Byetta (generic:exenatide) is a prescription medication that is used along with diet and exercise to treat type 2 diabetes. Byetta belongs to a group of medications called incretin mimetics. It works by helping the pancreas to secrete insulin when blood sugar levels are high, decreases the amount of sugar the liver produces, and it slows the emptying of the stomach.
Byetta is an injectable prescription medicine that may improve blood sugar (glucose) control in adults with type 2 diabetes, when used with a diet and exercise program.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
It is not known whether Byetta, or other anti-diabetes medications, increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Your risk for getting low blood sugar is higher if you take Byetta with another medicine that can cause low blood sugar, such as a sulfonylurea. The dose of your sulfonylurea medicine may need to be lowered while you use Byetta. Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar may include:
- fast heart beat
- feeling jittery
Talk with your healthcare provider about how to treat low blood sugar.
- Byetta may cause new or worse problems with kidney function, including kidney failure.
- Dialysis or kidney transplant may be needed. While taking Byetta: Call your healthcare provider right away if you have nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that will not go away, or if you cannot take liquids by mouth. You may be at increased risk for kidney problems. Severe allergic reactions.
Severe allergic reactions can happen with Byetta.
- Stop taking Byetta, and get medical help right away if you have any symptom of a severe allergic reaction.
The most common side effects with Byetta include:
- nausea. Nausea most commonly happens when first starting Byetta, but may become less over time.
- feeling jittery
- acid stomach
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Byetta slows stomach emptying and can affect medicines that need to pass through the stomach quickly. Byetta may affect the way some medicines work and some other medicines may affect the way Byetta works.
Especially tell your doctor if you take:
- insulin, or any other anti-diabetes medicines.
- birth control pills that are taken by mouth (oral contraceptives). Byetta may lower the amount of the medicine in your blood from your birth control pills and they may not work as well to prevent pregnancy. Take your birth control pills at least one hour before your injection of Byetta. If you must take your birth control pills with food, take it with a meal or snack where you do not also take Byetta.
- an antibiotic. Take antibiotic medicines at least one hour before taking Byetta. If you must take your antibiotic with food, take it with a meal or snack where you do not also take Byetta.
- warfarin sodium (Coumadin, Jantoven)
- a blood pressure medicine
- a water pill (diuretic)
- a pain medicine
- lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor, Advicor)
This is not a complete list of Byetta drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Do not use Byetta if you have had an allergic reaction to exenatide (the active ingredient in Byetta) or any of the other ingredients in Byetta.
Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction with Byetta may include:
- swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
- problems breathing or swallowing
- severe rash or itching
- fainting or feeling dizzy
- very rapid heartbeat
Byetta should not be used in people with type I diabetes (insulin-dependent). Byetta is not a form of insulin.
Byetta is not recommended if you have severe kidney disease, or severe digestive tract conditions.
Byetta may cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), a potentially life-threatening condition. Tell your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain and vomiting.
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Byetta there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving Byetta.
Before receiving Byetta, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions including if you:
- have or have had pancreatitis, stones in your gallbladder (gallstones), a history of alcoholism, or high blood triglyceride levels.
- have severe problems with your stomach, such as delayed emptying of your stomach (gastroparesis) or problems with digesting food.
- have or have had kidney problems, or have had a kidney transplant.
- have any other medical conditions.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Byetta slows stomach emptying and can affect medicines that need to pass through the stomach quickly.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Byetta will harm your unborn baby.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Byetta is excreted into human breast milk.
- See the Pen User Manual that comes with Byetta for instructions for using the Byetta Pen and injecting Byetta.
- Your doctor may prescribe Byetta alone or with certain other medicines to help control your blood sugar.
- Byetta comes in a prefilled pen.
- Use Byetta exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not change your dose unless your doctor has told you to change your dose.
- Your healthcare provider must teach you how to inject Byetta before you use it for the first time. If you have questions or do not understand the instructions, talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
- Pen needles are not included. You may need a prescription to purchase pen needles from your pharmacist. Ask your healthcare provider which needle length and gauge is best for you.
- Inject your dose of Byetta under the skin (subcutaneous injection) of your upper leg (thigh), stomach area (abdomen), or upper arm as instructed by your healthcare provider. Do not inject into a vein or muscle.
- Byetta is injected two times each day, at any time within the 60 minutes (1 hour) before your morning and evening meals (or before the two main meals of the day, approximately 6 hours or more apart). Do not take Byetta after your meal.
- If you miss a dose of Byetta, skip that 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 a missed dose.
- If you use too much Byetta, call your healthcare provider or poison control center right away. Too much Byetta can cause your blood sugar to drop quickly and you may have symptoms of low blood sugar. You may need medical treatment right away. Too much Byetta can also cause severe nausea and vomiting.
- Follow your healthcare provider's instructions for diet, exercise, and how often to test your blood sugar. If you see your blood sugar increasing during treatment with Byetta, talk to your healthcare provider because you may need to adjust your current treatment plan for your diabetes.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about how to manage high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), and how to recognize problems that can happen with your diabetes.
- Never share your Byetta pen with another person. You may give an infection to them, or get an infection from them, and Byetta may harm them.
While taking Byetta, call your healthcare provider right away if you have pain in your stomach area (abdomen) that is severe, and will not go away. The pain may happen with or without vomiting. The pain may be felt going from your abdomen through to your back. These may be symptoms of pancreatitis.
Use Byetta exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Byetta is injected two times each day, at any time within the 60 minutes (1 hour) before your morning and evening meals (or before the two main meals of the day, approximately 6 hours or more apart). Do not take Byetta after your meal.
If you use too much Byetta, call your doctor or local Poison Control Center right away. Too much Byetta can cause your blood sugar to drop quickly and you may have symptoms of low blood sugar. You may need medical treatment right away. Too much Byetta can also cause severe nausea and vomiting.
Byetta is available in the following packages:
- 5 mcg per dose, 60 doses, 1.2 mL prefilled pen
- 10 mcg per dose, 60 doses, 2.4 mL prefilled pen
Active Ingredient: exenatide
Inactive Ingredients: metacresol, mannitol, glacial acetic acid, and sodium acetate trihydrate in water for injection.
- Store your new, unused Byetta Pen in the original carton in a refrigerator at 36 °F to 46 °F (2 °C to 8 °C).
- After first use, keep your Byetta Pen at a temperature cooler than 77 °F (25 °C).
- Do not freeze your Byetta Pen. Do not use Byetta if it has been frozen.
- Protect Byetta from light.
- Use a Byetta Pen for only 30 days. Throw away a used Byetta Pen after 30 days, even if there is some medicine left in the pen.
- Do not use Byetta after the expiration date printed on the label.
- 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.
- See the Byetta Pen User Manual for instructions about the right way to throw away your Byetta Pen.
- Keep your Byetta Pen, pen needles, and all medicines out of the reach of children.