Diabetes Home > What Is Byetta Used For?

Some people may wonder, "What is Byetta used for?" Byetta is used to help lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin production after meals and by decreasing the amount of sugar produced by the liver. In time, high blood sugar can cause several problems, such as kidney failure, heart disease, and diabetic impotence. Byetta can help to decrease your chances of developing these problems. At this time, there are no universally accepted off-label Byetta uses.

Byetta Uses: An Overview

Byetta® (exenatide) is an injectable prescription medication licensed to treat type 2 diabetes. It can be used alone or in combination with other diabetes drugs.

Using Byetta for Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes (see Diabetes Types). It is also sometimes called adult-onset diabetes or noninsulin-dependent diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the cells of the body do not respond to insulin as well as they normally should. As a result, the cells do not remove sugar from the blood very well. This is why type 2 diabetics have high blood sugar.
Over time, high blood sugar can lead to a number of problems, including diabetic impotence, diabetic neuropathy, kidney failure, and heart disease (see Diabetes Complications). The cause of type 2 diabetes is not fully understood, although it is known that obesity and genetics play an important role.
Byetta is an incretin mimetic. This means that it mimics the actions of the incretin hormones in the body. As an incretin mimetic, Byetta increases insulin production in response to meals and decreases the amount of glucose (sugar) that the liver produces. Byetta also slows the emptying of food from the stomach, which decreases the amount of food that people eat.
Byetta is used to treat people with type 2 diabetes who are having trouble controlling their blood sugar levels.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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