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Byetta Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using exenatide (Byetta)?

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.

To make sure you can safely use exenatide, 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).

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 this medication. Exenatide can make birth control pills less effective. If you take birth control pills, take your pill at least 1 hour before your exenatide injection.

It is not known whether exenatide passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use exenatide (Byetta)?

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.

Exenatide is usually injected twice a day, before the morning and evening meal. You must use this medicine within 60 minutes (1 hour) before eating the meal. Your exenatide doses should be given at least 6 hours apart. Do not use exenatide after eating a meal.

Exenatide comes in a prefilled injection pen with a "Pen User Manual" showing instructions for using the pen and injecting the medicine. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Pen needles are not included with this medicine. Ask your doctor, diabetes counselor, or pharmacist which needle size is best for you.

Never share an injection pen or cartridge with another person. Sharing injection pens or cartridges can allow disease such as hepatitis or HIV to pass from one person to another.

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.

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.

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

Store unused exenatide injection pens in the refrigerator, protected from light. Do not freeze them, and throw away any exenatide pen that has become frozen.

After your first use of a pen, it may then be stored at room temperature, away from heat and bright light. Do not store the exenatide pen with the needle attached. Use the exenatide pen for only 30 days and then throw it away, even if it still has medicine in it. Do not use the medicine after the expiration date on the label has passed.

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.

If the needle is left on, medicine may leak from the pen or air bubbles may form in the cartridge. Keep your exenatide pen, pen needles, and all medicines out of the reach of children.

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