Exenatide, a brand name for a formulation containing essential Exenatide, is widely used for various health benefits. This guide provides comprehensive information on the uses, dosage, side effects, and mechanism of action of Exenatide, as well as insights into how long it takes to work. Understanding these aspects can help you make informed decisions about its use and effectiveness.

Exenatide Introduction

Exenatide is an injectable anti-diabetic medication used as an adjunct to improve glycemic control in adult patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. It belongs to a class of drugs known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists, which work by increasing insulin secretion and decreasing glucagon secretion in response to meals.

Uses of Exenatide

Exenatide is indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Exenatide should be used only when other antidiabetic medications, such as metformin hydrochloride, are not sufficient.

Mechanism of Action

Exenatide is a mimetic of the naturally occurring GLP-1 hormone which increases insulin secretion in response to meals and helps regulate glucose levels in the blood. Exenatide binds to the GLP-1 receptor, activating it and resulting in higher levels of circulating insulin and lower levels of circulating glucagon.

How Long Does it Take to Work?

Exenatide takes approximately two to three hours to begin to work, and its effects can last for 24 to 48 hours.


Exenatide is absorbed slowly following subcutaneous injection; the observed mean peak plasma concentration occurs 5 to 8 hours after dosing with a range of 3 to 16 hours.

Route of Elimination

Exenatide is eliminated primarily by prolactin metabolization. Its elimination half-life is 1.72 to 2.73 hours.


The dosage of exenatide is different for each person and depends on many factors such as age, weight, condition, etc. The usual starting dose is 5 micrograms (mcg) as an injection just below the skin 2 times a day, before the morning and evening meals. If you do not reach your blood sugar goals by that dose, your doctor may start you on a higher dose of up to 10 mcg twice a day.


Exenatide should be administered as a subcutaneous injection in the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm.

Side Effects

The most common side effects of exenatide include headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and dizziness. Other possible side effects include back pain, fatigue and muscle pain.


Exenatide has been found to be low in toxicity when administered in the recommended doses.


Patients should not take exenatide if they are allergic to the drug, have diabetic ketoacidosis or severe renal impairment, are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a history of pancreatitis, or take any other medications that could interact with exenatide. Patients should also tell their doctor if they are taking any other medications, including herbal products, vitamins, or over-the-counter medications, as these could affect the safety and effectiveness of exenatide.


Exenatide can interact with certain medications, such as insulin and sulfonylureas, and other drugs, such as antacids and herbal or dietary supplements. Therefore, it is important to provide your doctor with a list of all of the drugs and supplements that you are taking before starting exenatide.

Disease Interactions

Patients with certain medical conditions, such as type 1 diabetes, or those with a history of pancreatitis, should not take exenatide. Additionally, patients with renal impairment or severe hepatic impairment should be monitored closely and may require dose adjustment.

Drug Interactions

Exenatide may interact with certain other medications, such as insulin and sulfonylureas, and other drugs, such as antacids and herbal or dietary supplements. Tell your doctor about all medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and dietary supplements, so that your doctor can assess the potential risks of interactions.

Food Interactions

Exenatide should not be taken with certain types of food. Eating a meal high in fat or protein could delay the action of the drug or cause it to be less effective. Therefore, it is important to discuss your dietary habits with your doctor before starting exenatide to ensure that it will be taken as recommended.

Pregnancy Use

Exenatide should not be used during pregnancy as it may cause harm to a developing fetus.

Lactation Use

Women should not take exenatide while breastfeeding as it may pass into breast milk and impact the health of an infant.

Acute Overdose

Acute overdoses of exenatide are not expected to cause serious adverse reactions. Symptoms of acute overdose may include, but are not limited to, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and dizziness.


Exenatide should not be used by patients with type 1 diabetes, by those with a history of pancreatitis, or by those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Use Directions

Exenatide should be administered as a subcutaneous injection in the abdomen, thigh, or upper arm. Patients should contact their doctor for specific instructions regarding the dosage and administration of the medication.

Storage Condition

Exenatide should be stored at room temperature between 2°C and 30°C. It should be protected from light and humidity.

Volume of Distribution

The volume of distribution for exenatide is 0.18 L/kg.

Half Life

The elimination half-life of exenatide is 1.72 to 2.73 hours.


The clearance of exenatide is average of 0.64 L/hr/kg.

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