Tag Archives: Diabetes

Asking Congress to Get “ON IT” for Diabetes

By Topher Brooke, Vice President, U.S. Diabetes, AstraZeneca

Topher Brooke Headshot-2At AstraZeneca, we believe that real progress in improving type 2 diabetes outcomes starts with supporting patients in multiple ways, such as improving access to our medicines, providing educational programs and resources, and advocating on the patient’s behalf, to name a few. In March, we launched the ON IT Movement in partnership with Dr. Phil McGraw to raise awareness about type 2 diabetes through Dr. Phil’s personal experience, to spark further dialogue about what it’s like to live with the condition, and to motivate other patients to take action towards leading a healthier life.

Now, I’m excited that we’re taking the ON IT Movement a step further to advance the national conversation by addressing Congress on Capitol Hill, where we’ll highlight the challenges that people with type 2 diabetes face every day. Nearly 28 million Americans are living with type 2 diabetes today, with another 86 million at risk of developing it. This condition costs our society over $245 billion annually. In order for change to occur, intervention must take place at multiple levels – from prevention, education and treatment to public health and policy-making – to take early action against type 2 diabetes.

On May 11, AstraZeneca and Dr. Phil will join policymakers and advocates on Capitol Hill to ask Congress for more support of those living with and at risk for developing diabetes and call attention to the patient experience. This unique opportunity allows us to meet with members of Congress and the Senate to discuss the goals of the ON IT Movement and to advocate for their constituents whose lives are impacted by diabetes.

The highlight of the day will be the “Get ON IT for Diabetes” bicameral congressional briefing where we will discuss the growing impact of type 2 diabetes in the United States. The Congressional Diabetes Caucus co-chairs, Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY), will provide opening remarks followed by a panel discussion. In addition to Dr. Phil, the panelists will include George Grunberger, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E., president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), Robert E. Ratner, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E.; Chief Scientific and Medical Officer, American Diabetes Association (ADA), and Kelly Close, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of diaTribe; President and Founder, Close Concerns. Other prominent members of the type 2 diabetes community will join us to help strengthen and amplify our message to Congress, including the American Association of Diabetes Educators, Diabetes Hands Foundation, Endocrine Society and Taking Control of Your Diabetes.

So how can you help Congress get “ON IT” for type 2 diabetes and make your voice heard?

  • Visit the diabetes caucus website to learn about diabetes-related legislation that impacts Americans who live with the disease and the millions who are at risk of developing it.
  • Tell Congress the time is now to get ON IT and address the diabetes epidemic. We ask you to call or email your legislators and ask that they prioritize diabetes issues and increase support for those living with the disease. Or, you can reach out to your member of Congress via Twitter using #OnItMovement.

I also encourage you to visit OnItMovement.com to learn more about Dr. Phil and his 6 Rules for creating and sticking to a plan. While we push for progress in how type 2 diabetes is addressed and managed at a national level, it’s important to remember that even the smallest steps in the right direction can lead to significant change.

Follow @AstraZenecaUS and #OnItMovement on Twitter for updates leading up to and during our day on Capitol Hill.

Why People with Type 2 Diabetes Should Start a Walking Program

Today, more than 145 million adults in the United States include walking as part of a physically active lifestyle, and this staple exercise continues to grow in popularity. After all, walking can be done just about anywhere and, for most, is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.

Exercise is an especially beneficial and critical component of the treatment plans for the nearly 28 million Americans living with type 2 diabetes. However, maintaining a fitness routine can be challenging, and while people may recognize that they need to exercise regularly, they may not know where to start. That’s why AstraZeneca and the Diabetes Hands Foundation launched the Everyday Steps walking program, which features a walking guide with 12 motivational tips to help people with type 2 diabetes start a daily walking routine – and stick with it.

ColbergDr. Sheri Colberg, a professor of exercise science at Old Dominion University and adjunct professor of internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, recognizes how walking can benefit people with type 2 diabetes. For the past two decades, Dr. Colberg’s research has been devoted to exercise and type 2 diabetes, and ultimately, the benefits physical activity has on overall health. She’s also the author of 10 health-related publications focused on type 2 diabetes. Here, she helps to address some questions about the barriers people with type 2 diabetes may face when it comes to sticking to an exercise routine and how to push past them.

What are the biggest concerns you hear when you talk to people with type 2 diabetes about exercise?

