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From Everything.Sucks

Exenatide, sold under the brand name Byetta and Bydureon among others, is a medication used to treat diabetes mellitus type 2. It is used together with diet, exercise, and potentially other antidiabetic medication. It is a less preferred treatment option after metformin and sulfonylureas. It is given by injection under the skin within an hour before the first and last meal of the day. A once-weekly injection version is also available. Common side effects include low blood sugar, nausea, dizziness, abdominal pain, and pain at the site of injection. Other serious side effects may include medullary thyroid cancer, angioedema, pancreatitis, and kidney injury. Use in pregnancy and breastfeeding is of unclear safety. Exenatide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 receptor agonist) also known as incretin mimetics. It works by increasing insulin release from the pancreas and decreases excessive glucagon release.

An overview published by DRUGS.COM about Exenatide (Byetta) treatment and its downsides: Exenatide extended-release causes an increased incidence in thyroid C-cell tumors at clinically relevant exposures in rats compared to controls. It is unknown whether exenatide extended-release causes thyroid C-cell tumors, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), in humans, as the human relevance of exenatide extended-release-induced rodent thyroid C-cell tumors has not been determined. Exenatide extended-release is contraindicated in patients with a personal or family history of MTC and in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2). Counsel patients regarding the potential risk for MTC with the use of exenatide extended-release and inform them of symptoms of thyroid tumors (eg, mass in the neck, dysphagia, dyspnea, persistent hoarseness). Routine monitoring of serum calcitonin or using thyroid ultrasound is of uncertain value for detection of MTC in patients treated with exenatide extended-release. Also, animal studies have revealed evidence of adverse fetal and neonatal outcomes during pregnancy. Reduced fetal growth and skeletal ossification deficits were observed in rats exposed to this drug during organogenesis at doses approximating clinical exposures. In mice, exposure during gestation and lactation cause increased neonatal deaths.


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