Bydureon is a brand-name medication that’s used to improve blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It comes as a liquid suspension that’s given by injection under the skin (subcutaneous). Bydureon is available in two forms: a syringe and a pen injector.

Bydureon contains a drug called extended-release exenatide. It belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists.

Bydureon vs. Bydureon BCise

Bydureon BCise is another form of Bydureon. It contains the same drug (extended-release exenatide). Bydureon and Bydureon BCise work in the same way and have very similar effects in the body.

The main difference between the two drugs is that Bydureon BCise uses a special device for injection called an autoinjector. You push the autoinjector against your skin, and it injects the medication automatically.

Using this autoinjector takes fewer steps than using the syringe or pen injector needed to inject Bydureon. This could make Bydureon BCise easier to use than Bydureon.

In clinical studies, Bydureon reduced hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) by about 0.88 to 1.6 percent after 24 to 28 weeks of treatment. In studies of Bydureon BCise, HbA1c was reduced by about 1.07 to 1.39 percent after 28 weeks of treatment.

Bydureon is only available as a brand-name medication. It’s not available in a generic form.

Bydureon contains extended-release exenatide. A regular-release form of exenatide is available as the brand-name drug Byetta.

Bydureon can cause mild or serious side effects. The following list contains some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Bydureon. This list does not include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Bydureon, or tips on how to deal with a troubling side effect, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

More common side effects

The more common side effects of Bydureon can include:

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • upset stomach
  • decreased appetite
  • injection site reactions such as redness, itchiness, or a lump under the skin

Some of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Bydureon aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Thyroid cancer (see “Cancer/thyroid cancer” below for more information). Symptoms may include:
    • a mass or lump in your neck
    • trouble swallowing
    • trouble breathing
    • a hoarse voice
  • Pancreatitis (see “Pancreatitis” below for more information). Symptoms may include:
    • stomach and back pain
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • unintended weight loss
    • fever
    • swollen stomach
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms may include:
    • drowsiness
    • headache
    • confusion
    • weakness
    • hunger
    • irritability
    • sweating
    • feeling jittery
    • fast heartbeat
  • Kidney damage. Symptoms may include:
    • reduced urination
    • swelling in your legs or ankles
    • confusion
    • fatigue
    • nausea
  • Severe allergic reactions. Symptoms may include:
    • rash
    • itchy skin
    • flushing
    • swelling
    • trouble breathing
  • Severe injection site reactions. These may include:

Lumps/bumps

Lumps or bumps under the skin where Bydureon is injected is a common side effect. In clinical studies, injection site lumps or bumps occurred in up to 10.5 percent of people using Bydureon.

If you have lumps or bumps that become red or painful, talk with your doctor right away.

Nausea

Nausea is a common side effect of Bydureon. In clinical studies, nausea occurred in up to about 11 percent of people using Bydureon. When Bydureon was used with other diabetes medications such as metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, Riomet), nausea occurred in up to about 25 percent of people.

Nausea may decrease or go away with continued use of the drug. If it doesn’t go away or it becomes severe, talk with your doctor.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a common side effect of Bydureon. In clinical studies, about 11 percent of people using Bydureon had diarrhea. When Bydureon is used with other diabetes medications such as metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, Riomet), up to 20 percent of people had diarrhea.

Diarrhea may decrease or go away with continued use of the drug. If it doesn’t go away or it becomes severe, talk with your doctor.

Constipation

Constipation is a common side effect of Bydureon. In clinical studies, up to 10 percent of people using Bydureon had constipation.

Constipation may decrease or go away with continued use of the drug. If it doesn’t go away or it becomes severe, talk with your doctor.

Allergic reaction

Although uncommon, some people who use Bydureon can have an allergic reaction. How often this happens isn’t known. Symptoms can include a mild rash and itchy skin. In some cases, symptoms can be severe and include trouble breathing and swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat.