Dr. Colberg: I see exercise as being the biggest challenge for them. In addition to managing other components of their treatment plan, many adults with type 2 diabetes can find maintaining a fitness regimen challenging and are unsure of how to get started. They think it might be dangerous, or they might be intimidated. They need to find activities that work for them. The goal is to find an activity that will allow them to start slowly – and progress slowly – in order to avoid injury and loss of motivation. What’s important to remember is that becoming more active means that they have the opportunity to gain more energy and feel more invigorated.

But, still there are barriers. Do you think that people are often overwhelmed by the idea of starting an exercise routine?

Dr. Colberg: Of course. But, the important thing to remember is that even if people have missed their scheduled fitness activity, they can still find ways to be active during the day. For example, they can add more steps as they go about their daily activities. Exercise doesn’t necessarily have to be structured. Exercise needs to be thought of as an active lifestyle, as opposed to a task or chore.

That’s a great point. Why is walking in particular a recommended form of physical activity for people with type 2 diabetes?

Dr. Colberg: Walking is a moderate and accessible activity and, most importantly, an excellent place to start in terms of beginning an exercise routine. Not only does walking help people with type 2 diabetes increase their fitness levels, but it also helps control blood glucose levels and improves the body’s ability to use insulin.

What are some quick tips to help people start and stay motivated with a walking routine?

Dr. Colberg: The key is to stop thinking of walking as a significant undertaking. Like the Everyday Steps guide suggests, using devices like a pedometer or smartphone app can help determine baseline fitness levels and track progress by adding steps as you go. Each time you walk, you can add a few more steps, so you are growing a healthy habit that becomes easier.

Besides walking, what other types of exercise can help people manage their type 2 diabetes?

Dr. Colberg: It’s beneficial to add resistance training to a fitness routine. As people age, it’s important to maintain as well as gain muscle mass. Resistance training can be a variety of things – using body weight, for example, planks, lunges, wall sits or resistance bands, hand weights and household items like full water bottles.

What is the most important message you’d like to share with people who have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes?

Dr. Colberg: It’s important for them to commit to making long-term changes. By making small lifestyle changes in diet and adding more steps here and there, these small efforts end up having a large impact on their ability to manage diabetes.

To learn more about the Everyday Steps walking program and find tips to help people with type 2 diabetes find the motivation to start and maintain a walking routine, check out the walking guide at www.everydaystepsguide.com. Before beginning a fitness program, it’s important to talk to a doctor for guidance.

Dr. Phil’s 6 Rules to Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes

When faced with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, patients are often provided a plethora of information to absorb regarding their new health regimen, but are not necessarily given the tools to overcome psychological barriers that could impede their progress. Making lifestyle changes associated with managing type 2 diabetes, such as maintaining a healthy diet, making time for regular exercise, and committing to a treatment plan, often takes daily attention and the support of a team to succeed. With nearly 28 million Americans living with type 2 diabetes and another 86 million at risk for developing it, many are facing hurdles keeping them from committing to a plan and could use some guidance they can easily reference to stay on track with their health.

With this in mind, AstraZeneca’s ON IT Movement seeks to empower adults living with type 2 diabetes to make a personal commitment to live a healthier life. We are teaming up with Dr. Phil McGraw, host of the Dr. Phil show, who has been living with type 2 diabetes for more than 25 years. Dr. Phil is sharing his personal experience living with the condition and his professional experience as a former practicing clinical psychologist to inspire people to take action and more effectively manage the condition by working with their healthcare provider to create a treatment plan and stick to it.

As part of the movement, Dr. Phil is sharing his “6 Rules to Get ON IT” to help guide people with type 2 diabetes in overcoming psychological barriers so they can create a plan and stick to it:

  1. Move forward. Dismiss the sense of shame or personal failure you may feel as a result of your diagnosis, and any uninformed judgments around you. There are risk factors for type 2 diabetes that you can’t control like family history, personal history, age and more. Step up and move forward today!
  1. Get educated. Knowledge is power. Once you understand how the disease works, then you can make smart decisions and take control of your diabetes management. You’ll also be able to give others clear information to offset the stereotypes commonly associated with type 2 diabetes.
  1. Build a team. Gather a team of supporters to help you manage this disease. Your team can include your spouse, kids, doctor, friends, a trainer at your gym, or others who will help you along the way.
  1. Replace bad habits. As part of your plan, determine what aspects of your lifestyle need to change to support your overall health. One by one, build those changes into your routine so they become healthy habits.
  1. Make a plan. With help from your doctor and your treatment team, you can make a plan that will get you to your goals. When you take control, you will see what an impact you can have on your type 2 diabetes.
  1. Stick to it. Find the inspiration to stay on track. Be empowered by your plan. Nothing is easy at first, but if you stick to your plan, you’ll start to see results.

