Since my opening (Day 1) post was long I will keep this update shorter. But it is worth the read if you are considering BYETTA. First, I must state that I do not own stock in Lily or in Amylin. But after 3 glorious days on BYETTA I probably will buy stock!
The side effects have been minimal, and compared with what I have gained (and lost -- weight) seem a very reasonable thing.
Side effects: first two days burped a lot, as is the case for many. Mild dyspepsia (heartburn) that is generally made better with antacids. The metallic taste comes and goes and is not overwhelming, and sometimes I get a mild headache. The worst part (and if you are reading this you are interested in side effects so I will speak openly) is that the delayed emptying of tummy contents seems to slow the entire GI tract down. Be prepared from some constipation.
The benefits: I have had normal blood sugars without exception. I used to always go high after eating like a "good little diabetic" should. But I overproduce insulin to the extent that I would go too low hours later, or, if I missed a snack or meal. Very low. Sometimes to the point of unconsciousness. I have not had one reading over 160 mg/dL or under 72 mg/dL since beginning BYETTA. And, I have lost 7 lbs as I woke to Day 4 (results not typical, I am the queen of bloat and clearly this initial drop is water -- but who cares -- it is still a happy loss).
Now, I do have to say I do not eat a lot and never have. I pay close attention to carbs, fat and protein ratio as well as to the GI index. I never touched desserts (except in my dreams) and have not had pasta or bread (except low carb bread, if you can even call it bread) in years. So I have not made major changes in my diet except that I have been able to eat things like fruit and yogurt that I could not eat before without problems. And, I still eat my usual less than 1,000 calories per day.
But here is the difference BYETTA has made for me: I am not hungry and feel content with meager meals ... and I am losing weight for the first time in a year. None of these things were true before. I felt deprived, hungry, and thought about food all the time, ate very little and was still gaining weight.
I want to thank Rick Mendosa (who I do not personally know but have followed his website for many, many years). Rick is a free-lance writer who seems very knowledgeable about all things diabetes, and then some. My own endo refused to offer my BYETTA because I was managing to keep my A1c levels in a decent range (through massive amounts of Glucophage, near starvation, living a life practically void of carbs). But I can truly say that I felt like I had no quality of life any longer when it came to eating and feeling like a normal person. I had given up on getting BYETTA until I read that Rick, who also had good control, was also turned down by his own endo. He did not stop there, he got a second opinion and a prescription and this wonder drug helped him as well. So, Rick, whether you will ever know this or not, you inspired me to also go to another doctor who, without hesitation immediately agreed that BYETTA was something I should try.
I cannot speak for others and I am sure this drug, like all drugs, is good for some, and not so good for others. For me, however, it has had a profoundly positive impact immediately. I will let you know if the weight loss continues ...