If you have a severe allergic reaction to this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Weight loss/weight gain

Some people who take Bydureon may lose weight. In clinical studies, people taking Bydureon lost about 4.4 pounds over 26 weeks of treatment. In these same studies, people didn’t gain weight.

Itching

Itchy skin at the injection site is a common side effect of Bydureon. In clinical studies, this side effect occurred in up to 18 percent of people taking the drug.

Pancreatitis

Although uncommon, some people using Bydureon have had pancreatitis. Symptoms can include:

  • stomach and back pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • unintended weight loss
  • fever
  • swollen stomach

If you have symptoms of pancreatitis, talk with your doctor right away. You may need to stop using Bydureon.

Cancer/thyroid cancer

Bydureon has a boxed warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about thyroid tumors and thyroid cancer. A boxed warning is the strongest warning the FDA requires. It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

In animal studies, Bydureon increased the risk of thyroid tumors. However, it’s not known if Bydureon causes thyroid tumors in humans.

There have been cases of thyroid cancer in people taking liraglutide (Victoza), a medication in the same class as Bydureon. But it’s not clear if these cases were caused by the medication or something else.

Because of the potential risk of thyroid cancer, you shouldn’t use Bydureon if you or an immediate family member has had thyroid cancer in the past. You should also avoid using it if you have a rare form of cancer called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2.

If you’re taking Bydureon and have symptoms of a thyroid tumor, contact your doctor right away. Symptoms can include:

  • a mass or lump in your neck
  • trouble swallowing
  • trouble breathing
  • a hoarse voice

Side effects of Bydureon BCISE

Bydureon and Bydureon BCise contain the same drug (extended-release exenatide) and therefore can cause the same common and severe side effects. However, there may be slight differences in how often certain side effects occur with each medication.

This chart shows several of the common side effects that occurred in clinical studies of Bydureon and Bydureon BCise and the percentage of people who experienced them:

BydureonBydureon BCise
injection-site reactions (lumps, redness, itchiness)17.1 percent23.9 percent
nausea11.3 percent8.2 percent
diarrhea10.9 percent4 percent
constipation8.5 percent2.1 percent
headache8.1 percent4.4 percent

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to suit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Bydureon comes as an injection that’s given under the skin (subcutaneous). It’s available in two forms: a syringe and a pen injector. Both forms are available as 2-mg injections.

Dosage for type 2 diabetes

The typical dosage of both Bydureon is 2 mg once every seven days. You can take the dose any time of day, with or without food. The dose should be taken on the same day each week.

If needed, you can change the day you take the dose. If you do, the last dose must have been taken at least three days before the new day you plan to take the dose.

Ideally, you should inject the drug at roughly the same time for each dose, even if you change the day. If you’re concerned about changing the time of your dose, talk to your doctor.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If the next scheduled dose is one or two days later, don’t take the missed dose. Instead, just take the next dose on its scheduled day.

Never take two doses at the same time to catch up. This may cause dangerous side effects.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Yes, Bydureon is typically used long term to treat type 2 diabetes.

Bydureon should be used exactly as directed by your doctor or healthcare provider.

How to inject

If you’re taking Bydureon, you may be using a syringe or a pen. The instructions for injecting these two forms are a little different, and the forms require slightly different steps.

To see a demonstration of how to use the Bydureon syringe or pen, you can watch the videos from the manufacturer.

Injection site

With both injection forms of Bydureon, you inject the medication into either your stomach, thigh, or back of your arm. The same area can be used each time you inject Bydureon, but you should change the spot where you inject within that area.

Timing

Bydureon can be injected at any time of day, with or without food. You should take your dose on the same day each week. If needed, you can change the day you take the dose. If you change the day, you should make sure there are always at least three days between doses.

Ideally, you should take the drug at roughly the same time of day for each dose, even if you change the day. If you’re concerned about changing the time of your dose, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Bydureon helps improve blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

How insulin affects blood sugar

Normally, when you eat food, your body releases a hormone called insulin. Insulin helps transport glucose (sugar) from your bloodstream into the cells of your body. The cells then turn the glucose into energy.