To learn more about the “6 Rules to Get ON IT” and Dr. Phil’s experience managing his type 2 diabetes, visit OnItMovement.com. Whether it’s learning how to change everyday habits or getting ideas on how to build the right support team, the ON IT Movement has the tools that can help people with type 2 diabetes create a treatment plan and stick to it.

5 Ways Fit2Me Can Help You Make Lifestyle Changes in 2016

By Hope Warshaw, RD, CDE, BC-ADM

HWarshaw_casual_high res-300 dpi_2014With the New Year upon us, you may be contemplating making lifestyle changes to live healthier and take better care of your type 2 diabetes. That’s terrific – however, as you choose the changes you want to make in the year ahead don’t try to change too much too quickly. That can be overwhelming and feel like a lot of work. Instead, focus on one step at a time to ensure the changes you make will stick long term.

As you know all too well, changing your eating habits and food choices is challenging, and so is trying to increase your physical activity. Add in taking care of type 2 diabetes and there’s even greater complexity. There’s a lot you have to manage – making sure you have the right types of foods on hand, preparing wholesome meals, fitting exercise into your daily routine, taking medications, and monitoring blood glucose levels just to name a few. And that’s all in addition to your regularly scheduled life! As a Diabetes Educator, the most important piece of advice I can give you is to take a slow and steady approach to making lifestyle changes. This approach typically wins out.

AstraZeneca’s Fit2Me™ diet and lifestyle support program may be just the tool to put into action to help you be successful with your New Year’s resolutions. Fit2Me is a free, online program that allows you to create a customized plan, personalized based on your likes and dislikes, focused on four key areas: food, activity, support team and treatment support. Check out these five ways Fit2Me can support your resolutions for this year and beyond:

  1. Take time to preplan. Fit2Me helps you take steps to do the all-important preplanning, which is key to making successful lifestyle changes. Put Fit2Me to work for you to help plan your meals and activities, all based on your own personal preferences. Once you create your weekly plan in the tool, Fit2Me will even give you options to make “trade-offs” between the activities you need to do based on the number of calories in the foods you select for the weekly plan.
  1. Experiment in the kitchen. Trying new foods can seem overwhelming, but with 10,000+ recipes you’re sure to find something you’ll love. Use Fit2Me to select the ingredients you like in order to find countless healthy meals you can make and look forward to eating. Eating more healthfully doesn’t mean you have to give up the types of foods you love – it’s all about eating more of this and less of that.
  1. Challenge yourself to new and fun activities. Starting a new routine can be hard, but when you discover new activities that you enjoy, you may even look forward to exercising. Soon enough being active will become a habit that you enjoy incorporating into your daily routine. The trick is finding something fun – let Fit2Me help you. Explore the 500+ activities to find the right ones for you.
  1. Build your support system. Build a team of family, friends and healthcare providers around you that can help support your efforts to solidify new healthy behaviors. Team up with a friend or family member looking to live a healthier lifestyle. Share your goals with them – the more you loop them in, the more opportunities they’ll have to encourage you. For additional support work with one of the Fit2Me digital coaches to help keep you on track and celebrate your successes along the way.
  1. Track to stay focused. Working toward health goals while balancing the demands of type 2 diabetes can be challenging. To help you stay focused and motivated in the year ahead, use Fit2Me for tracking. It allows you to track your personal health goals, the results of your tests and checks, like your A1C, and to set reminders of your medical appointments – all in one place.

Step by step, one by one, give these five tips a try and let Fit2Me help you along the way. No matter what your specific goals are for the New Year, the key to success is to start off with small and steady changes. Strive to create habits around choosing healthier foods, eating smaller portions of less healthy foods and larger portions of healthier foods (yes, fruit and vegetables!). Plus, be more active. Over time – and with repeated practice – your new, healthier behaviors will become automatic. You’ll reach a point where making the healthier choice WILL be the easier choice.

About Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE

Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, is a dietitian, diabetes educator and freelance writer based in Northern Virginia. Warshaw is the author of numerous books published by American Diabetes Association including Diabetes Meal Planning Made Easy and Eat Out Eat Well – The Guide to Eating Healthy in Any Restaurant.

Confronting Type 2 Diabetes, a National Epidemic

The statistics are staggering: healthcare experts say that diabetes – the chronic disease that affects more than 29 million Americans today – has reached epidemic proportions. The cost of diabetes in 2012 in the United States was $245 billion in healthcare expenses, and authorities predict that if historic trends continue, there could be as many as one-in-three people living with diabetes by 2050.

While new treatment approaches have become available over the last decade, more work can be done to improve the quality of care and outcomes for people with diabetes. How can the health system best manage the country’s growing diabetes epidemic? What should healthcare providers do to better educate their patients about the disease? And how can the health system work together to better coordinate their treatment?

These were the main discussion topics at a thought leader dinner during American Diabetes Month, hosted by AstraZeneca in partnership with the National Journal, and moderated by Steve Clemons, Washington Editor-at-Large, National Journal and The Atlantic.

20151116_NJ_AstraZeneca_Dinner_016Topher Brooke, Vice President, U.S. Diabetes, AstraZeneca, who was joined by Lori Tierney, Vice President, Commercial Operations, AstraZeneca, kicked off the discussion by emphasizing the unmet patient needs in managing type 2 diabetes, and focusing on early action in the treatment paradigm.

As a company committed to advancing the national dialogue around diabetes, members of AstraZeneca’s North America leadership team were joined by 14 thought leaders and members of the media from leading organizations like the American Diabetes Association, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Enterprise Institute, the Washington Business Journal and others.

The candid discussion focused on a variety of topics, including education, prevention and pre-diabetes, and lack of attention as a public health topic – highlighting the enormity and multi-faceted nature of this chronic disease. Attendees focused part of the importance of healthcare providers in the equation. With the growing number of people who have or will develop type 2 diabetes, it is more important now than ever before to have the appropriate number of endocrinologists, primary care doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and diabetes educators to meet the needs of patients.

20151116_NJ_AstraZeneca_Dinner_173The dinner guests aligned on the need for greater education for healthcare providers and patients, and to create urgency around diabetes – stressing a potential “lightening rod” idea that could spark behavior change when it comes to lifestyle modifications and hopefully preventing people from developing diabetes.

Several of the guests highlighted the importance of taking local community-based initiatives that are having impact for people living with diabetes, and launching those in other parts of the country, to ultimately scale up those pilot programs to service a greater number of communities.

At the conclusion of the evening, there was a common agreement that despite the large task at hand to manage the growing diabetes epidemic, there is much that can be done when we combine efforts across key parties including health care providers, patients, public and private organizations, and the health system as a whole to achieve better health outcomes.

The dinner was part of a series of events coordinated by National Journal LIVE, a premier events business that convenes top leaders in the Washington, D.C. area to discuss possible solutions to the country’s biggest challenges.

AstraZeneca ‘Links Up’ Diabetes Online Community for Influencer Event

With social media playing an increasingly important role in healthcare, online analytics show that Twitter conversations around diabetes have continuously grown over recent years. People with diabetes have built one of the most active and robust online communities of any patient group – so much, in fact, that they’re widely known online as the #DOC (Diabetes Online Community). AstraZeneca recently hosted 11 of these influencers in Gaithersburg, Maryland for our first ever Diabetes Linkup event.

The #DiabetesLinkup provided a forum for open dialogue around unmet needs in diabetes and how together, through strength in numbers, we can bridge those gaps for the more than 29.1 million Americans living with diabetes. All agreed that the DOC plays a critical role for people living with diabetes. “The DOC can cure a lot of loneliness and gives people a little extra something to help them turn the corner with their diabetes. We have, and will continue to have, the opportunity to help people learn more about their diabetes,” said Diabetes Linkup participant, Anna Norton, of DiabetesSisters.

The event was kicked off with a presentation from Sally Okun, Vice President of Advocacy, Policy & Patient Safety at PatientsLikeMe, with whom AstraZeneca has a five-year research collaboration to use patient-reported data to shape future medicine development and help improve patient outcomes.  Sally discussed the work the organization is doing to improve the lives of patients through new knowledge derived from shared real-world experiences and outcomes aggregated in the online community, specifically around diabetes.

