Using Bydureon as Part of Diabetes TreatmentThe main goal of any diabetes treatment is to lower your blood sugar levels, as measured by your hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), enough to reduce your risk for developing problems related to diabetes (see Diabetes Complications).
Any type 2 diabetes treatment begins with lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, a diabetic diet, and exercise. If lifestyle changes are not effective at managing the condition, diabetes medication, such as Bydureon, may be necessary.
Some diabetes medications force the pancreas to produce more insulin, regardless of blood sugar levels (see Bydureon Alternatives). These medications are effective but can cause dangerously low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). Because Bydureon increases insulin only in response to high blood sugar levels, the risk of dangerously low blood sugar is minimal (see Bydureon and Blood Sugar). However, combining it with certain types of diabetes medications can increase your risk for low blood sugar levels.
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How Does It Work?Bydureon belongs to a small group of medications known as incretin mimetics. These drugs mimic the actions of incretin hormones in the body. As an incretin mimetic, Bydureon increases insulin production in response to meals and decreases the amount of glucose (sugar) produced by the liver. The drug also slows down the emptying of food from the stomach, an effect that usually decreases the amount of food that people eat.
Bydureon is also known as a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. GLP-1 is the specific type of incretin hormone that Bydureon mimics. It is an "agonist" because it binds to and activates GLP-1 receptors in the body.