People with type 2 diabetes usually have insulin resistance. This means their body doesn’t respond to insulin the way it should. Over time, people with type 2 diabetes may also stop producing enough insulin.

When your body doesn’t respond to insulin the way it should, or if it doesn’t produce enough insulin, this causes problems. The cells of your body may not get the glucose they need to work correctly.

Also, you may get too much glucose in your blood. This is called high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Having too much glucose in your blood can damage your body and organs, including your eyes, heart, nerves, and kidneys.

What Bydureon does

Bydureon belongs to a class of drugs called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonists. It works in people with diabetes by increasing the amount of insulin your body makes when your blood sugar levels are high. This increased insulin carries more glucose into your cells, causing your blood sugar levels to go down.

Bydureon also decreases blood sugar levels in other ways. For instance, it blocks a hormone (glucagon) in your body that causes your liver to make glucose. It also makes food move out of your stomach more slowly. This means your body absorbs glucose from food more slowly, which helps prevent your blood sugar levels from getting too high.

How long does it take to work?

Bydureon begins to work right after you inject it. But when you’re first starting to take Bydureon, its effects build up over several weeks.

This means you won’t have the full effects of Bydureon until about six to seven weeks after your first injection. After this time, you’ll have a steady amount of Bydureon in your body at all times to help manage your blood sugar levels.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Bydureon to treat certain conditions. Bydureon may also be used off-label for other conditions. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.

Approved uses for Bydureon

Bydureon is only FDA-approved to treat one condition.

Bydureon for type 2 diabetes

Bydureon is approved to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes.

In clinical studies, Bydureon reduced hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) by about 0.88 to 1.6 percent after 24 to 28 weeks of treatment.

Uses that aren’t approved

Bydureon is only approved to improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Bydureon for weight loss

A side effect of Bydureon is decreased appetite. As a result, many people with diabetes who use the drug lose weight. In clinical studies, people taking Bydureon lost about 4.4 pounds over 26 weeks of treatment.

Note: Bydureon hasn’t been studied as a weight loss aid, and it’s not approved for this use. You should only take Bydureon as prescribed by your doctor.

Other drugs are available that can treat type 2 diabetes. Some of these medications are in the same class as Bydureon, and some are in other drug classes. And some may be better suited for you than others.

If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Bydureon, talk to your doctor to learn more about other medications that may work well for you.

Examples of alternative medications include:

  • glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) receptor agonists, such as:
    • dulaglutide (Trulicity)
    • exenatide (Bydureon BCise, Byetta)
    • liraglutide (Victoza)
    • lixisenatide (Adlyxin)
    • semaglutide (Ozempic)
  • sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors, such as:
  • metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, Riomet), which is a biguanide
  • dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, such as:
    • alogliptin (Nesina)
    • linagliptin (Tradjenta)
    • saxagliptin (Onglyza)
    • sitagliptin (Januvia)
  • thiazolidinediones, such as:
    • pioglitazone (Actos)
    • rosiglitazone (Avandia)
  • alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, such as:
  • sulfonylureas, including:

You may wonder how Bydureon compares to other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Below are comparisons between Bydureon and several medications.

Bydureon vs. Trulicity

Bydureon and Trulicity (dulaglutide) are both in the same class of medications, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) agonists. This means they work in the same way to improve blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Uses

Bydureon and Trulicity are both FDA-approved to improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Drug forms and administration

Bydureon is self-injected under the skin (subcutaneous) once weekly. It comes as a liquid suspension that’s available in a syringe or a pen.

Trulicity is also self-injected under the skin once weekly. It comes as a liquid solution that’s available in a pen.

Side effects and risks

Bydureon and Trulicity have similar effects in the body and therefore cause very similar side effects. Below are examples of these side effects.

