This medication has been found to cause a certain type of thyroid tumor (thyroid C-cell tumors) in rats. It is unknown if this medication can cause tumors in humans. Therefore, this medication should not be used by people with a personal/family history of a certain type of cancer (medullary thyroid carcinoma) or by people with a certain inherited disease (Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 or MEN 2). While using this medication, tell your doctor immediately if you notice any signs or symptoms of thyroid tumors, including unusual growth or lump in the neck, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, persistent hoarseness.
Exenatide is used either alone or with other medications, and with a proper diet and exercise program, to control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Exenatide is similar to a natural hormone in your body (incretin). It works by causing insulin release in response to high sugar levels (such as after a meal) and decreasing the amount of sugar your liver makes.
Exenatide is not a substitute for insulin if you require insulin treatment.
Read the Medication Guide and the Instructions For Use Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using exenatide and each time you get a refill. Learn all preparation and usage instructions. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. Change the injection site each week to lessen injury under the skin.
Inject this medication under the skin in the thigh, abdomen, or upper arm as directed by your doctor, usually once every 7 days. It may be used with or without meals.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it every 7 days. It may help to mark your calendar with a reminder. Carefully follow the medication treatment plan, meal plan, and exercise program your doctor has recommended.
Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely. Consult your pharmacist.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (such as if your blood sugar levels remain high or increase).
See also Warning section.
Swelling/redness/itching at the injection site, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or stomach upset may occur. Nausea usually lessens as you continue to use exenatide. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: change in the amount of your urine, severe injection-site reactions (such as blisters, open wound, severe pain/swelling).
Exenatide has rarely caused a very serious (possibly fatal) disease of the pancreas (pancreatitis). Get medical help right away if you develop symptoms of pancreatitis, including: severe stomach/abdominal pain, persistent nausea/vomiting.
Although exenatide by itself usually does not cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), low blood sugar may occur if this drug is prescribed with other anti-diabetes medications. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about whether the dose(s) of your other diabetic medication(s) needs to be lowered. Drinking large quantities of alcohol, not getting enough calories from food, or doing unusually heavy exercise may also lead to low blood sugar. Symptoms may include sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, headache, or tingling hands/feet. It is a good habit to carry glucose tablets or gel to treat low blood sugar. If you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, rapidly raise your blood sugar by eating a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, candy, or drinking a glass of fruit juice or non-diet soda. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out what you should do if you miss a meal.
Symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) include thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing, rapid breathing, and fruity breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor immediately.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
See also Warning section.
Before using exenatide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: a disease of the pancreas (pancreatitis), kidney disease, stomach/intestinal disorders (such as gastroparesis, digestion problems).
You may experience blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness due to extremely low or high blood sugar levels. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.
Limit alcohol while using this medication because it can increase your risk of developing low blood sugar.
It may be harder to control your blood sugar when your body is stressed (such as due to fever, infection, injury, or surgery). Consult your doctor because this may require a change in your treatment plan, medications, or blood sugar testing.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Pregnancy may cause or worsen diabetes. Discuss a plan with your doctor for managing your blood sugar while pregnant. Your doctor may change your diabetes treatment during your pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits of different treatments (such as diet, exercise, and medications including insulin).
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
A product that may interact with this drug is: warfarin.
Beta-blocker medications (such as metoprolol, propranolol, glaucoma eye drops such as timolol) may prevent the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar level falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of low blood sugar, such as dizziness, hunger, or sweating, are unaffected by these drugs.
Many drugs can affect your blood sugar levels, making it more difficult to control your blood sugar. Before you start, stop, or change any medication, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how the medication may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor about the results and of any symptoms of high or low blood sugar. (See also Side Effects section.) Your doctor may need to adjust your anti-diabetic medication, exercise program, or diet.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe nausea/vomiting.
Do not share this medication with others.
Attend a diabetes education program to learn more about diabetes and the important aspects of its treatment, including medications, diet, exercise, and getting regular eye/foot/medical exams. Learn the symptoms of high and low blood sugar and how to treat low blood sugar. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed. Keep track of the results, and share them with your doctor.
Keep all medical appointments. Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as kidney function, fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is within 2 days of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. The medication may also be stored at room temperature but must be used within 4 weeks. Protect the medication from light. Once mixed, the medication should be used right away. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised June 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
With WebMD's Medicine Cabinet, you can check interactions with drugs.Go to medicine cabinet