GENERIC NAME: exenatide
BRAND NAME: Byetta, Bydureon
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Exenatide is an injectable drug that reduces the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. It is used for treating type 2 diabetes. Exenatide belongs in a class of drugs called incretin mimetics because these drugs mimic the effects of incretins. Incretins, such as human-glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), are hormones that are produced and released into the blood by the intestine in response to food. GLP-1 increases the secretion of insulin from the pancreas, slows absorption of glucose from the gut, and reduces the action of glucagon. (Glucagon is a hormone that increases glucose production by the liver.) All three of these actions reduce levels of glucose in the blood. In addition, GLP-1 reduces appetite. Exenatide is a synthetic (man-made) hormone that resembles and acts like GLP-1. In studies, exenatide-treated patients achieved lower blood glucose levels and experienced weight loss. Exenatide was approved by the FDA in May 2005.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Exenatide is used with diet and exercise to improve control of the blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Exenatide should not be used for treating diabetic ketoacidosis in patients with type 1 diabetes or as a substitute for insulin in patients who require insulin.
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