Bydureon and TrulicityBydureonTrulicity
More common side effects• nausea
• diarrhea
• vomiting
• upset stomach
• decreased appetite
• fatigue
• injection site reactions such as redness, itchiness, or a lump under the skin
• constipation
• headache
• stomach pain
Serious side effects • thyroid cancer*
• low blood sugar
• kidney damage
• pancreatitis
• severe allergic reaction
• severe injection site reactions
(few unique serious side effects)

* Bydureon and Trulicity both have a boxed warning from the FDA for thyroid cancer. A boxed warning is the strongest warning the FDA requires. It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Effectiveness

Bydureon and Trulicity haven’t been compared in clinical studies, but both are effective for treating type 2 diabetes. Both medications can also cause beneficial weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes.

In clinical studies, Bydureon reduced hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) by about 0.88 to 1.6 percent after 24 to 28 weeks of treatment. People using Bydureon also lost about 4.4 pounds over 26 weeks of treatment.

In clinical studies of Trulicity, HbA1c was reduced by about 0.7 to 1.6 percent after 24 to 28 weeks of treatment. Weight loss of up to about 5 pounds also occurred.

Costs

Bydureon and Trulicity are brand-name medications. They’re not available in generic forms, which typically cost less than brand-name drugs.

Bydureon may cost slightly more than Trulicity. The exact amount you pay for either drug will depend on your insurance plan.

Bydureon vs. Bydureon BCise

Bydureon and Bydureon BCise contain the same drug, extended-release exenatide. The main difference between the two medications is how you inject them.

Uses

Bydureon and Bydureon BCise are both FDA-approved to improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Drug forms and administration

Bydureon comes as a liquid suspension that’s given by injection under the skin (subcutaneous). It’s available in a self-injected syringe or pen injector. The medication is taken once weekly with both forms.

Bydureon BCise comes as a liquid solution that’s also given once weekly by injection under the skin (subcutaneous). It’s available in an autoinjector. You push this device against your skin, and it injects automatically. Because of this device, Bydureon BCise may be easier to use than Bydureon.

Side effects and risks

Bydureon and Bydureon BCise contain the same medication and have similar effects in the body. Therefore, they cause very similar side effects. However, there may be slight differences in how often certain side effects occur with each medication. Below are examples of these side effects.

More common side effects

More common side effects that can occur with both Bydureon and Bydureon BCise include:

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • upset stomach
  • decreased appetite
  • injection site reactions such as redness, itchiness, or a lump under the skin

This chart shows several of the common side effects that occurred in clinical studies of Bydureon and Bydureon BCise and the percentage of people who experienced them:

BydureonBydureon BCise
injection-site reactions (lumps, redness, itchiness)17.1 percent23.9 percent
nausea11.3 percent8.2 percent
diarrhea10.9 percent4 percent
constipation8.5 percent2.1 percent
headache8.1 percent4.4 percent

Serious side effects

Serious side effects that can occur with both Bydureon and Bydureon BCise include:

  • thyroid cancer
  • low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • kidney damage
  • pancreatitis
  • severe allergic reaction
  • severe injection site reactions

Effectiveness

Bydureon and Bydureon BCise haven’t been compared in clinical studies, but both are effective for treating type 2 diabetes. Both medications can also cause beneficial weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes.

In clinical studies, Bydureon reduced hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) by about 0.88 to 1.6 percent after 24 to 28 weeks of treatment. People taking Bydureon lost about 4.4 pounds over 26 weeks of treatment.

In clinical studies of Bydureon BCise, HbA1c was reduced by about 1.07 to 1.39 percent after 28 weeks of treatment. Weight loss of about 3 pounds also occurred over 28 weeks of treatment.

One difference between the two medications is how long they take to start working.

When you’re first starting to take Bydureon or Bydureon BCise, the effects take several weeks to build up in your body. For Bydureon, it may take six to seven weeks after your first injection. For Bydureon BCise, it can take up to 10 weeks.

