type 2 Diabetes is a condition that affects millions of Americans. Patients with type 2 Diabetes have challenges in controlling their blood sugar levels and producing insulin. As a result, high sugar in the blood can affect internal organs such as the heart and kidneys. Byetta and Bydureon are two medications that are taken to control blood sugar levels. These injectable medications help your body produce more insulin so as to control lower the amount of sugar in your blood.
Byetta is administered as twice-daily injections while Bydureon is a weekly injection. They both have the same active ingredient-exenatide-and are most effective when used in collaboration with proper diet and exercise. In fact, taking Byetta can also result in weight loss over time (a welcoming side effect for many patients with type 2 diabetes).
The big question with Byetta is whether the medication is safe and effective to use. Though FDA proved since 2005, Byetta has also been shown to cause significant health complications such as pancreatic cancer.
What is Byetta?
byetta is an injectable medication that is used to treat type 2 Diabetes in adults. It is a glucagon-like polypeptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, which is a family of medications that help improve blood sugar regulation in diabetes patients. GLP-1 medications stimulate the body to produce more insulin so as to control blood sugar levels.
Byetta controls glucose levels in the blood through reducing blood sugar concentrations by 1.3-1.9%. Bydureon is also able to achieve these reduction levels without causing hypoglycemia or a need for constant adjustment in dosage. Both Byetta and Bydureon stimulate insulin release when blood sugar levels reach a particular threshold.
The pancreas to control blood sugar levels by producing insulin. When blood sugar is high, insulin transfers the sugar to your blood cells so the body can produce more energy. Patients with type 2 diabetes either have trouble producing enough insulin or have become less sensitive to insulin. For such patients, taking medication to control blood sugar levels is critical. Indeed, persistently high levels of blood sugar can cause many different conditions such as the following:
- Kidney failure
- Loss of vision
- Cardiac diseases
In addition to treating type 2 Diabetes, Byetta and Bydureon may also be administered for weight loss. Weight loss is a side effect of these medications, and it often comes as a welcome sign because many patients with type 2 Diabetes also struggle with their weight (and they need to lose excess weight to enjoy better health).
The active ingredient in both Byetta and Bydureon is Exenatide. Exenatide belongs to a family of molecules that stimulate the production of insulin. How does it work? Exenatide mimics the GLP-1 hormone, the hormone responsible for stimulating the pancreas to produce more insulin.
Exenatide is produced synthetically and is administered as regular injections under the skin. Once in your bloodstream, this molecule mimics the natural bodily hormones that are responsible for signaling insulin production. It also suppresses other hormones that simulate more sugar to be released into your blood.
Byetta and Weight Loss
bByetta and Bydureon have the dual effect of controlling blood sugar levels as well as stimulating weight loss. When controlling blood sugar, these medications also have the effect of slowing down your rate of digestion. They work in a similar manner to the hormones in your body by slowing down how quickly food moves from your stomach to your intestines. The end result is a person feeling hungry less often and thus consuming fewer calories.
There is an interesting relationship between feeling fuller faster and achieving weight loss. While many weight loss medications may target body fat in an attempt to burn it faster, controlling calorie consumption is also an effective way of promoting weight loss. When the rate of passage of food from the stomach to the small intestine is controlled, a person feels less hungry and thus eats less often. This method of weight loss is relatively faster and more effective when paired with proper diet and exercise. This is why some doctors may recommend Byetta and Bydureon for weight loss in type 2 diabetes patients.
The Relationship Between Byetta and Insulin
while Byetta and Bydureon both help to control blood sugar levels, it’s important to note that Byetta is not insulin. Patients taking Byetta shouldn’t take it in place of insulin. Byetta is most useful when reducing blood sugar levels soon after a meal is taken. In addition, the medication works to stimulate your pancreas to produce more insulin. It doesn’t actually function as insulin does.
Patients who have been prescribed to take specific doses of insulin shouldn’t stop taking insulin because they’re taking Byetta. The two medications should be taken concurrently without mixing different medicines inside one syringe. Consult your doctor for specific dosage information and how frequently you should take either medication.
When taking Byetta, patients should get in the habit of constantly monitoring their blood sugar levels. Regular monitoring helps you keep track of your health and the effectiveness of Byetta. Your doctor may also adjust your dosage upwards or downwards depending on the effects of the medication.
When taking Byetta with insulin, it’s important to take these 2 medications at the right times. Byetta is typically administered within 60 minutes of taking a meal that is 6 hours apart from your previous meal (Byetta is typically administered twice daily). For medications such as antibiotics or birth control pills, wait at least one hour after taking these pills before injecting Byetta.
Byetta vs Bydureon: Is There a Difference?
while Byetta and Bydureon both work in largely the same way, they’re not identical medications. Byetta was originally produced by Amylin Pharmaceuticals (alongside Eli Lilly). The FDA approved it in 2005 as a medication for treating type 2 Diabetes. The primary difference between Byetta and Bydureon is that Bydureon is designed to act as a slow-release medication. This means that one injection slowly releases Exenatide into your body over the course of a week.
