Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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Tools of the Trade 2012

by Alwa Cooper

Availability: Stendra is available in 50-, 100-, and 200-milligram (mg) tablets, and should be taken 30 minutes before sexual activity.

Product: Exenatide extended-release for injectable suspension (Bydureon)

Manufacturer: Amylin
(877) 700-7365

What it does: Bydureon is an extended-release version of Byetta, which was approved by the FDA in 2005, and also joins liraglutide (Victoza) in the GLP-1 agonist class. These drugs work by stimulating the pancreas to release insulin and to stop releasing glucagon, a hormone that raises blood glucose level. Bydureon is injected once a week, with or without food, under the skin of the abdomen, thighs, or backs of the upper arms. People who are at risk for developing thyroid cancer, or who have had thyroid cancer, should not use Bydureon. The FDA has required Amylin, the drug’s manufacturer, to perform further studies on the drug’s effect on thyroid cancers and on a person’s risk of having a cardiovascular event (such as a heart attack). Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) is a serious side effect of exenatide; the most common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, headache, vomiting, and constipation.

Availability: Bydureon is available in a 2-mg dose, packaged in a dosing tray that includes a syringe, a vial of medicine, a vial connector to attach the medicine vial to the syringe, and a needle.

Product: Linagliptin and metformin (Jentadueto)

Manufacturer: Boehringer Ingelheim
(800) 243-0127

What it does: Jentadueto combines linagliptin and metformin in a single tablet. Linagliptin (Tradjenta) is a drug in the DPP-4 inhibitor class; these medicines work by stimulating release of insulin from the pancreas and restricting glucose production, delaying stomach emptying, and protecting the health of the body’s remaining beta cells. Metformin (Glucophage and others) works by decreasing glucose production and increasing insulin sensitivity. People with metabolic acidosis (excessive acidity of the blood) or who have kidney problems should not take Jentadueto, and metformin in any combination raises a person’s risk of developing lactic acidosis (a dangerous condition involving a buildup of acid in the blood).

Availability: Jentadueto is available in tablets of 2.5 mg linagliptin/500 mg metformin, 2.5 mg linagliptin/850 mg metformin, and 2.5 mg linagliptin/1000 mg metformin, and should be taken twice a day.

Product: Lorcaserin (Belviq)

Manufacturer: Arena
(858) 453-7200

What it does: Belviq is approved for long-term weight management, as an addition to a reduced-calorie diet and exercise. The drug works by activating a specific serotonin receptor in the brain; serotonin may help a person eat less and feel fuller longer. People who are obese (with a body-mass index [BMI] of 30 or greater) or who are overweight (BMI 27–29) and have at least one weight-related condition, such as Type 2 diabetes, can take Belviq. Belviq should not be used by women who are pregnant or anyone who is taking certain antidepressants or medicines to treat migraines, and it should be used with caution by people with heart problems. Common side effects in people with diabetes include low blood glucose, headache, back pain, cough, and fatigue.

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