Costs

Bydureon and Bydureon BCise are brand-name medications. They’re not available in generic forms, which typically cost less than brand-name drugs.

Bydureon BCise usually costs more than Bydureon. The exact amount you pay for either drug will depend on your insurance plan.

Bydureon vs. Byetta

Bydureon and Byetta contain the same medication, exenatide. However, Bydureon contains extended-release exenatide while Byetta contains regular-release exenatide.

Uses

Bydureon and Byetta are both FDA-approved to improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Drug forms and administration

Bydureon comes as a liquid suspension that’s given by injection under the skin (subcutaneous). It’s available in a self-injected syringe or pen injector. With both forms, you take the medication once weekly.

Byetta is also self-injected under the skin, but must be taken twice daily. It’s available in a self-injected pen injector.

Side effects and risks

Bydureon and Byetta contain the same medication and have similar effects in the body. Therefore, they cause very similar side effects. However, there may be differences in how often certain side effects happen with each medication.

More common side effects

More common side effects that can occur with both Bydureon and Byetta include:

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • upset stomach
  • decreased appetite

This chart shows several of the common side effects that occurred in clinical studies of these two drugs and the percentage of people who experienced them:

BydureonByetta
injection-site reactions (lumps, redness, itchiness)17.1 percent12.7 percent
nausea11.3 percent8 percent
upset stomach7.3 percent3 percent

Serious side effects

Serious side effects that can occur with both Bydureon and Byetta include:

Bydureon has a boxed warning from the FDA about the risk of a certain type of thyroid cancer. A boxed warning is the strongest warning the FDA requires. It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Effectiveness

The only condition both Bydureon and Byetta are used to treat is type 2 diabetes. The effectiveness of these drugs in treating this condition hasn’t been directly compared in clinical studies.

However, it has been indirectly compared in an analysis of clinical studies. According to this analysis, Bydureon may lower hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) slightly more than Byetta does.

Both Bydureon and Byetta can cause beneficial weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes. In clinical studies, people using Bydureon lost about 4.4 pounds over 26 weeks of treatment. In Byetta studies, weight loss up to about 6.4 pounds occurred over 24 weeks of treatment.

Costs

Bydureon and Byetta are brand-name medications. They’re not available in generic forms, which typically cost less than brand-name forms.

Byetta usually costs more than Bydureon. The exact amount you pay for either drug will depend on your insurance plan.

Bydureon vs. Victoza

Bydureon and Victoza (liraglutide) both belong to the same class of medications, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) agonists. This means they work in the same way to improve blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Uses

Bydureon and Victoza are both FDA-approved to improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Victoza is also FDA-approved to reduce the risk of heart problems such as heart attack and stroke in people who have type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Drug forms and administration

Bydureon comes as a liquid suspension that’s given by injection under the skin (subcutaneous). It’s available in a self-injected syringe or pen injector. Both forms are taken once weekly.

Victoza is also self-injected under the skin but must be taken once daily. It’s available in a pen injector.

Side effects and risks

Bydureon and Victoza have similar effects in the body and therefore cause very similar side effects. Below are examples of these side effects.

Bydureon and VictozaBydureonVictoza
More common side effects• nausea
• diarrhea
• vomiting
• constipation
• headache
• upset stomach
• decreased appetite
• injection site reactions such as redness, itchiness, or a lump under the skin
• fatigue
• respiratory infections such as the common cold
• back pain
Serious side effects• thyroid cancer*
• pancreatitis
• low blood sugar
• kidney damage
• severe allergic reaction
• severe injection site reactions
• gallbladder disease

* Bydureon and Victoza both have a boxed warning from the FDA for thyroid cancer. A boxed warning is the strongest warning the FDA requires. It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Effectiveness

Bydureon and Victoza haven’t been compared in clinical studies, but both are effective for treating type 2 diabetes. Both medications can also cause beneficial weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes.

