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All about: Byetta

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Generic Name: Exenatide Injection (ex-EN-a-tide)
Brand Name: Byetta

Byetta is used for:

Treating type 2 diabetes in patients who have not been able to control their diabetes with other medicines.

Byetta is an incretin mimetic. It lowers blood sugar by increasing the release of insulin from the pancreas. It also mimics the actions of certain hormones that lower blood sugar levels.

Do NOT use Byetta if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Byetta
  • you have type 1 diabetes
  • you have severe kidney problems or severe stomach or bowel problems

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Byetta :

Some medical conditions may interact with Byetta . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a buildup of ketones in the blood (diabetic ketoacidosis)
  • if you have stomach, bowel, or kidney problems, or if you receive dialysis

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Byetta . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Sulfonylureas (eg, glipizide) or thiazolidinediones (eg, pioglitazone) because the risk of low blood sugar may be increased
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Byetta

Ask your health care provider if Byetta may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Byetta :

Use Byetta as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet and a pen user manual are available with Byetta . Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Use Byetta within 60 minutes before your morning and evening meals (or before the 2 main meals of the day), unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Do NOT use it after a meal. Your doses of Byetta should be about 6 hours or more apart.
  • If you will be using Byetta at home, a health care provider will teach you how to use it. Be sure you understand how to use Byetta . Follow the procedures you are taught when you use a dose. Contact your health care provider if you have any questions.
  • Inject Byetta into your upper leg (thigh), stomach area (abdomen), or upper arm as directed by your doctor or other health care provider.
  • Do not use Byetta if it contains particles, is cloudy or discolored, or if the vial is cracked or damaged.
  • If you are taking certain medicines by mouth (eg, antibiotics, birth control pills), you may need to take them at least 1 hour before you use Byetta . Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider if you need to take any of your medicines at a different time than Byetta .
  • Keep this product, as well as syringes and needles, out of the reach of children and pets. Do not reuse needles, syringes, or other materials. Ask your health care provider how to dispose of these materials after use. Follow all local rules for disposal.
  • If you miss a dose of Byetta , skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Byetta .

Important safety information:

  • Byetta may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Byetta with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not use more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
  • Carry an ID card at all times that says you have diabetes.
  • Follow the diet and exercise program given to you by your health care provider. Proper diet, regular exercise, and regular testing of blood sugar are important for best results when using Byetta .
  • Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your doctor. If they are often higher than they should be and you take Byetta exactly as prescribed, tell your doctor.
  • The risk of low blood sugar may be increased when Byetta is used with certain other diabetes medicines (eg, sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones). Low blood sugar may make you anxious, sweaty, weak, dizzy, drowsy, or faint. It may also make your heart beat faster; make your vision change; give you a headache, chills, or tremors; or make you more hungry. It is a good idea to carry a reliable source of glucose (eg, tablets or gel) to treat low blood sugar. If this is not available, you should eat or drink a quick source of sugar like table sugar, honey, candy, orange juice, or non-diet soda. This will raise your blood sugar level quickly. Tell your doctor right away if this happens. To prevent low blood sugar, eat meals at the same time each day and do not skip meals.
  • Byetta may decrease your appetite, the amount of food you eat, and your weight. This is normal. Do not change your dose of Byetta without checking with your doctor.
  • If vomiting or diarrhea occurs, you will need to take care not to become dehydrated. Contact your doctor for instructions.
  • Do not store the pen with the needle attached. If the needle is left on, the medicine may leak from the pen or air bubbles may form in the cartridge.
  • Lab tests, including hemoglobin A1c levels and blood sugar levels, may be performed while you use Byetta . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Byetta should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Byetta while you are pregnant. It is not known if Byetta is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Byetta , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Byetta :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Decreased appetite; diarrhea; dizziness; feeling jittery; headache; indigestion; nausea; vomiting; weight loss.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; severe stomach pain; symptoms of low blood sugar (eg, chills, confusion, drowsiness, fainting, fast heartbeat, increased hunger, increased sweating, irritability, nervousness, severe dizziness, tremor, vision problems, weakness).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include dizziness; severe low blood sugar, nausea, and vomiting.

Proper storage of Byetta :

Store unused (unopened) pens in the refrigerator, between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Do not freeze. Do not use Byetta if it has been frozen. Store used (open) pens below 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Protect from light. Do not store with the needle attached to the pen. Throw away a used pen after 30 days, even if some medicine remains in the pen. Do not use past the expiration date. Keep Byetta out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about this medicine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Byetta is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Byetta . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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