Byetta Exceeding Expectations

Lots of buzz this week about Amylin, makers of Symlin and Byetta injectable blood-glucose stabilizers for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics respectively.

Actually, the CNN Money correspondent covering Amylin spent a good deal of time sitting right next to me, but since peering over the shoulder of journalists as they’re typing is a faux pas at best, I don’t have the financial scoop. What I can tell you is that the word among conference attendees wasByetta_product_pensboxes WOW about Byetta (scientific name Exenatide). Weight loss results are more significant than expected, especially in the most overweight patients, and the drug is turning out to have significant beta cell preservation effects. Looking like a blockbuster, which I’m pretty sure is highly unusual for an injectable drug.

There are even rumors (rumors, I say!) that the insulin
companies might be getting nervous, since
Byetta’s results are so impressive
that some patients are coming off insulin, and/or being advised by their
doctors to start on Byetta first — which somehow seems more palatable to
many Type 2′s who’ve been reluctant to start insulin (although insulin is
also available in the same kind of easy, painless pen delivery devices
as Byetta). But somehow Byetta is just hot. And who wouldn’t like a
little help losing weight? And having their beta cells

One Amylin rep explained patiently to me that Byetta causes three unique actions in the body:

1) Reducing the appetite by affecting the receptors in the brain that alert you when you are “full”

2) Slowing gastric emptying, which means your digestion slows down. This process is separate but complementary to #1

3) Stimulating the beta cells to make more insulin

A new study presented at the conference on Saturday underscored the value of Byetta/Exenatide in islet cell transplantation: twice-daily injections help to preserve the injected beta cells in the patient’s body, which is currently the biggest drawback to islet cell grafting. Normally, the islet function declines over time, so the patient needs to restart insulin or have another round of islet cell transplantation conducted.

“Islet cell transplant patients usually need insulin after 4-5 years at the latest. Byetta helps reverse this trend,” says Dr. Camilo Ricordi, world-reknown islet cell research specialist and director of the Florida-based Diabetes Research Institute. “One pilot study of the new NIH Clinical Transplant Consortium will be looking at the effect of Byetta on islet mass, which also looks promising.”

Sounds like a winner to me.


25 Responses

  1. art-sweet
    art-sweet June 13, 2006 at 10:12 am | | Reply

    Dang, I want some.

    Does Symlin have the same weight loss effects?

  2. Rites of Passage
    Rites of Passage June 13, 2006 at 10:30 am | | Reply

    Byetta Exceeding Expectations

    Diabetes Mine: Byetta Exceeding Expectations I’ve been taking this drug for about 2-1/2 months now and it’s certainly met my expectations. I would always wish for a bit more weight loss faster, but I’m very happy with what I’ve got….

  3. Kathleen
    Kathleen June 13, 2006 at 1:47 pm | | Reply

    Would you please slap the Amylin people upside the head for me and tell them to start putting Symlin in a pen!

    I hate those frigging vials!

  4. JasonJayhawk
    JasonJayhawk June 15, 2006 at 2:36 am | | Reply

    Not only Symlin in a vial, but Symlin’s rubber stoppers are thick and hard, which seem to dull the syringe needle, making the injection even more painful than it should be. I wonder if they realize how much the rubber stoppers are dulling the needles…

    And as far as Byetta in a pen, it seems to force a person to take a predetermined dosage… Some people would like to take an amount other than the 5mcg or 10mcg that it forces upon people.

  5. Terry
    Terry June 22, 2006 at 6:43 pm | | Reply

    Symlin does have weight loss characteristics and has completed a Phase 2 trial(Pramlintide) for this specific reason. The symlin “pen” ( ala Byetta) NDA is due to be filed soon, so this will increase symlins scripts.As Dr Peters remarked at the ADA – she knows lots of people using Symlin for weight loss.Kelly Close of close concerns posts that far more people will use Symlin a s weight loss product than diabetics.
    Amy ! – glad you are liking the “paradigm shift now ” ))

  6. Terry
    Terry June 22, 2006 at 6:47 pm | | Reply

    Kathleen- Symlin was tested and Amylin had always wanted Symlin to be used in pen form.The FDA forced Amylin to use the vial,and as I posted- AMLN will file a pen NDA for Symlin soon

  7. Lynn
    Lynn June 22, 2006 at 7:35 pm | | Reply

    “Symlin and Byetta injectable blood-glucose stabilizers for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics respectively.”

    Symlin is used by more Type 2 insulin using diabetics than Type 1

  8. chas webb
    chas webb July 27, 2006 at 6:35 pm | | Reply

    Amylin website states that once a week Byetta on mkt. possibly sometime 2007. Question: Does needle length matter or personal preference since inj is only sub cu.

  9. shad
    shad August 2, 2006 at 8:20 am | | Reply

    Can someone who is not a diebetic T1 or T2 use Symlin? or Byetta? Until Pramlintide is on the market?

  10. Delores
    Delores August 8, 2006 at 1:57 pm | | Reply

    I would like to know if you can get this drug in a pill form. I now take metformin and would like to start this drug to reduce my weight.

  11. suzanne
    suzanne January 6, 2007 at 2:45 pm | | Reply

    I get the most horrible stomach pains from Byetta. And nausea. Is this normal?

  12. Sally
    Sally January 12, 2007 at 3:27 pm | | Reply

    Don’t get too excited. I started taking Byetta a year ago and it worked GREAT for about the first 6 months (weight loss of 25 lbs. due to appetite suppression). However, about about 8 months, it stopped suppressing my appetite and I have put most of the weight back on. Has this happened to anyone else??

