Living with Diabetes

Non-Insulin Injectable Type 2 Diabetes Medications

There are several medications of different groups that can be used for the treatment of  Type 2 Diabetes. Some of these medications are taken orally while others are injectables. This article discusses the non-insulin injectable medications that were introduced in the past decade. These medications are called incretin mimetics, or glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogues. They mimic the effect of the incretin hormone GLP-1 that is naturally produced from the intestine. Incretin mimetics help the body to secrete the right amount of insulin at the right time, decrease the release of sugar from the liver, slow the movement of food from the stomach to the intestines, and can also suppress appetite in some people. These functions result in improving the blood sugar level as well as reducing weight in some patients with Diabetes. It is worth mentioning that this group of medications was not tested as weight loss medication for people with normal blood sugar level. Accordingly it should not be prescribed for this purpose.

Incretin mimetics are usually prescribed for people with Type 2 Diabetes who are not able to control their blood sugar level by taking oral anti-diabetic medications alone. Therefore, an agent of this group (i.e. non-insulin injectables) can be added to the oral medications in order to improve the control of blood sugar level.

There are two medications in this group that are available in Kuwait, Byetta® and Victoza® (See the Table below).

Table: Non-Insulin Injectable Medications that are Available in Kuwait:

Name Guidelines for Use Who Should not Take it? Most Common Side Effects
Byetta® (Exenatide)
  • You should not take more than two doses of Byetta® per day (the two doses should be at least 6 hours apart)
  • Inject within 0-60 minutes before the two main meals of the day
Patients with
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Severe kidney problems
 
Long acting form of Byetta® should not be used by patients with:
  • Acidic blood problem
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2
  • Thyroid cancer (or if a family member has thyroid cancer)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of energy
  • Acid reflux
  • Sweating
Victoza® (Liraglutide)
  • You should not take more than one dose of Victoza® per day
  • Inject Victoza® at any time of the day, but make sure to inject at the same time everyday
Patients with:
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Acidic blood problem
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2
  • Thyroid cancer (or if a family member has thyroid cancer)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level) when used with other anti-diabetic medications such as sulfonylureas

 

 

 

General Instructions: