Diabetes Medication

Byetta Works

Byetta the new medicine for people with type 2 diabetes works for me even better than I had ever imagined. As I write, I just came back home in Boulder, Colorado, from a follow-up visit to my doctor, Jeffrey N. Gerber, whose office is in Littleton, south of Denver.

Exactly a month and a half ago he gave me my first prescription for Byetta , which controls blood glucose and leads to weight loss. In the 45 days that I have been using Byetta it has given me everything that it promised.

Full disclosure: I own stock in Amylin Pharmaceuticals , which developed Byetta.
The big news is that I lost 22 pounds. That’s even better than I had hoped, and both Dr. Gerber and I am extremely pleased.
“When was the last time that you lost 22 pounds in a month and one half?” he asked me. “Never,” I replied.
Some of the weight loss is, of course, water. “I guarantee that your weight loss will slow down,” Dr. Gerber told me. That’s fine with me as long as it continues.

Now that I am on Byetta I feel full almost all the time, so I almost always eat very little. When I do eat a normal sized meal, as I have two or three times when I went out to dinner, I paid the price in a few hours of nausea afterwards.

Because of Byetta, I have radically changed my diet. It is lower glycemic, lower carbohydrate and lower calorie.

Even though my blood glucose was already under good control, my A1C is down too. The A1C measures how much glucose has been sticking to hemoglobin for about the past three months. It dropped 0.6 percent in half that time.

My waist measurement has also gone down. It’s two inches less than it was when I started on Byetta. My cholesterol levels aren’t as good as they should be and are essentially the same as they were 45 days ago. But Dr. Gerber says that he is confident that as I continue to lose weight it will address the underlying cause of high cholesterol better than those drugs that I have taken for it.

Some people lose a lot more weight on Byetta than others. That seems to me to be the biggest mystery about this wonderful medicine, and I plan on writing about it here. But it’s no mystery how well Byetta works for me.

This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.

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  • Jo at

    Are you still taking metformin ?

    • David Mendosa at

      No, Jo. I stopped in 2005 when I started to take Byetta.

  • Peggy Leonard at

    Have you ever heard of anyone that is taking Byetta becoming anemic?

  • Paula M. Masland at

    Dear David,
    If one’s pancreas does not work anymore, is it possible for this pancreas to still be affected by Byetta use?

    • David Mendosa at

      If one’s pancreas doesn’t work, then one has type 1 diabetes. Byetta is not approved for it. Sorry.

  • Alfred Patterson at

    My doctor doesn’t want me to take meds for diabetes; she said that it would be too hard on my fatty liver. Would Byetta be hard on my liver?

    • David Mendosa at

      Dear Alfred,

      You can control diabetes without medication. But I know of only one way, and it is the way that I follow. It is a very low-carb diet. Before that I used Byetta. Ask your doctor if it is hard on fatty liver — that would be medical advice that you have to get directly.

  • karen lavine at

    Hopefully we’ll soon understand why Byetta works well for some people, and doesn’t do much for others. Then we’ll be able to specifically prescribe it to those who will have a good response.