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exenatide (Bydureon)

Pronunciation: ex EN a tide

Brand: Bydureon

What is the most important information I should know about Bydureon?

This medication guide provides information about the Bydureon brand of exenatide. Byetta is another brand of exenatide that is not covered in this medication guide.

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You should not use Bydureon if you have a personal or family history of thyroid cancer, or if you have multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (cancer that can affect the thyroid, parathryoid, and adrenal glands).

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Do not use exenatide to treat type 1 diabetes, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin). You should not use exenatide if you have severe kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis), of if you have a severe stomach disorder that causes slow digestion.

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In animal studies, Bydureon caused thyroid tumors. However, very high doses are used in animal studies. It is not known whether these effects would occur in people using doses recommended for human use. Ask your doctor about your personal risk.

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You should not use Bydureon together with insulin. Do not use Bydureon together with Byetta.

Bydureon is an extended-release form of exenatide that can be given with or without food and given at any time of the day. Follow your doctor's instructions.

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Stop using exenatide and call your doctor at once if you have severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, with nausea, vomiting, and a fast heart rate. These could be symptoms of pancreatitis.

What is exenatide (Bydureon)?

Exenatide is an injectable diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels. This medication helps your pancreas produce insulin more efficiently. Bydureon is an extended-release form of exenatide.

Exenatide is used to treat type 2 diabetes. Other diabetes medicines are sometimes used in combination with exenatide if needed.

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This medication guide provides information about the Bydureon brand of exenatide. Byetta is another brand of exenatide that is not covered in this medication guide.

Exenatide may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using Bydureon?

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Do not use exenatide to treat type 1 diabetes, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin). You should not use exenatide if you have severe kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis), of if you have a severe stomach disorder that causes slow digestion.

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You should not use Bydureon if you have a personal or family history of thyroid cancer, or if you have multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (cancer that can affect the thyroid, parathryoid, and adrenal glands).

To make sure you can safely use this medication, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • kidney disease or a history of kidney transplant;
  • problems with digestion;
  • a history of pancreatitis or gall stones;
  • a history of alcoholism; or
  • a history of high triglycerides (a type of fat in blood).
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In animal studies, Bydureon caused thyroid tumors. However, very high doses are used in animal studies. It is not known whether these effects would occur in people using doses recommended for human use. Ask your doctor about your personal risk.

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FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether exenatide will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using Bydureon.

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It is not known whether exenatide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using Bydureon.

How should I use Bydureon?

Use exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Exenatide is injected under the skin. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.

Bydureon is usually injected once every 7 days. Unlike Byetta, Bydureon can be used with or without food and given at any time of the day. Follow your doctor's instructions. You may change your weekly dosing day, but do not inject Bydureon on your new dosing day if it has been less than 3 days since your last dose.

Bydureon is a powder medicine that must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. You must give the injection right away after mixing. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine.

Use a different place on your stomach, thigh, or upper arm each time you inject Bydureon. Your care provider will show you the best places on your body to inject the medication. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.

Your blood sugar will need to be checked often, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor's office. Visit your doctor regularly.

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Know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to recognize them: headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, tremors, irritability, or trouble concentrating.

Always keep a source of sugar available in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar. Sugar sources include orange juice, glucose gel, candy, or milk. If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use an injection of glucagon. Your doctor can give you a prescription for a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to give the injection. Be sure your family and close friends know how to help you in an emergency.

Check your blood sugar carefully during a time of stress or illness, if you travel, exercise more than usual, drink alcohol, or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change.

Your doctor may want you to stop using exenatide for a short time if you become ill, have a fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency. Tell your doctor if you have a prolonged illness that causes diarrhea or vomiting.

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Ask your doctor how to adjust your exenatide dose if needed. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.

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Store unused Bydureon powder in the refrigerator, protected from light. Do not freeze, and throw away any medicine that has become frozen.

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You may store Bydureon at room temperature for up to 4 weeks.

Use a disposable needle only once. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if your next dose is less than 3 days away. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

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Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose can cause severe nausea and vomiting, or signs of low blood sugar (headache, weakness, dizziness, confusion, irritability, hunger, fast heartbeat, sweating, and tremor).

What should I avoid while taking Bydureon?

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You should not use Bydureon together with insulin. Do not use Bydureon together with Byetta.

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Avoid drinking alcohol. It can lower your blood sugar.

What are the possible side effects of Bydureon?

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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

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Stop using this medication and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • swelling in your neck or throat (enlarged thyroid), hoarse voice, trouble swallowing or breathing;
  • swelling, weight gain, feeling short of breath, urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • drowsiness, confusion, mood changes, increased thirst, diarrhea;
  • dull pain in your middle or lower back;
  • severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, vomiting; or
  • low blood sugar (headache, hunger, weakness, sweating, confusion, irritability, dizziness, fast heart rate, or feeling jittery).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation;
  • weight loss; or
  • itching or a hard lump where the medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Bydureon?

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You may be more likely to have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you use exenatide with oral diabetes medications that can lower blood sugar. Before using Bydureon, tell your doctor if you use any of these: chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glimepiride (Amaryl, Avandaryl, Duetact), glipizide (Glucotrol, Metaglip), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glucovance), tolazamide (Tolinase), or tolbutamide (Orinase).

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Exenatide can make it harder for your body to absorb other medications you take by mouth. Tell your doctor if you are taking:

  • levothyroxine (Synthroid, Levothroid);
  • lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid);
  • lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev, Advicor);
  • pimozide (Orap);
  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), sirolimus (Rapamune) or tacrolimus (Prograf);
  • theophylline (Elixophyllin, Theo-24, Theochron, Uniphyl);
  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
  • ergot medicine such as ergotamine (Ergomar, Cafergot) or dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal Nasal Spray);
  • seizure medication such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol), divalproex (Depakote), ethosuximide (Zarontin), phenytoin (Dilantin), or valproic acid (Depakene, Stavzor); or
  • heart or blood pressure medication such as digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps), disopyramide (Norpace), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl), or quinidine (Quin-G).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with exenatide. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about exenatide (Bydureon).


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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