Published On: Sat, Mar 30th, 2019

Bydureon: Here Is Everything You Need To Know

Bydureon, a brand name of Exenatide, is a drug used for controlling severe diabetes. Derived from the saliva of Gila monster, a reptile native to the southwestern United States, it is used with only type 2 diabetes patients. It induces insulin release and decreases the amount of sugar that is absorbed from food. The digestion of the food is slowed down and eventually, your appetite also decreases.

This photograph depicts a young diabetic girl who was in the process of carrying out a self-monitored blood glucose test/CDC

Bydureon uses

Effective in controlling high blood sugar, Bydureon is very similar to incretin – a natural hormone present in the body. It can help prevent many complications related to diabetes like loss of limbs, nerve problems etc. It comes as an injector pen and has to be refilled regularly.

Bydureon signals the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps get glucose out of the bloodstream and into the body cells. It also stimulates your liver into releasing the stored sugars. It then slows digestions, while controlling the amount of glucagon that is produced in the body.

Bydureon Side Effects

Initially, vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach, nausea, and nervousness are commonly faced by users. Many of these symptoms subside as the body adjusts to the changes. Gradually, the appetite might decrease, promoting weight loss.

Without an intervention such as this, people who have high blood sugar can develop life-threatening medical issues. At times, lifestyle changes are not enough. But when lifestyle changes are paired (monitoring the diet, regular exercising) with medication, complications such as nerve damage, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, and other diabetes-related issues can be avoided.

While the benefits of exenatide supersede most of these side effects, it is important to inform your doctor if the symptoms worsen.

Although this drug does not lead to low blood sugar, when used with other medicines for diabetes, the chances of the aforesaid condition increase. If your prescription includes more than one diabetes controlling medication, make sure you carry glucose tablets or other sources of sugar (like candies, sugar, fruit juice) along with you. Also, let your doctor know about it.

To help prevent hypoglycemia, you should follow a meal schedule without fail. Missing a meal can be unfavorable. In the case of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), you will experience symptoms like thirst, confusion, rapid breathing, flushing, increased urination, and a fruity breath. In any case, do let your doctor know so that they can adjust your dosage accordingly.

Serious side effects

Kidney issues (change in the amount of urine)

Severe pain in the abdomen, back, stomach (symptoms of pancreatitis).

In these cases, you should immediately contact your doctor and stop taking the medicine.

Bydureon Using The Pen

  • You will be provided with the instructions when you buy the injector pen. If still in doubt, contact your pharmacist or doctor for correct guidance.
  • It is important to change the injection spot when you use the injector pen in order to reduce subcutaneous injury.
  • Also, check the contents of the pen; if it is discolored or has some visual particles inside, do not use the product. It should be clear, colorless, like water.
  • Exenatide should not be used after a meal as its efficiency is affected. It should be taken 60 minutes before breakfast and dinner, or as directed by the doctor.
  • There should be a gap of at least 6 hours between each dose.
  • Bydureon should be injected under the skins of upper arms, abdomen or thighs.
  • If you are on insulin injections as well, do not mix these medications. Nor should you inject them both on the same patch of skin, right next to each other.
  • Be regular. Try not to miss any dose. Even if you do, do not compensate for the missed dose in the next one. If you use exenatide extended-release injection, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it – as long as there is at least a gap of 72 hours from the next scheduled dose.
  • Any orally administered medicines (those taken by mouth) like antibiotics, birth control pills, might not work well with Bydureon. As Bydureon slows down the digestion, these drugs might get assimilated only partially or the effects may be delayed. Any such pills should be taken at least an hour before taking Bydureon.
  • DO NOT share your injector with anyone. You can transfer a serious infection or get one from them, even if the needle of the pen has been changed.
  • Exenatide is not a cure for diabetes. It just controls it. Even if you feel well, do not stop taking the medication without referring to your doctor first.

How to store Bydureon?

  • Unused pens should be stored in a refrigerator within their cartons. Once opened and used, the pen should be stored at room temperature (no more than 25 degrees Celcius) and should not be kept in the light. Keep the pens, the one being used or the unused ones, in a dark place. Also, do not store them with the needle still attached.
  • While pens should be kept in the fridge, they should not be frozen. If the contents of a pen have been frozen, do not use it.
  • Each opened exenatide pen should be used for only 30 days from the day it is first used. Safely throw it away after this period even if there is some fluid still left in the pen.
  • If you have to travel, the unused pens should be either refrigerated or stored in a cool place where the temperature is no more than 8-degree Celcius. Do not store it in the glove compartment as it is hot and not suitable at all for storing the pens.


If you have had intestinal disorders, pancreatic issues, diseases related to the kidneys, or gallstones, you should explain this to your doctor. Also, you should consult your doctor before taking this drug during pregnancy as pregnancy usually worsens diabetes. There is no evidence yet that Bydureon passes to the infant from the mother’s milk either. Regardless, it will be better to follow the guidelines of an expert than simply speculating about the effects.

Author: Ravi Kumarr Gupta

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