New to the forum and new to Byetta

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MaddieT
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/30/2007 3:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I just started Byetta today and am a little nervous about it. I've been searching for information on line as I don't feel that I received much from my doctor, just that she is hopeful that it will get my blood sugars under control.  I read about the nausea, so far today have not experienced that, but I've had heartburn. Is this normal? Also the first injection I tried this morning did not "change the dial" from the 5. So I redid it. I hope I'm not sounding terribly stupid, but wondering if you could help me.
Thank you.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5406
   Posted 8/30/2007 3:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Maddie!  Welcome to the Forum!  Don't worry about sounding stupid about anything.  It's all a learning process.  Several other members use byetta and hopefully they'll see your post and be along to help with questions.  Check back through the old posts also because you'll find some useful information about byetta and also diet.  Take care and stay with us.  People are very helpful here.

Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
 
"pre-diabetic" controlled so far by diet and exercise
following low/no carb diet, no meds


tutorgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 8/30/2007 8:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Maddie, welcome. There are a few of us on the forum that use byetta but not many. If you go to byetta.com you can get loads of info. And here's a link to a blog that's totally devoted to Byetta users.

http://lizardspit.blogstream.com/v1/pid/246601.html?CP=&HP=1#TC

It's a very confusing drug and so new that many doctors appear to be prescribing it without knowing alot about it. That particular blog is really helpful. My doctor pretty much did the same thing as yours. I'm on the 5 mcg. pen. She tried me on the 10 mcg. but I got so ill I asked her to let me go back to the 5. I started to doing a low carb diet to help with my glucose readings and that has helped a lot. One thing I have learned is that everyone's reactions to it are different. I didn't have any nausea either with the 5 pen but the 10 just sent me reeling. Other's just have bouts of nausea for a few weeks.

Anyway, check out the byetta site and the blog and that will help you quite a bit. Stay in touch with us and let us know how it is going. I am especially interested. Good luck. ...Karen

Warren
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 9/1/2007 6:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Maddie,
 
Well, if the #5 was still visable, you didn't inject any medicine.  Typically when you push the button/plunger on the penlet, if you do it slowly but firmly you will hear approximately 3 very soft clicks as the Byetta injects and the pen resets so the arrow is visable.  Be firm when you push the button so that you get it all, and keep the pressure on the button and hold the needle inside the injection site for about 5 seconds to make sure none leaks out. 
 
As you've read from the others, 5mcg most commonly does not produce the monstrous nausea that is accompanied by a 10mcg dose.  This doesn't mean that you are automatically going to get sick on 10mcg, I am on that dose and never suffered any of the associated nausea. 
 
Most importantly remember to keep your Byetta refrigerated.  Even with the new guidelines that say it can remain at 77 degrees F (room temperature); it can ONLY remain that way for 144 hours or SIX DAYS.  Now, how can we be sure that we are not going to kill the active protein at 5 days instead of 6; and how do you know that you might not accidently reach 80 degrees and kill all the good stuff in your Byetta.  What those guidelines should tell you is that if you have to travel, you don't need to worry about the abosulute temperature of your pen, but for the most part, KEEP IT COLD!!!! 
 
Hope this helps
 
scool  Warren
 
PS. (my pharmacist recently filled my byetta script and when he went to take the box, it was laying in a basket with all the other scripts.  He took the label off it and swapped it out with one from the fridge, so that should tell you something)

John Berryhill
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/2/2007 7:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi ---
I'm new to this forum and to using Byetta, too. While I haven't experienced outright nausea with the 5mg dosage, the constant quesiness is very uncomfortable and under0cutting my concentration on tasks, etc. Judging by the comments here, I dread switching to 10mg in a few weeks! I also find substantial lessening in energy levels. On the other hand, the appetite is reduced (which might be the cause of reduced energy levels?). The effect on blood levels has been very slight (I'm on 80 units of N100 insulin and glucophage) although that;s what I would've expected from the reduced intake levels (brought about by?) while taking these first four days of Byetta. I've just concluded two daysof travelentertaining during which I've skipped three injections, so I've "returned to normal" without the constant quesiness and am now hesitant to jump back into the fray! When the experienced say it "gets beetter" does that mean the quesiness goes away or one just becomes accustomed to that crappy feeling as part of one's "new life." ??? Glad to hear what the more experienced can tell me.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5406
   Posted 9/2/2007 7:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi John, I'm glad you found the Forum here.  I'm sure you'll get some responses from the byetta people when they read your post.  In the meantime, there are some posts from the past about byetta that might give you some information as well.  Take care.

Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
 
"pre-diabetic" controlled so far by diet and exercise
following low/no carb diet, no meds


Ramsour3
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 9/4/2007 7:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Warren,
I have never kept mine refrigerated after taking the first dose.  But I have also noticed that the "full" feeling is pretty much gone for me.  Do you think it's because I'm not keeping it cold?  I am so glad that you have said this.
Thank you.
Patti

Ramsour3
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 9/4/2007 1:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Warren...I'm picking up a new pen tonite and it will most defintely stay in the fridge. Not a problem to keep it there anyway. My numbers have been higher the last week and I really am thinking it kinda stopped working...my eating habits have not changed.
Thanks again
Patti

MaddieT
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/4/2007 4:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Everyone who responded to me, thank you so much....I was just nervous at first because I felt I was "thrown into it" without much instruction. I've now got it down, and am very careful to keep it refrigerated. I have to say I have learned more from all of you and from other sites that you directed me to than from my doctor!!! so many, many thanks. I'm still taking it, I do not feel hungry, my sugars are down some, but nowhere near what my doctor wants. I do feel that I have more energy, probably because the sugars are down some. I don't have any nausea but have pretty strong heartburn which I never had before. Everyone mentions going to "10", my doctor never mentioned this, just told me to come back in November. Does everyone get upgraded to the "10" dose?

