Which dosage of exenatide should be used for treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM)?

Updated: Jul 13, 2021
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Exenatide has greater ease of titration (only 2 possible doses, with most patients progressing to the higher dose) than does insulin. Although the original product requires twice-daily injections, a long-acting exenatide formulation that is given once weekly (Bydureon) has been developed and has been found to provide significantly greater improvement in glycemic control than does the twice-daily formulation. [202] Once-weekly exenatide injections result in improvements in glycemic control and body weight regardless of age, gender, race, duration of diabetes or BMI. [203] Bydureon was approved by the FDA in January 2012.

In the DURATION-5 (Diabetes Therapy Utilization: Researching Changes in A1C, Weight and Other Factors Through Intervention With Exenatide Once Weekly) study, the exenatide once-weekly formulation provided significantly greater improvement in HbA1c and FPG levels than did the twice-daily preparation. Additionally, less nausea was observed with the once-weekly exenatide formulation. [204]

For patients with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled with metformin, the injectable agent exenatide was found, in one clinical trial, to be more effective than insulin detemir. [205, 206] A clinical trial involving 216 patients with A1c baseline levels >7.1% despite treatment with metformin found that once-daily injections of exenatide resulted in a significantly greater number of patients achieving target A1c than treatment with detemir. At 26 weeks, 44.1% of the exenatide group had achieved an A1c of 7% or less compared to 11.4% of the detemir group.

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