Byetta has a more rapid release and thus is injected twice daily. Bydureon was approved after Byetta, with its go ahead by the FDA coming in 2012. In the same year, Bristol Myers Quibb bought both Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Bydureon. These two medications are now administered under the same parent company.
Regardless of ownership, Bydureon has fewer side effects than Byetta. In particular, Byetta may cause nausea and stomach upsets more frequently than Bydureon does. Patients may also find Bydureon more convenient to take because you only need one injection per week. However, Byetta provides more room for varying dosages than Bydureon. The twice-daily injections give more room for healthcare providers to create a dosage that specifically works for you.
b oth Byetta and Bydureon are injectable medications aimed at controlling blood sugar levels. Each of these medications comes in a pre-filled pen that is easy to administer under the skin. A single dose of Byetta contains 5mcg (micrograms) of Exenatide (sometimes 10mcg). Bydureon contains a lower dosage of Exenatide (2mcg per dose), particularly because of its slow-release mechanism. For Byetta, the maximum dose that patients should take is 10mcg of Exenatide per day.
Each injection of these medications is administered near the thigh, upper arm, or abdomen. The injection should be administered before your 2 main meals of the day, which should be at least 6 hours apart. Many patients take the injection in the morning (before breakfast) and in the evening (before dinner). Both injections should be taken not more than an hour before each of your meals.
Because Byetta dosages come in a pre-filled pen, you can learn how to administer the injections yourself. Your doctor will set the dosages you should use and show you how to safely administer each injection. As often as Byetta is taken (twice daily), it’s not uncommon for patients to forget to take a particular dose. If you miss an injection, just continue with your regular routine and take the next injection when the time comes. Patients shouldn’t attempt to take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
Apart from the active ingredient, each injection of Byetta contains mannitol, glacial acetic acid, m-cresol, sodium acetate, and water as a solvent. A typical pre-filled pen will contain 1.2ml of the medication (with 5mcg of Exenatide) or 2.4ml (with 10mcg of Exenatide).
For both medications, your doctor will determine the final dose you should take. Dosage may vary according to your body weight, pre-existing medical conditions, or other medications you may be taking.
Anticipated Results When Taking Byetta
byetta was the first GLP-21 receptor agonist to reach the U.S. market. Since its FDA approval in 2005, Byetta has been used to control blood sugar levels while promoting weight loss. Byetta and Bydureon produce glucose control through an A1C reduction of 1.3-1.9%.
A1C refers to your average blood sugar levels over a period of time (typically 2-3 months). During clinical trials, patients also lost an average of about 6 pounds of body weight after taking Bydureon. Many patients who take Bydureon or Byetta lose as much as 30 pounds after 12 months of taking the medication.
This effectiveness is due to the two-step process that Byetta operates under. First, it promotes weight loss by slowing down how quickly food leaves the stomach. Secondly, Byetta interacts with receptors in the brain to cause a feeling of fullness even after a light meal. This two-step process allows many type 2 diabetes patients to lose weight over time.
Keeping track of your blood sugar levels also helps you determine any anticipated results. Proper diet and exercise are key to further controlling your blood sugar.
When Not to Take Byetta
as useful as Byetta and Bydureon are at controlling blood sugar levels, these medications are not for everyone. Some diabetes patients may suffer significant side effects after taking Byetta. If you have any of the following conditions, don’t take Byetta.
MTC (Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma) is a type of thyroid cancer that affects your neck area. This cancer often causes lumps or swelling near the neck, trouble breathing, and hoarseness. Animal studies with Bydureon showed that the medicine could cause thyroid tumors.
There is no conclusive evidence showing if Bydureon has a similar effect in humans or not. Therefore, patients with a history of MTC should avoid taking Byetta or Bydureon.
- Type-1 Diabetes
Type-1 diabetes is an early onset type of diabetes. Treatment for type 2 Diabetes is typically not the same as that of type-1, and thus patients with this form of diabetes shouldn’t take Byetta or Bydureon.
- Allergic Reactions
If you’re allergic to Byetta or Bydureon (or any of its ingredients), you shouldn’t take this medication. Allergic reactions caused by Byetta include shortness of breath, itching, or rashes.
- Kidney Complications
Many side effects of Byetta and Bydureon involve kidney complications. Therefore, patients with pre-existing kidney issues shouldn’t take this medication (or should first consult their healthcare provider).
Kidney problems, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea often cause dehydration and put extra stress on your kidneys. Some of these conditions are side effects that may occur as a result of taking Byetta.
- Irritation at the Injection Site
In some cases, patients also experience irritation at the site of injection. Common symptoms of irritation at the injection site include:
- Severe pain
- An open wound
- Dark scabs
While these symptoms may seem initially harmless, they can worsen over time and even require surgery. Make sure you consult your healthcare provider if you experience irritation at the injection site.
as with most medications in the market, Byetta and Bydureon both have side effects that you may experience. Most side effects are common and they eventually go away on their own (or after receiving medication). However, other side effects are more serious in nature and may require immediate medical attention.