  13. Shirley
    Shirley January 20, 2007 at 12:44 pm | | Reply

    I took Byetta for one month and had to stop since my insurance would not pay for it as I am Type l Diabetic. It really helped me in losing weight. Later my dr. put me on Symlin but I didn’t lose any weight and found that my BG readings would be extremely high in about 3 hrs. after eating. Has anyone experienced this problem?

  14. Nancy
    Nancy January 26, 2007 at 11:19 pm | | Reply

    I started taking Byetta August 2005. Lost 30 pounds and 4 dress sizes. After 10 months it has become less effective in controling my appetite and I have gained 1 dress size back and 5 pounds. My endo had me add a 5mcg shot at night in addition to the two 10mcgs during the day. No results yet. My doctor is excited about the 1 x a week dosage as he says it will be even more effective.

  15. Sally
    Sally January 30, 2007 at 10:57 am | | Reply


    Thank God…I thought I was the only one and my Endo thinks I’m making this up! I’m glad to read your comments…THANK YOU!

  16. Donna
    Donna February 1, 2007 at 2:26 pm | | Reply

    I began using byetta in December of 2006 and my primary doctor and I have been very pleased with the glucose readings. I have read the side effects and find nothing about the two that I seem to be having and am wondering if anyone else is experiencing these. I seem to have heartburn very regularly, it even wakes me in the wee hours of the morning. I also seem to be having more constipation problems than I ever did before. This is definitely new to me since starting the byetta.

  17. Karen
    Karen March 9, 2007 at 4:34 pm | | Reply

    Donna, I have been on Byetta for 9 months, and constipation has always been a problem. I try and eat lots of fiber, drink lots of water, and if necessary use a mild laxative (like Sennecot) – I do find that if I am very constipated that I also experience nausea more readily. There are also fiber supplements like Benefiber in a pill form. I have not experienced heartburn, but certainly do burp more than I used to!! I think the constipation is due to the Byetta slowing down your digestion. Exercise also helps.

  18. Susan
    Susan May 3, 2007 at 4:29 am | | Reply

    I’m starting into my 3rd month on Byetta. Sadly, because my doc had me so geared up to the notion, I find that it is not helping me lose any weight at all. And, I am wondering if anyone else is expereincing continued headaches, and low grade fevers, that make me just not feel good?

  19. Thaddeus
    Thaddeus July 8, 2007 at 11:46 pm | | Reply

    I have been on Byetta for 8 months now. First, I was euphoric. I started to loose weight and I was convinced that this is a real miracle drug. However after about 3-4 months I began experiencing some strange symptoms that I did not at first attributed to Byetta, but now few of them I am 100% convinced are results of Byetta. First and foremost was the constipation. Eventually bathroom trip was an exercise in pain. I started to feel like a poisoned person. It also affected my urination. I attributed the last symptom to prostrate problem (I am almost 60). Other abnormal conditions were my sudden irritability and anger. Sometimes I could hardly believe that it was me…
    In desperation I stopped injections and within 24 hours I had incredible relief. Unfortunately, after only few days my sugar spiked up – so I am back on it waiting to see doctor.

  20. dena
    dena August 25, 2007 at 2:38 am | | Reply

    i have been on byetta a month and my readings have averaged to about 125 and i have lost 11 lbs. i am a nurse and work night shift and an having a hard time with scheduling dosages on days off and on. But love the results!

    SHEILA HARRIS September 9, 2007 at 4:31 pm | | Reply


  22. Karen A Carpenter
    Karen A Carpenter February 19, 2008 at 5:59 pm | | Reply

    I have been on Byetta exactly 1 year in March, 2008 and I have lost 100 lbs. Problems…since loosing fat layers the med feels like ice pick when being released from needle, taste buds are numb and very few foods taste worth eating except SWEETS! BG levels are great but do have drops in levels too quickly at times. Despite negs. I will continue on Byetta for weight loss til ordered not to use any longer. I am nearly 60 and have lost and gained many pounds over life time and obese most of life so I am looking forward to loosing and keeping it off this time. Was scheduled for lap banding before Byetta but trouble with finances and I truly believe I would be on dialysis and in much worse condition now if I had not been put on Byetta as last hope to live much longer. Inj. hurt, nothing tastes worth eating but I will stay on the lizard spit as long as possible so I can loose the weight and live to see my grandchildren grow up. You do have to try hard to stay on low carb diet to be successful in loosing the weight but I was not able to stay with it without the Byetta Injections along side the diet or vice versa. There just isn’t a magic pill or shot we can take to make it happen without working at it too. I now take exercise classes 3 days a week, walk a mile 3 nights a week and am now back on the my exercise bike where as I could barely move from my chair before starting on the Byetta. It definitely is my miracle drug at this time but I fear success due to past experiences and am afraid to give away all my 4X’s and 3X’s clothes and have no $$ to buy new sizes…LOL!! Praise the Lord!! I started out at 357 last March, 2007 and this morning I was within 6 ounces of 257…PRAISE GOD, my dr. and Byetta!!

  23. islet cell transplant
    islet cell transplant March 4, 2010 at 10:43 am |

    [...] islet cells. … The school was the first to perform an islet cell transplant in 1974. … Byetta Exceeding Expectations – DiabetesMine: the all …Normally, the islet function declines over time, so the patient needs to restart insulin or have [...]

  24. PETER
    PETER May 4, 2013 at 11:20 pm | | Reply

    I tried BYETTA within the first two weeks i also thought it was a miracle Drug But then i was severely constipated when to hospital for an Enema that fixed the problem temporally (two days ) and then constipation again . I have stopped taking byetta i would rather be able to go to the toilet and manage my diabetes with exercise and watching what i eat

  25. Byetta and Type 1 Diabetes? - Scott's DiabetesScott's Diabetes

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