Warren
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 9/4/2007 9:50 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Maddie,

No, not everyone gets upgraded to "10mcg" but it does tend to be the most effective dose for Byetta.  In Lilly's clinical trials they acutally experimented with even greater doses than 10mcg but found that the majority of the benefits were centered around a bell curve at "10".  If your numbers are doing really well at 5, there is no need to go to 10, but if you still need to be at the 90-100 number for your fasting sugars, then 10 is probably in order.  From everything you've read, it will probably make you sick (nauseous), but read through the forum as there are some great suggestions on how you can lessen this effect by controlling your carbs.  I wish you all the best with your Byetta.

scool Warren

MaddieT
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/5/2007 11:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the info. One more quick question for you, or anyone using Byetta. Does anyone else have problems with bruises? Or is my "technique" just off? I have a stomach full of deep purple bruises. Any suggestions?

Warren
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 9/5/2007 11:34 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Maddie,

Well, let me give you the quickie lecture on how to do a painless and hopefully bruiseless shot.  First off get the 30g penlet needles!!  they are sooo tiny that they literally are painless. Next after you have one on your pen and its cocked and loaded, pinch up a bit of skin and touch the needle to it.  If you feel a "prick" or an "ouch"..move to another spot.  You may have to do this a bunch of times but eventually you find a spot that isn't "ouchy".  At that point, put a little pressure on the pen and the needle should slip right in painlessly.  If it hurts as you begin to push it in, stop and find another place to inject as the painfull area is full of nerves and may in fact leave a bruise.

I hold the penlet much like a pencil to get the needle in and then switch my hand around to grip the barrel the way they show you in the tutorials to push the button.  I just find its much easier to manipulate the needle if Im holding it like a pencil. 

Last but not least, when you are holding the button down and leaving the needle in for 5 seconds after the injection, DON'T push really hard on the button, you've already injected the stuff and all you are doing is puting tension behind the needle and potentially causing a bruise. Keep a gentle pressure on the button and keep the needle inserted but without a lot of force behind it!  Hopefully this will help your bruising!

Also, Maddie, use a pattern that moves in a circle.  Use your thighs as well as your belly so that you do left thigh, left side of stomach, right side of stomach, right thigh and then repeat.  That way you aren't over stressing one particular area.

One last thought.  There are "short" pen needles and there are "mini" pen needles.  The "mini" are the shortest at about 3/8" so make sure you use these instead of the 1/2 inchers.

Oh, and just so you don't think that those of us long time users are immune, I had two plain donuts and a cup of coffee for breakfast and the carbs made me really queasy and nauseaous for about 3 hours so even after a year and a half the lizard bite can still get to me!

scool  Warren 
It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not. - James Gordon, M.D.
What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease. - George Dennison Prentice

I can only please one person per day, today is not your day...tomorrow doesn't look good either.


MaddieT
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/7/2007 4:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the great "no more bruises" info. I haven't gotten new needles yet, working on that, but tried your techniques, especially the "ouch" and move to another site trick, and I haven't had a bruise since. Just takes a little longer.
I'm leaving for a 2 week vacation to Europe on Monday. I'm thinking I shouldn't take the Byetta, just go back to my old meds and high blood sugars, because of the refrigeration thing. I'd value your opinion on this...I think it would be impossible to keep it refrigerated on an 11 hour flight alone.
Again, I really appreciate everyone's help on this!!!

lugie
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 9/9/2007 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi mattie ask the airline to store the byetta for you they will keep it for you.

Warren
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 9/9/2007 9:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Maddie,
 
Here's what I do and it works like a charm.  Go to your local Walmart type store and buy a small insulated carrying case, the type that is just big enough to fit a "six pack".  They usually look like they are lined with some type of foil material.  Get the best one you can buy.  Now...get some of those gel packs you put in the freezer (I usually use 4 of them) and make sure the size pretty much fills the case you just bought.  Now...here's what you do.
 
Freeze the gel packs and on the day you fly, put one in the bottom of your new case.  Put your byetta pen on top of this. I put the byetta pen back in its original box with the plastic tray and then put the whole box in a ziploc baggie to make sure it doesn't get wet from condensation.  I put an ice pack on either of the long sides of the new case and one on the top so the byetta box is sandwiched top bottom and two long sides.  If you keep this case closed, those ice packs should last AT LEAST 24 hours, sometimes longer.
 
Now, to avoid the hassle, I don't usually carry it with me unless Im going to change planes.  Typically, I put it in my suitcase rather than go through a hassell at security.  They've always let me take it onboard at security but only after it goes through the scanner twice and they look at the gel packs, etc., so save yourself a hassell and put it in your luggage.
 
Voila, you've now been able to take your Byetta with you and if you freeze the gel packs again when you get to where you're going, they can ensure that your byetta travels throughout Europe.  I use the original box with the plastic tray in it just to provide an extra layer of insulation to the Byetta and make sure it doesn't freeze or get too cold.
 
Now, seeing as how you are on the 5mcg dose, to lay off it and start again is probably no big deal.  A couple of weeks of higher numbers aren't going to seriously impair your health.  If you were on the 10mcg dose, why would you want to risk going through the nausea break in period again???  The choice is yours but either way you aren't really jepordizing your health.  Me personally, I prefer to just use the method above and bring it with me.
 
scool  Warren


It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not. - James Gordon, M.D.
What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease. - George Dennison Prentice

I can only please one person per day, today is not your day...tomorrow doesn't look good either.

Post Edited (Warren) : 9/9/2007 10:54:46 AM (GMT-6)

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