Exenatide and Its Indications For Use Among the Therapeutic Options Available For Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes
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The prevalence of type 2 diabetes continues to grow at near epidemic proportions in the United States. Diabetes is a costly disease with multiple associated complications. Type 2 diabetes accounts for up to 95% of all diabetes cases. Type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease. Initial therapy for type 2 diabetes is lifestyle modification, including nutritional therapy and weight reduction. As the disease progresses patients require oral antidiabetic agents and at least half eventually require insulin to maintain glucose control. Some of the traditional therapies available cause negative side effects such as hypoglycemia and weight gain. Despite the current treatment options available it is estimated that over 60% of people with type 2 diabetes are not achieving target HbA1c levels. New treatments are needed to help individuals with sub-optimal blood glucose achieve target levels. A new class of medications, incretin mimetics, was recently introduced. Exenatide is the first Food and Drug Administration approved drug in this class. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the available data on exenatide and to review its indications for use among the therapeutic options available for people with type 2 diabetes. This paper will examine the economic, clinical and humanistic outcomes associated with exenatide based on available evidence. Studies have shown that exenatide is effective in controlling postprandial levels, reduces HbA1c levels and has the added benefit of helping people with type 2 diabetes lose weight. Preliminary research suggests exenatide may possibly halt or reverse the progression of Beta cell loss, which is characteristic of type 2 diabetes. Nausea was a common side effect of therapy, which resolved over time. Exenatide has shown some positive results and may be beneficial as adjunct therapy for select patients with type 2 diabetes.