- Trade name: Byetta
- Generic name: Exenatide
- Drug class: GLP-1 Receptor Agonist (Incretin Mimetics)
- Manufacturer: AstraZeneca
What is Byetta?
Byetta is an injectable medication for people with type 2 diabetes. It is a man-made hormone that mimics the action of the naturally occurring hormone GLP-1. Byetta helps to lower blood glucose levels in a way that doesn’t promote weight gain. It works by increasing the release of insulin from the pancreas, thereby reducing glucagon (the hormone that raises blood glucose levels) and slowing the absorption of glucose from the gut. These actions work together to decrease blood glucose levels and reduce appetite.
Although Byetta is injectable, it is not an insulin but a part of a class of diabetic drugs known as incretin mimetics. Incretin mimetic drugs have a significant advantage over many other diabetic drugs, because it helps people to achieve weight loss.
Byetta is taken twice daily by injection, usually an hour before breakfast and dinner. Typically, Byetta is injected into the thigh, abdomen or upper arm.
Who Can Take Byetta?
Normally, Byetta is prescribed with other medications and is used to reduce blood glucose levels amongst people with type 2 diabetes who can’t stabilise their blood glucose by just taking metformin or metformin with other drugs.
The NHS does not prescribe Byetta to people with type 1 diabetes.
There are certain side effects caused by Byetta and they include the following:
- Stomach pain
- Lowered appetite
- Acid reflux