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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is anyone else taking Byetta?

    Hi all,

    Has anyone else been placed on a new insulin type medication called Byetta? It is a drug that helps to lower your blood glucose levels.

    I would like to start a discussion group on this medication, as I am feeling sick (which is a side effect). It is suppose to help you loose weight.

    Is anyone else on this medication? Love to hear from you.



    Julie (juliem63)
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 32

    Thanks

    Dr Stephen Leow

    HealthShare Member

    I am not on Byetta but am familiar with the medication. It is a GLP agonist, which means that it mimics a hormone called “Glucagon Like Peptide”. GLP is normally secreted by the gut, when you eat but it is broken down quite quickly. Byetta (Exenatide) is resistant to breakdown and it lasts a lot longer, when injected. Interestingly, it was first discovered in the saliva of a Gila Monster (a large lizard), as scientists were interested in how the lizard could go for long periods of time without eating. It has many actions in the body including stimulating your pancreas to produce insulin, inhibiting the production of Glucagon (a hormone which increases your blood sugar), making you feel full and stopping the tummy from emptying. Feeling sick is a common side effect. People generally lose weight when on the medication but the amount of weight loss varies. It is an injected medication (like insulin) and there are some long acting forms of the medication on the way.

  • 15

    Thanks

    Peta Tauchmann

    Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Registered Nurse

    I have a special interest in Type 1 Diabetes, optimising insulin therapy and Insulin pump therapy. I focus on the private sector including private clinics and consulting roles.   My … View Profile

    May 2012
    Hello Julie,
         Nausea is a common side effect of Byetta but is usually settles after a while.  We recommend you try to stay on it for at least one month if you can. 
        Studies have shown us that eventually the nausea does disappear, but sometimes that can take a few months.  If the nausea is bearable, stick with the treatment.  Byetta is a modern medication that has wonderful potential for people with type 2 diabetes.  Dr Leow has outlined concisely how it works above.  By reducing yoru weight your body should start to manage it's own glucose control far better, and overall your health will improve.  Keep up the other healthy lifestyle aspects of you diabetes like exercise and healthy eating. 
    Good Luck!

  • 10

    Thanks

    Olga Lutzko

    Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator

    At ‘Succeed in Diabetes’ we believe in helping you achieve your success in diabetes management. Olga has thirteen years experience in helping clients with insulin … View Profile

    Not on byetta, but have got lots of clients using it. Have found that if they only wait 20mins after injecting, then eating, not as much nausea.

  • 16

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    Carolien Koreneff

    Counsellor, Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Psychotherapist, Registered Nurse

    Carolien Koreneff is a Somatic (body-oriented) psychotherapist, Health Coach, Counsellor as well as a Credentialed Diabetes Educator with over 20 years experience. She currently sees … View Profile

    Hi Julie,

    The comments made by my colleagues are all very valid.  I too am not on Byetta, but as a health care professional I know a lot of people who take this medication.  Byetta is not insulin, although it is of course an injectable medication, and one major side effect is indeed nausea.  As mentioned before, the nausea tends to settle after a few weeks or months on the medication, but I know a number of people who had to reduce the dosage, so if the nausea continues after the first month of treatment I recommend that you speak to your doctor.
    Some patients tell me that the side-efects seem worse when they have a high carbohydrate meal and they experience less nausea when they eat less bread, rice, pasta and the like.  This may be something you like to check out for yourself?
    How much weight have you lost so far? I hear this too varies, some people loose around 4-5 kg, whereas others loose up to 25 kg, or nothing at all.  If you are not losing weight then I recommend you speak to your doctor as the medication may not be working for you. Soon there will be a medication similar to Byetta on the market in Australia.  It is called Vyctoza, it will initially only be available on a private prescription, but the good thing is that this is a once daily only medication, that may prove useful even if Byetta isn't. Just thought you might be interested in knowing this as you may want to discuss this with your specialist.
    Good luck with it all!

