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Exenatide Side Effects

For the Consumer

Applies to exenatide: subcutaneous powder for suspension extended release, subcutaneous solution

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by exenatide. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Major Side Effects

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking exenatide:

Incidence not known:
  • Agitation
  • bloated or full feeling
  • chills
  • coma
  • confusion
  • constipation
  • cough
  • darkened urine
  • decreased urination or urine output
  • depression
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • fainting
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever
  • headache
  • hives or welts, itching, or skin rash
  • hostility
  • increase in heart rate
  • indigestion
  • irritability
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • lethargy
  • lightheadedness
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle twitching
  • nausea
  • pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • rapid breathing
  • rapid weight gain
  • seizures
  • shortness of breath
  • stupor
  • sunken eyes
  • swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  • thirst
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • wrinkled skin
  • yellow eyes or skin

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking exenatide, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose:
  • Anxiety
  • blurred vision
  • cold sweats
  • cool, pale skin
  • increased hunger
  • nervousness
  • nightmares
  • severe vomiting
  • shakiness
  • slurred speech

Minor Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with exenatide may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • diarrhea
  • feeling jittery
  • heartburn
  • stomach discomfort or upset
Less common:
  • Appetite decreased
  • increased sweating
  • lack or loss of strength
Incidence not known:
  • Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
  • change in taste
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • loss of taste
  • passing gas
  • pressure in the stomach
  • rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin
  • redness of the skin
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • swelling of the abdomen or stomach area

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to exenatide: subcutaneous powder for injection extended release, subcutaneous solution


The most commonly reported side effects were: anti-exenatide antibodies, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Generalized pruritus and/or urticaria, macular or papular rash, angioedema, and anaphylactic reaction[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Anti-exenatide antibodies (up to 90%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hypoglycemia (up to 19%)
Common (1% to 10%): Decreased appetite, rapid weight loss (greater than 3.3 lbs/1.5 kg a week), anorexia, hypokalemia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Dehydration (associated with nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection
Postmarketing reports: Altered renal function, including increased serum creatinine, renal impairment, worsened chronic renal failure or acute renal failure (sometimes requiring hemodialysis), kidney transplant and kidney transplant dysfunction[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 34%), diarrhea (up to 13%), vomiting (up to 19%)
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Intestinal obstruction
Common (1% to 10%): Dyspepsia, constipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, abdominal distension, abdominal pain, upper abdominal pain, abdominal discomfort, toothache, viral gastroenteritis, gastroenteritis
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Ileus, ischemic colitis, gut ischemia
Postmarketing reports: Eructation, flatulence, acute pancreatitis, hemorrhagic and necrotizing pancreatitis sometimes resulting in death[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Increased heart rate (up to 15%)
Common (1% to 10%): Hypertension[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hyperhidrosis
Rare (less than 0.1%) Alopecia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Erectile dysfunction[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Increased INR with concomitant warfarin therapy, sometimes associated with bleeding[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Injection-site reactions (up to 17.1%)
Common (1% to 10%): Injection-site pain[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Joint pain, back pain, arthralgia, pain in extremity, musculoskeletal pain, muscle spasms[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache, dizziness, diabetic neuropathy
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dysgeusia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Somnolence[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Depression, insomnia, anxiety[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nasopharyngitis (up to 19%), upper respiratory tract infection (up to 17%)
Common (1% to 10%): Sinusitis, influenza, cough, oropharyngeal pain[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Fatigue, asthenia, feeling jittery[Ref]


1. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

2. "Product Information. Byetta (exenatide)." Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc, San Diego, CA.

Not all side effects for exenatide may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.