In clinical studies, Bydureon reduced hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) by about 0.88 to 1.6 percent after 24 to 28 weeks of treatment. People using Bydureon also lost about 4.4 pounds over 26 weeks of treatment.

In clinical studies, of Victoza, HbA1c was reduced by about 0.8 to 1.5 over 26 to 52 weeks of treatment. Those taking Victoza also lost about 5.5 pounds.

In people with heart disease and type 2 diabetes, Victoza can also reduce the risk of heart problems such as heart attack or stroke by about 13 percent. In another study, Bydureon wasn’t shown to have an effect on heart problems.

Costs

Bydureon and Victoza are brand-name medications. They’re not available in generic forms, which typically cost less than brand-name forms.

Victoza usually costs more than Bydureon. The exact amount you pay for either drug will depend on your insurance plan.

Bydureon vs. Ozempic

Bydureon and Ozempic (semaglutide) are both in the same class of medications, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) agonists. This means they work in the same way to improve blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Uses

Bydureon and Ozempic are both FDA-approved to improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Drug forms and administration

Bydureon comes as a liquid suspension that’s given by injection under the skin (subcutaneous). It’s available in a self-injected syringe or pen injector. Both forms are taken once weekly.

Ozempic is also self-injected under the skin once weekly. It’s available in a pen injector.

Side effects and risks

Bydureon and Ozempic have similar effects in the body and therefore cause very similar side effects. Below are examples of these side effects.

Bydureon and OzempicBydureonOzempic
More common side effects• nausea
• vomiting
• diarrhea
• constipation
• upset stomach
• injection site reactions such as redness, itchiness, or a lump under the skin**
• headache
• fatigue
• decreased appetite
• stomach pain
Serious side effects• thyroid cancer*
• low blood sugar
• pancreatitis
• kidney damage
• severe allergic reaction
• severe injection site reactions
• diabetes-related eye problems (diabetic retinopathy)

* Bydureon and Ozempic both have a boxed warning from the FDA for thyroid cancer. A boxed warning is the strongest warning the FDA requires. It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

** Both Bydureon and Ozempic can cause injection-site reactions, but this side effect is much more common with Bydureon than with Ozempic.

Effectiveness

The only condition both Bydureon and Ozempic are used to treat is type 2 diabetes. In a clinical study comparing these medications, Ozempic reduced hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) more than Bydureon did after 56 weeks of treatment. Ozempic also reduced body weight more than Bydureon did.

Costs

Bydureon and Ozempic are brand-name medications. They’re not available in generic forms, which typically cost less than brand-name forms.

Ozempic usually costs more than Bydureon. The exact amount you pay for either drug will depend on your insurance plan.

Avoid drinking too much alcohol while taking Bydureon. Alcohol can change your blood sugar levels and increase your risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor about how much drinking is safe for you.

Bydureon can be used alone or combined with other medications to improve blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Two or more diabetes medications may be used together when one medication doesn’t improve blood sugar levels enough.

Examples of other diabetes drugs that may be used with Bydureon include:

Bydureon can interact with several other medications. It can also interact with certain supplements.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some can interfere with how well a drug works, while others can cause increased side effects.

Bydureon and other medications

Below is a list of medications that can interact with Bydureon. This list doesn’t contain all drugs that may interact with Bydureon.

Before taking Bydureon, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Drugs that increase insulin

Taking Bydureon with drugs that increase insulin levels in the body can cause very low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). If you take Bydureon with these drugs, your doctor may need to lower your dosage of one or both drugs.

Examples of these drugs include:

Drugs that are taken by mouth

Bydureon might decrease how well your body absorbs certain medications that are taken by mouth. If you take oral medications, take them at least one hour before you inject Bydureon.

