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Bydureon Pen

Generic name: exenatide (Bydureon)ex-EN-a-tide ]
Brand names: Bydureon BCise, Bydureon Pen
Drug class: Incretin mimetics

Medically reviewed by on Jul 30, 2021. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is exenatide (Bydureon)?

This medication guide provides information about the Bydureon brand of exenatide. Byetta is another brand of exenatide that is not covered in this medication guide.

Exenatide is an injectable diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels. This medication helps your pancreas produce insulin more efficiently. Bydureon is a long-acting form of exenatide.

Bydureon is used together with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Bydureon is for use in adults and children at least 10 years old.

Bydureon is not for treating type 1 diabetes.

Bydureon may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Call your doctor at once if you have signs of a thyroid tumor, such as swelling or a lump in your neck, trouble swallowing, a hoarse voice, or shortness of breath.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Bydureon if you are allergic to exenatide, or if you have:

  • multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 (tumors in your glands);

  • a personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma (a type of thyroid cancer); or

  • a history of low levels of platelets (blood cells that help your blood to clot) while using exenatide.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Bydureon has caused thyroid tumors in animal studies. It is not known if this could occur in humans. Ask your doctor about the risk.

Follow your doctor's instructions about using Bydureon Pen if you are pregnant or you become pregnant. Controlling diabetes is very important during pregnancy.

Ask a doctor if it is safe to breastfeed while using this medicine.

Not approved for use by anyone younger than 10 years old.

How should I use Bydureon?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Bydureon is injected under the skin.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand how to use an injection. Do not allow a young child to use Bydureon without help from an adult.

Prepare your injection only when you are ready to give it. You must give the injection right away after mixing.

Bydureon is usually injected once every 7 days. You may give the injection with or without food at any time of the day. Follow your doctor's instructions. If you change your weekly dosing day, choose a day that is at least 3 days past your last dose.

Your healthcare provider will show you where to inject Bydureon. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.

Do not reuse a needle or syringe. Place them in a puncture-proof "sharps" container and dispose of it following state or local laws. Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Blood sugar can be affected by stress, illness, surgery, exercise, alcohol use, or skipping meals.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can make you feel very hungry, dizzy, irritable, or shaky. To quickly treat hypoglycemia, eat or drink hard candy, crackers, raisins, fruit juice, or non-diet soda. Your doctor may prescribe glucagon injection in case of severe hypoglycemia.

Tell your doctor if you have frequent symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) such as increased thirst or urination. Ask your doctor before changing your medication dosage.

Never share an injection pen or syringe even if you changed the needle. Sharing these devices can pass infections from person to person.

Bydureon can lower your platelet counts for up to 10 weeks after you stop using this medicine. You may need frequent medical tests while using this medicine and for a short time after you stop.

Your treatment may also include diet, exercise, weight control, and special medical care.

Store Bydureon in its original container. Refrigerate and use until expiration date. Protect from light.

Do not freeze Bydureon, and throw away the medicine if it has been frozen.

You may also store Bydureon at room temperature for up to 4 weeks.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if your next dose is due in less than 3 days. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose can cause severe nausea and vomiting, or signs of low blood sugar (headache, hunger, irritability, dizziness, feeling shaky).

What should I avoid while taking Bydureon?

You should not mix Bydureon with insulin in the same syringe. Do not use Bydureon together with Byetta.

Bydureon side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some people using exenatide have had serious or fatal bleeding caused by low levels of platelets (blood cells that help your blood to clot). Stop using Bydureon and call your doctor right away if you have unusual bleeding or bruising.

Bydureon Pen may cause serious side effects. Stop using Bydureon Pen and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • severe ongoing nausea and vomiting;

  • pain, warmth, swelling, an open wound or scab, or other skin changes where the injection was given;

  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding, purple or red spots under your skin;

  • signs of a thyroid tumor--swelling or a lump in your neck, trouble swallowing, a hoarse voice, feeling short of breath;

  • pancreas or gallbladder problems--pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fever, fast heart rate, yellowing of your skin or eyes;

  • low blood sugar--headache, hunger, sweating, irritability, dizziness, fast heart rate, and feeling anxious or shaky; or

  • kidney problems--swelling, urinating less, feeling tired or short of breath.

Common side effects of Bydureon Pen may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Bydureon?

Tell your doctor if you use insulin.

Bydureon can make it harder for your body to absorb other medicines you take by mouth. Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

  • oral diabetes medicine;

  • blood pressure medicine;

  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);

  • diuretic or "water pill"; or

  • a pain medicine.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect Bydureon, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Popular FAQ

The Bydureon pen was discontinued in March 2021 and has been replaced by Bydureon Bcise Autoinjector. The Bydureon BCise autoinjector is easy to use and can be self-injected at home once a week. If you have trouble injecting it yourself, you could ask a family member, friend, caregiver, or your health provider to do it for you. Bydureon BCise is injected subcutaneously (this means just under the skin) and there are 3 main areas where it can be injected:

  • The stomach area (your belly) except for a 2-inch circle around your navel (belly button)
  • The top and outer part of your thighs, but not your inner thighs or anywhere close to your knee
  • The outer back of your upper arm where there is a pocket of fatty tissue (this is usually easier if somebody else is giving you the injection).
Continue reading

Bydureon Bcise starts working as soon as you inject the first dose but it may take two or more weeks before it has a noticeable effect on your blood sugar, and longer before it decreases your HbA1c levels. Bydureon Bcise builds up gradually in your body with each weekly dose and reaches its optimal level after 10 weeks of dosing. The extended-release delivery system keeps a consistent level of medicine in your body. Continue reading

Bydureon works by mimicking the effects of a naturally occurring human incretin, called GLP-1. Incretins are gut-derived hormones, similar to glucagon, that are released in response to food ingestion, mainly when we eat glucose or fat. When GLP-1 binds to the GLP-1 receptor it causes an increase in our body’s production of insulin in response to food. When Bydureon is given by injection into the upper thigh once a week, it binds to the GLP-1 receptor, stimulating insulin release from the beta cells of the pancreas whenever we eat. Continue reading

The Bydureon pen was discontinued in March 2021 and has been replaced by Bydureon Bcise Autoinjector. The Bydureon Bcise Autoinjector has been designed to be easy to use. There is no need to attach a needle (the hidden needle is already attached) or turn a dial. Always store your Bydureon Bcise autoinjector flat in the refrigerator. It can be self-injected at home once a week and it is easy to learn how to administer it yourself. If you have difficulty injecting it, a family member, friend, caregiver, or healthcare provider may be able to do it for you. Instructions for injecting the Bydureon Bcise autoinjector are given below. Continue reading

Bydureon can be left unrefrigerated at room temperature for up to 4 weeks (28 days) as long as the temperature in the room does not exceed 86°F (30°C). This will allow you to take your weekly dose with you, especially if you are traveling. Never leave your Bydureon pen in the sun or a hot place, like your car's jockey box, because it will become too hot. And do not put it back in the refrigerator if it has been out of the refrigerator for longer than an hour. Continue reading

The Bydureon Bcise Autoinjector has been designed to be easy to use. There is no need to attach a needle (the hidden needle is already attached) or turn a dial. Always store your Bydureon Bcise autoinjector flat in the refrigerator. Continue reading

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Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.