Exenatide Solution for Injection

What is this medication?

EXENATIDE (ex EN a tide) treats type 2 diabetes. It works by increasing insulin levels in your body, which decreases your blood sugar (glucose). It also reduces the amount of sugar released into your blood and slows down your digestion. Changes to diet and exercise are often combined with this medication.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Byetta

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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • History of pancreatitis
  • Kidney disease or if you are on dialysis
  • Low blood counts, like platelets
  • Stomach or intestine problems
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to exenatide, medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is for injection under the skin of your upper leg, stomach area, or upper arm. You will be taught how to prepare and give this medication. Use exactly as directed. Take your medication at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed.

It is important that you put your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not put them in a trash can. If you do not have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or care team to get one.

A special MedGuide will be given to you by the pharmacist with each prescription and refill. Be sure to read this information carefully each time.

This medication comes with INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE. Ask your pharmacist for directions on how to use this medication. Read the information carefully. Talk to your pharmacist or care team if you have questions.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

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What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

  • Acetaminophen
  • Digoxin
  • Estrogens and progestins
  • Insulin and other medications for diabetes
  • Lisinopril
  • Lovastatin
  • Warfarin

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

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What should I watch for while using this medication?

Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress.

A test called the HbA1C (A1C) will be monitored. This is a simple blood test. It measures your blood sugar control over the last 2 to 3 months. You will receive this test every 3 to 6 months.

Learn how to check your blood sugar. Learn the symptoms of low and high blood sugar and how to manage them.

Always carry a quick-source of sugar with you in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar. Examples include hard sugar candy or glucose tablets. Make sure others know that you can choke if you eat or drink when you develop serious symptoms of low blood sugar, such as seizures or unconsciousness. They must get medical help at once.

Tell your care team if you have high blood sugar. You might need to change the dose of your medication. If you are sick or exercising more than usual, you might need to change the dose of your medication.

Do not skip meals. Ask your care team if you should avoid alcohol. Many nonprescription cough and cold products contain sugar or alcohol. These can affect blood sugar.

Pens and cartridges should never be shared. Even if the needle is changed, sharing may result in passing of viruses like hepatitis or HIV.

Wear a medical ID bracelet or chain, and carry a card that describes your disease and details of your medication and dosage times.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Gallbladder problems—severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever
  • Kidney injury—decrease in the amount of urine, swelling of the ankles, hands, or feet
  • Pancreatitis—severe stomach pain that spreads to your back or gets worse after eating or when touched, fever, nausea, vomiting
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report these to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store unopened pen in a refrigerator between 2 and 8 degrees C (36 and 46 degrees F). Do not freeze or use if the medication has been frozen. Protect from light and excessive heat. After you first use the pen, it should be kept at a temperature not to exceed 25 degrees C (77 degrees F). Throw away your used pen after 30 days or after the expiration date, whichever comes first.

Do not store your pen with the needle attached. If the needle is left on, medication may leak from the pen or air bubbles may form in the cartridge.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2024 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of use.

Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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