The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
In Brief: Exenatide (Byetta) for Weight Loss
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Patients may be asking about reports in the lay press that exenatide (Byetta - Med Lett Drugs Ther 2005; 47:45), a synthetic peptide that stimulates release of insulin from pancreatic beta cells, has been used by diabetics and non-diabetics to lose weight. Approved by the FDA to improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes not controlled by metformin, a sulfonylurea or both, it is given by subcutaneous injection before the morning and evening meals. In clinical trials, some diabetic patients treated with the drug lost weight. No data are available on use in non-diabetics. Exenatide slows gastric emptying and promotes satiety, which is presumably the mechanism of weight loss.Patients should be warned that exenatide has some adverse effects. Hypoglycemia has occurred when the drug was added to a sulfonylurea but not when it was added to metformin. The risk of hypoglycemia ... more      

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Title: In Brief: Exenatide (Byetta) for Weight Loss
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