Byetta became available last year to help people with type 2 diabetes who weren’t getting adequate control on other drugs. Weight loss came up only incidentally.
My blood glucose control is good with A1C levels in the low 6s. But for me weight loss is the main event.
I already lost 48 pounds in my first 3 and one-half months on Byetta.
When I learned in 1994 that I have diabetes, I lost weight for a year. But ever since then it has crept up.
I have known about what became Byetta for more than eight years. More than four years ago I wrote what I think is the first article about it.
Still, I didn’t jump on Byetta right away, because people in the clinical trials didn’t lose that much weight. For example, those who took it for a year lost less than 8 pounds.
It was only early this year when I interviewed Dr. Joe Prendergast, an endocrinologist in Redwood City, California, that I decided to try Byetta. He told me that the average weight loss of the 200 patients he had on Byetta was 35 pounds.
Since then I’ve learned that it’s common in practice for people to lose a lot of weight compared with the marginal weight loss in clinical trials. The difference may be the strict protocol of clinical trials. Or it might be motivation.
I’ve got that motivation. For the first time in my life I haven’t had to fight to lose weight, because Byetta controls hunger. It also gives me more energy than I’ve had in years. I feel 10 years younger.
My goal is by October 2007 to weigh the same or less than what I weighed when I got out of the Army 50 years earlier. That goal is now within sight.
Editor’s note: The author owns stock in Amylin, the company that developed Byetta. This article originally appeared in Diabetes Health, August 2006, p. 41.
David Mendosa is a freelance journalist and consultant specializing in diabetes and lives in Boulder, Colorado. When he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in February 1994, he began to write entirely about that condition. His articles and columns have appeared in many of the major diabetes magazines and websites. His own website, David Mendosa’s Diabetes Directory, established in 1995, was one of the first and is now one of the largest with that focus. Every month he also publishes an online newsletter called “Diabetes Update.” Twice weekly he writes for his blog at http://blogs.healthcentral.com/diabetes/david-mendosa. He is a coauthor of The New Glucose Revolution: What Makes My Blood Glucose Go Up...And Down? (New York: Marlowe & Co., July 2006, and other publishers in the U.K., Australia, and Taiwan).
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