It’s important to know what the side effects of a particular medication are. This helps you determine if the drug is safe and beneficial to you. In addition, certain side effects may point to the potential of developing grave medical conditions.
Common Side Effects
below are some of the most common side effects of taking Byetta and Bydureon.
- Nausea (the most common side effect and it decreases over time)
- Abdominal pain
More Serious Side Effects
there are more grave side effects that may arise from taking Byetta or Bydureon. Some of these include:
Continuous Nausea or Diarrhea
Many patients who take Byetta feel nauseated during the first few days. However, if you feel nauseated over a long period of time, this may point to a serious medical complication. In addition, continuous diarrhea also points to potential kidney issues. Consult your healthcare provider if these conditions are experienced over a prolonged period.
Low Blood Sugar
Byetta and Bydureon may also cause low blood sugar levels. In an attempt to lower your blood sugar, these medications may overdo their responsibility and reduce your glucose concentrations to dangerously low levels. You can tell if you have very low blood sugar through any of the following symptoms:
Consult your doctor immediately if you have any of the above symptoms.
Byetta and Bydureon may also result in significant kidney problems over time. This is because any abnormalities in blood sugar levels exert pressure on the kidneys, causing increased urination, blood in the urine, or even decreased urine production.
Byetta and Bydureon have also been shown to affect the pancreas by causing pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Pancreatitis causes abdominal pain, vomiting, and stomach problems. In fact, the relationship between Byetta and pancreas problems is a hotly contested issue, and many lawsuits have been filed with regards to this relationship.
An Abnormal Heart Rhythm
Byetta and Bydureon may also cause changes to one’s heart rhythm over time. These medications might cause seizures, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, and fainting. Any changes to your heart rhythm should be immediately checked by your doctor (to determine the best course of action moving forward).
Is Byetta Safe?
the top concern that any patient considering Byetta may have is whether this drug is safe to use. As an FDA approved drug, Byetta is deemed safe enough for use if patients adhere to the relevant safety information. Patients who are cautious about allergic reactions, kidney complications, and thyroid cancer will often use Byetta without any long-term complications. Similarly, Bydureon helps with lowering blood sugar levels and promoting weight loss.
However, in recent years, there have been new risks that Byetta and Bydureon can cause to patients. One of these risks is pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. The relation between Byetta and pancreatic issues has been more prevalent over the past decade. In fact, the FDA issued a new warning about this risk in 2007 (just two years after Byetta was FDA approved).
This warning led to more research into Byetta and its effect on the pancreas. Currently, pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer are mentioned as side effects of taking these medications. You should be aware of the actual risks that taking Byetta or Bydureon can cause to patients. Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) is a serious medical condition and can cause symptoms such as:
- Kidney failure
- Breathing complications
- Pancreatic cancer
Serious cases of pancreatitis can also lead to death. Patients who develop pancreatic issues as a result of taking Byetta may be compensated for damages incurred. If your loved one passed away from pancreatitis, and you suspect that the condition occurred after taking Byetta, you may also have strong grounds for a lawsuit.
Thyroid cancer is another condition that can occur when taking Byetta. Exenatide, the active ingredient of both Byetta and Bydureon, has been shown to increase the risk of thyroid cancer development. Exenatide may affect the thyroid glands of the throat, which are the glands responsible for producing metabolism hormones. Thyroid cancer has the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing and swallowing
- Shortness of breath
- Hoarse speech
- A lump in the neck
Animal studies with Exenatide show that it may increase the risk of thyroid cancer. However, the effect on humans is not well known. If you or your family has a history of thyroid cancer, these medications may increase your risk of contracting the disease. Patients who have contracted thyroid cancer as a result of using Byetta or Bydureon injections may also be eligible for compensation.
Kidney failure is another risk that Byetta may cause. Pressure on the kidneys may occur due to dehydration and the side effects of Byetta. This type 2 diabetes medication may cause further kidney problems that warrant compensation in victims.
Help with Filing a Byetta Lawsuit Near Me
byetta and Bydureon are useful medications for controlling blood sugar and promoting weight loss. They work to stimulate the release of insulin while lowering your rate of food digestion. As a result, patients with type 2 diabetes can better control their blood sugar and lose weight so as to lead healthier lives.
However, as useful as these medications are, their potential side effects are real. Byetta and Bydureon have been shown to increase the risk of pancreatitis, thyroid cancer, and kidney failure. If you’ve been negatively affected by these medications, you may be eligible for compensation. During the initial stages after FDA approval, these medications didn’t make the above risks clear to all users. Therefore, victims of harmful side effects may be able to file a successful lawsuit against the medicine manufacturers.
Filing a successful lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company can be quite challenging. That is why Consumer Alert Now is here to help. We understand the pain and suffering that a defective drug might cause, as well as the need for carefully preparing a strong case. Contact us to seek advice through one of our trusted partners on how Byetta/Bydureon may have affected you, and how you can proceed to be compensated. Have you or a loved one been injured by Byetta? Contact us today at (800) 511-0747.