Available by prescription only, Bydureon is a drug licensed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It has several effects on the body, including increasing insulin production after meals and decreasing the amount of glucose that the liver produces. The medication comes as an injection that is given just beneath the skin once a week. Side effects may include nausea, constipation, or diarrhea.
What Is Bydureon?Bydureon™ (extended-release exenatide) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. This is a unique diabetes medicine, as it is given as a once-a-week injection.
How Does Bydureon 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. This 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.
Because incretin hormones are more active in response to higher blood sugar levels and are less active in response to low blood sugar levels, the risk of dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is minimal with Bydureon. However, combining it with other diabetes medications to lower blood sugar levels can increase the risk for hypoglycemia (see Bydureon and Blood Sugar).