How Effective Is It?There have been several studies looking at the effects of Byetta on type 2 diabetes:
Byetta and Hemoglobin A1c
Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a test used to measure long-term blood sugar control. For people without diabetes, HbA1c results are usually less than 6 percent, while people with diabetes usually have higher results. In studies, people taking Byetta (in combination with other diabetes medication) lowered their HbA1c by 0.4 to 0.9 percent on average, while the HbA1c levels in people not taking Byetta increased.
Studies have shown that the higher the HbA1c, the greater the chance for developing long-term problems related to diabetes. This includes problems such as heart disease, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy, and diabetic nephropathy. By getting blood sugar levels under control with Byetta, it may be possible to decrease the chances for developing these diabetes complications.
Byetta and Weight
In clinical studies, people taking Byetta lost more weight than people who were not taking it. However, the amount of weight loss was modest; people on Byetta lost about 2 to 6 pounds over 30 weeks (see Byetta for Weight Loss).
When and How to Take ByettaSome general considerations for when and how to take the medication include:
- Byetta comes in an injection form. It is given just under the skin of the thigh, abdomen, or upper arm. Make sure your healthcare provider explains exactly how to inject it.
- It should be injected twice a day, before the two main meals, at least six hours apart.
- It should be injected within 60 minutes before the meal. It should not be taken after the meal or more than 60 minutes before the meal.
- It should be taken at the same times each day to maintain an even level of the drug in your blood.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be injected as prescribed. It will not work if you stop using it.