Bydureon and herbs and supplements

Taking certain herbs or supplements with Bydureon might increase the risk of low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). Examples of these include:

There are limited studies on this drug’s effects on human pregnancies. Animal studies show possible harm to a fetus. However, studies in animals don’t always predict how a drug might affect humans.

Bydureon should be only used if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risks.

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using Bydureon.

It isn’t known if Bydureon passes into breast milk. Before using Bydureon while breastfeeding, you should discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Bydureon.

Does Bydureon need to be refrigerated?

Yes. Bydureon should be refrigerated until you are preparing to use it. If you’re using the pen injector, you should take it out of the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before you plan to use it. That will bring the solution to room temperature.

Bydureon can be stored at room temperature for up to four weeks, if needed.

Bydureon shouldn’t be frozen. It can’t be used if it has been frozen.

What size needle do you use to inject Bydureon?

Bydureon uses a 23-gauge needle. The syringe’s needle is about 8 mm long, and the pen’s needle is about 7 mm long. The needles come with the syringe or pen.

Does the Bydureon injection hurt?

Bydureon injections may sting or feel like a pinch, but they’re not usually painful.

If you have pain that doesn’t go away after giving an injection, or if the pain is severe, talk with your doctor.

Taking too much of this medication can increase your risk of serious side effects.

Overdose symptoms

Symptoms of an overdose of Bydureon can include:

What to do in case of overdose

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or seek guidance from the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or through their online tool. But if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

FDA warning: Thyroid cancer

  • This drug has a boxed warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A boxed warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.
  • In animals, Bydureon can increase the risk of thyroid tumors and thyroid cancer. It’s not known if Bydureon has this effect in humans. You shouldn’t use Bydureon if you or an immediate family member has had thyroid cancer in the past, or if you have a rare form of cancer called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2.
  • If you’re taking Bydureon and have symptoms of a thyroid tumor, contact your doctor right away. Symptoms can include a mass or lump in your neck. They can also include trouble swallowing or breathing, and a hoarse voice.

Other warnings

Before taking Bydureon, talk with your doctor about your health history. Bydureon may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions. These conditions include:

  • Kidney disease. If you have kidney disease, using Bydureon may worsen your condition. If your condition worsens, you may need to stop taking Bydureon. If you have severe kidney disease, you may not be able to use Bydureon.
  • Gastrointestinal problems. If you have a condition that affects your stomach or intestines, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, Bydureon could make it worse. If your condition worsens, you may need to stop taking Bydureon.

Each Bydureon package has an expiration date listed on the label. Don’t use Bydureon if the date is beyond the expiration date listed on the label.

Bydureon should be stored in the refrigerator at 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) until you’re going to use it. If you’re using the pen injector, you should take it out of the refrigerator at least 15 minutes before you plan to use it. That will bring it to room temperature.

Bydureon can be stored at room temperature for up to a total of four weeks, if needed.

Bydureon should never be frozen. If Bydureon freezes, it can no longer be used.

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Mechanism of action

Bydureon is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. It reduces blood glucose levels by increasing pancreatic insulin secretion in response to glucose levels. Bydureon also lowers blood glucose levels by decreasing inappropriate glucagon secretion and slowing gastric emptying.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

Bydureon contains extended-release exenatide in the form of microspheres. After a single dose of Bydureon, exenatide is released from microspheres over a period of 10 weeks.

Surface-bound exenatide is released initially, followed by a more gradual release of exenatide in the microspheres. This results in two peak levels. The first occurs about two weeks following an injection, and the second occurs six to seven weeks after the injection.

Bydureon is primarily eliminated renally.

Contraindications

Bydureon is contraindicated in those with:

  • a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma
  • a personal history of multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2
  • a history of serious hypersensitivity reaction to exenatide

Storage

Bydureon should be stored in the refrigerator at 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C) until the time of use. Bydureon can be stored at room temperature for up to four weeks, if needed. Bydureon shouldn’t be frozen. If Bydureon freezes, it can no longer be used.

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.