FullSizeRenderParticipants had an opportunity to hear from John Yee, M.D., Vice President and Head of Medical Affairs, U.S. Diabetes on AstraZeneca’s work in diabetes, as well as the chance to tour MedImmune research labs, including the cardiovascular and metabolic lab, to learn more about the scientific research underway at AstraZeneca. Science is at the core of all we do at AstraZeneca and informs the advancement of the approach to diabetes. “You need to leverage the science – it can play a major role in shifting the mindset, particularly that type 2 diabetes is not just about being overweight,” said Kate Cornell who blogs at Kate’s Sweet Success and The Type 2 Experience. “If the message can be shifted away from ‘lose some weight,’ more people are going to listen.”

IMG_2074An interactive lunch featured a selection of recipes from AstraZeneca’s Fit2Me tool, a free type 2 diabetes lifestyle support program focused on four key areas of diabetes care—food, activity, treatment information, and support. The group also sampled two flavorful vegetable dishes made onsite by Sam Talbot, a Top Chef season 2 semi-finalist who has type 1 diabetes and is a founder of Beyond Type 1, a non-profit organization which seeks to bring a new level of respect, understanding and support for those living with type 1 diabetes. Sam shared his philosophy of diabetes management – no foods are completely forbidden, but he focuses on moderation and uses fresh, sustainable ingredients whenever possible.

While the event offered a range of activities and guest speakers, the most meaningful component was the opportunity for live discussion on important topics ranging from how the DOC can provide peer support to the current challenges facing those living with diabetes. AstraZeneca thanks everyone for their participation in the inaugural Diabetes Linkup and looks forward to future opportunities to engage with this impactful group of individuals.

Empowering People to Improve Heart Health

By Rich Buckley, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, North America and President, AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation

Rich-Buckley2People have the power to improve heart health. It’s a simple phrase, but one that seems to falter against such an intractable, national burden like cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death in the United States. Can individuals really turn the tide against heart disease and its associated risk factors such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity? I believe the answer is a resounding “yes.”

I’m proud to serve as President of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, which awards Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM (CCH) grants to nonprofit organizations across the country that work to improve cardiovascular health at the community level by reaching one person at a time with care, resources and support. The Foundation and its CCH Grant Awardees share the belief that we can support people in their ability to improve heart health.

AZHCF 2014 Annual ReportThe AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s 2014 annual report shows how these awardees have empowered people to improve their cardiovascular health, one step at a time. The report highlights their innovative community programs – and individuals who found the support to change their health and lives.

One individual, a young man named Eric, participated in West Virginia Health Right’s first CCH-funded program, Pathways to Cardiovascular Health. He struggled with obesity and type 2 diabetes and had hit a plateau after losing 70 pounds. Eric and his father attended the program’s healthy cooking and diabetes education classes and as a result, Eric lost an additional 50 pounds and reduced his Hemoglobin A1C level by a third. His journey didn’t stop there. Eric’s inspirational story was highlighted in the local newspaper, and he convinced his mother to join West Virginia Health Right’s newest CCH-funded weight loss program, SCALE (Sustainable Changes and Lifestyle Enhancement). Eric and his family are continuing to build a healthy lifestyle together, step by step.

To date, CCH grant awardees have reached over one million hearts through various outreach and educational efforts, and actively tracked over 40,000 people for improvements. Program participants have lost weight, reduced their blood sugar levels, increased their health knowledge and more. And like Eric, they’re connecting with others to share what they have learned. Kids are putting more vegetables on their plates and encouraging their parents to do the same. Other participants mentor friends who are looking to improve their cardiovascular health. This is the core of the CCH program – supporting meaningful heart health change at the individual level, and fostering connections to spread that change to others. By empowering one person at a time to improve their heart health, we can begin a ripple effect that will improve the health of communities and generations.

You can learn more about the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation by visiting our website, following us on Twitter or watching us on YouTube.

