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Diabetes Information

Byetta, Victoza, Bydureon, Lyxumia, Adlyxin, Tanzeum, Trulicity (Incretin Mimetics/Glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists)

Insert M

Brand Name Generic Name
Byetta (by-YAY-tuh) exenatide (eks-EN-uh-tyd)
Victoza (vic-TOES-uh) liraglutide (lir-AG-glu-tyd)
Bydureon (by-DUR-ee-on) exenatide (eks-EN-uh-tyd) (once weekly)
Lyxumia*** / Adlyxin** lixisenatide
Tanzeum** / Eperzan*** albiglutide (once weekly)
Trulicity dulaglutide (once weekly)

** US brand name   *** European brand name

What does this medicine do?

Incretin mimetics (also called Glucagon-like peptide-1 agonists) help your body make more insulin when it's needed. These drugs help keep your blood glucose from going too high after you eat, a common problem in people with diabetes. It works by helping food move more slowly through your stomach. Incretin mimetics help keep your liver from putting stored glucose into your blood. It also may prevent hunger, helping you eat less and maybe lose weight.

Incretin mimetics are not used in place of insulin.

Who should not take incretin mimetics?

Talk with your doctor about whether you should take this type of medicine if

  • you have severe stomach or digestive problems
  • you have any symptoms of kidney disease or are on dialysis
  • you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • you have type 1 diabetes
  • you have had pancreatitis
  • you have had medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) or have a family history of MTC
  • you have Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

Incretin mimetics have not been studied for use in children.

What are the possible side effects?

Incretin mimetics can cause

  • nausea and vomiting-most often when you first start taking an incretin mimetic
  • headache
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness

Incretin mimetics also can cause an acid stomach or make you feel nervous.

If you take an incretin mimetic: What you need to know about problems with your kidneys

Talk with your doctor right away if you notice any of the following:

  • changes in the color of your urine, how often you urinate, or the amount you urinate
  • swelling of your hands or feet
  • tiredness
  • changes in your appetite or digestion
  • a dull ache in your mid to lower back

This type of medicine doesn't cause low blood glucose by itself. But your risk of having low blood glucose goes up if you also take

  • diabetes pills that cause low blood glucose
  • insulin

Your doctor may ask you to take a lower dose of your other diabetes medicines while you take this type of medicine.

The incretin mimetics may contribute to the development of pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer. See American Diabetes Association Calls for Independent Review of Incretin Therapy (June 10, 2013).

Thyroid C-cell tumors have been observed in rodent studies with glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists at clinically relevant exposures. It is unknown whether these drugs cause thyroid C-cell tumors, including medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC), in humans. They are contraindicated in patients with a personal or family history of MTC or in patients with Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

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Modified from the NDIC's webpage by addition in the table of newer drugs in this class, updating of warnings.
NIH Publication No. 11-4222
October 2010


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