  • 4

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    snowmobily

    HealthShare Member

    Hello Julie 
    I will be starting to take the drug on Monday 3rd dec  2012. I have had to have some tests first to rule out some problem that a 24 hour urine collection can resolve for testing.  I have read all the discussions on the Internet, some quite scarey. I'm 51, diabetic type 2, x 6 years, 94kg, hba1c levels 9.2 from 8 earlier this year through to 8.8 mid year and in last few months to 9.2. Reverted to mainly vegitarian food 75% of time to change lifestyle, but getting worse levels. Weight loss over year 10kg, last 2 i have been ravenous, and weight gain despite food intake x 2-3kg. Fed up. Hard work. Concerned about nausea on the drug. how are you doing now? Thanks to all that posted the info on this drug.

  • 6

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    admiralplace

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Julie
    I have been taking Byetta (twice a day) since mid September.  I started on 5mg doses and -once i seemed to tolerate the dose - moved up to 10mg.  I had been struggling to control my blood glucose levels over the last 12 months, despite the range of heavy duty oral medications I was taking (diabex, glycozade (?)) .  
    I most recall the feeling of well-being i had once i had started on Byetta - I remember thinking around early October - ‘So this is what feeling well is like - I had forgotten’.  I get occasional nausa, but nothing unmanagable and my glucose levels are down to manageable levels (<7), although I am still taking the oral medications as well.

    My specialist tells me he has put ALL of his Type 2 patients onto Byetta over the past six months or so, but around 50% had come off it - either because it was not working (no reduction in blood glucose levels) or they couldn't tolerate the nausea.  So, there seems to be a 50% sucess rate.

    If you are feeling nausea, I encourage you to weather that storm - it is worth it to feel well!  Good luck.

  • 6

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    snowmobily

    HealthShare Member

    Update on snowmobily above.
    Successfully on Byetta 5mg since 3 Dec, reduction in high BSL's (over 17/21) although not enough but better than I have ever been. Like the above post, I have finally realised what “well” feels like and that feels damn fabulous! I was at the end of my teather on my last post and needed help.  Should have been on this med from the begining. No sickness, no pain as was advised. I also no longer have ravenous cravings like I used to, in fact is this how normal people feel normally!!. Wonderful thats all I can say.

  • 10

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    TraciH31

    HealthShare Member

    I commenced on Byetta 1 week ago. I already have a noticable good change in my BSL's
    I also have nausea.
    I was told to take my injection 60 minutes before meals and i stuck to that to the letter for the first 3 days.
    Then i started doing some reading and spoke to my diabetic educator and then started eating 30 minutes after taking my injection. I would say the severity of nausea has halved !!!

    I also forgot to take the injection last night ( i have now set my phone to alarm each day to remind me ), and i was surprised at just how much i was hungry compared to when i took the injection. My portion sizes have quartered and i am just not hungry and have to remind myself to eat.

    1 week, so far so good :). BSL's down from 15-16 to 9 -10.

    And with the smaller portions, i cant but do anything but lose weight :). Time will tell :)

    I have also had tests showing extremely high cortisol levels ( which can increase BSL's), further tests pending. Gee i hope to be feeling well soon :)

    Glad i found this discussion

  • 10

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    snowmobily

    HealthShare Member

    Tracey - good work.  I have been a veteran user now, thats what I think anyway!

    I do miss injections on occassion its hard sometimes to get into the rythem and yes there are changes that happen without the injection. 

    i recently travelled overseas and that was awkward with the injection as well.  Im still trying to work through the issues with transorting the drug.  Hint - if it is in cabin luggage you have to be careful of the “cold”gels and the qty of fluid thats in them (terrorist inspections), if it is going in the baggage hold its cold in the hold and that works well, you just have to be mindful of down time between being left at the counter, stored and then loaded and unloaded at the other end. I used frozen gel packs in a cooler bag, the meds were still cold.  However there are strips you can buy that show the product has gone below temperature range.

    My levels have not stabled like they did originally and Im back to the specialist next week. I love byetta, the wellness feeling is fabulous.

  • 1

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    Sandy Fletcher

    HealthShare Member


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