Diabetes Treatment

A Different Class of Diabetes Medication

Introduction
This article talks about an unconventional drug for the treatment of diabetes which has been introduced in the summer of 2005. It is called  Byetta or Exenatide. It is a medicine which is derived from the saliva of a venomous lizard species called the Gila monster. Also known as lizard spit, this drug regulate the blood sugar level by  suppressing Glucagons and promoting the secretion of insulin.  Hence unlike other medicines it checks BG level every time but curbs its increase only when the BG level is more than normal.  

Effective in treating  Type 2 Diabetes
It is effective in treating type 2 diabetes. In this type of diabetes, the body develops resistance to insulin secreted by the pancreas. The insulin is not effective in controlling the sugar level in the blood. As a result an alternative medication is required to control the rise in the sugar level. This is where Byetta comes into use. It is combined with other medication such as pioglitazone, metformin, sulfonylureas and insulin to control glucose level.

Inaction if level is normal
Other medications keep on reducing the sugar levels in the blood even if the level is normal. This leads to other complications like low sugar levels in the blood. Byetta regulates sugar level only when necessary

How it works
Byetta mimics the action of the human hormone GLP-1. It prompts the body to secrete insulin and it may also play a role in deciding when a person feels full. It almost acts like an appetite suppressant.  Common side effects of the drug are nausea and decreased appetite.

A very interesting side effect of Byetta is that there is reported weight loss in certain patients who have used the medication.

Check with an endocrinologist

An endocrinologist will be able to guide you on whether you need to use Byetta or not. It is good to check with one before you actually start the treatment.