Byetta was approved by the FDA in 2005.
In January 2012, the FDA approved a once-weekly exenatide injection called Bydureon a longer-lasting version of Byetta. The FDA previously rejected it twice in 2010 because of evidence that the drug may cause heart rhythm abnormalities.
Exenatide is part of a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists. These drugs mimic the effects of the body’s natural GLP-1, a hormone that reacts to high blood sugar by increasing insulin production. The synthetic hormone is derived from the saliva of a poisonous lizard called the Gila monster that is found in the southwestern United States.
Doctors typically prescribe Byetta or Bydureon to overweight people with Type 2 diabetes, because the drug also seems to help with weight loss. People taking only Byetta lost an average of six pounds over 24 weeks, although the drug is not marketed as a weight-loss product.
In three 30-week clinical trials, people who took Byetta for Diabetes had an average reduction of 1 percent in A1C the amount of glucose concentrated in a person’s blood after three years of treatment, and the drug was effective in managing Type 2 diabetes.
However, the drug once proclaimed as an incredible advancement in diabetes medication is now linked to disturbing side effects like pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer. People who took Byetta for Diabetes have since pursued litigation against Amylin and Eli Lilly, who helped market the drug.
Byetta is packaged in a glass cartridge inside a pen-injector. A doctor or physician’s assistant instructs patients how to inject it. The active ingredient, exenatide, is mixed in water along with an antimicrobial agent. Two prefilled pens come with either a 5 mcg or 10 mcg doses, and each prefilled pen delivers a 30-day supply of Byetta that should be administered twice a day.
Byetta can be used alone or with metformin, a sulfonylurea (Amaryl, Glocotrol), a thiazolidinedione (Actos, Avandia), or Lantus (insulin glargine). It can also be used with DPP-4 inhibitors like Januvia. It should not be used in people with Type 1 diabetes, however.