Pictured Above: Robin and her children, Ryleigh and Austyn, participants in Ashland-Boyd County Health Department’s CCH-funded A.P.P.L.E. program

Celebrating 10 Years of Exenatide: The First GLP-1 RA Treatment Option

When BYETTA® (exenatide) injection was approved as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2005, headlines over the following few days highlighted its unique origin:

“FDA OKs Lizard-Derived Shot for Diabetes” – Associated Press

“Lizard Is Source of Newest Diabetes Drug” – Los Angeles Times

“Lizard-Derived Diabetes Drug Is Approved by the F.D.A.” – The New York Times

“FDA OKs Lizard Spit Drug for Diabetes” – WebMD

Though the Gila monster may have led the news, the real story was that with the approval of BYETTA, adult patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and prescribers had a new class of diabetes treatment – called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists, or GLP-1 RAs. The GLP-1 RA class was a new therapeutic option that worked differently from other diabetes medications available at that time.

“As the first GLP-1 receptor agonist approved to treat type 2 diabetes, BYETTA offered a new treatment approach for adult patients who were struggling to meet their A1C goals,” said Dr. Ralph DeFronzo, Deputy Director of the Texas Diabetes Institute and an early clinical researcher of exenatide. “BYETTA helped kick off an era of development that changed the diabetes treatment landscape dramatically over the past decade.”

Dr. Ralph DeFronzo was an early investigator and adopter of exenatide.

Dr. Ralph DeFronzo was an early investigator and adopter of exenatide.

“At the time of its launch, BYETTA was considered the most innovative new type 2 diabetes products since the early 1990s,” said Curtis Carter, Director of Advocacy, AstraZeneca, who was Manager of Professional Education during the BYETTA approval. “The response from the physician and advocacy community was tremendous. Everyone was excited about the approval, because they knew BYETTA offered another critical treatment option that could help a large number of adults with type 2 diabetes manage the condition.”

Exenatide is the synthetic version of a protein called exendin-4, which comes from the saliva of the Gila monster. Since the launch of BYETTA, AstraZeneca has developed a new formulation and delivery methods for exenatide. In 2012, the FDA approved BYDUREON® (exenatide extended-release) for injectable suspension, the first once-weekly treatment, indicated as an adjunct to diet and exercise, to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes. Originally packaged as a single-dose tray, in 2014 AstraZeneca additionally launched the BYDUREON Pen, a pre-filled, single-use pen. The extensive exenatide clinic trial program has helped to inform changes in medical guidelines for treating adults with type 2 diabetes, such as the American Diabetes Association’s recommendations for managing diabetes.

Exenatide-based products are now marketed in more than 80 countries worldwide, and it is estimated that more than 2 million people have used exenatide products since the launch of BYETTA. Over the past 10 years, the GLP-1 receptor agonist class has grown to include five marketed products in the U.S.

Diabetes is projected to affect more than 592 million people by 2035. To help address the treatment needs of people with diabetes, AstraZeneca will continue to push the boundaries of science in an effort to create life-changing medicines. Additionally, AstraZeneca offers market-leading resources such as SteadySTART, a robust program that connects adults with type 2 diabetes with a live clinical educator, as well as Fit2Me™, a comprehensive, online, personalized diet and lifestyle support program.


BYETTA is an injectable prescription medicine that may improve blood sugar (glucose) control in adults with type 2 diabetes, when used with diet and exercise. BYETTA is not insulin and should not be taken instead of insulin. BYETTA can be used with Lantus® (insulin glargine), which is a long-acting insulin, but should not be taken with short- and/or rapid-acting insulin.

BYETTA should not be used in people with type 1 diabetes or people with diabetic ketoacidosis (a condition caused by very high blood sugar). BYETTA is not recommended for use in children. BYETTA has not been studied in people who have pancreatitis. BYETTA should not be used in people who have severe kidney problems.


  • Do not take BYETTA if you have had an allergic reaction to exenatide or any of the other ingredients in BYETTA. Severe allergic reactions can happen with BYETTA. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include severe rash or itching, swelling of your face, lips, and throat that may cause difficulty breathing or swallowing, feeling faint or dizzy and very rapid heartbeat. If you have any symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, stop taking BYETTA and get medical help right away.
  • Do not share your BYETTA Pen with other people, even if the needle has been changed. You may give other people a serious infection, or get a serious infection from them.
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) may happen, which may be severe and lead to death. Before taking BYETTA, tell your healthcare provider if you have had pancreatitis, stones in your gallbladder (gallstones), a history of alcoholism, or high blood triglyceride levels. Stop taking BYETTA and call your healthcare provider right away if you have pain in your stomach area (abdomen) that is severe, and will not go away, occurs with or without vomiting or is felt going from your abdomen through to your back. These may be symptoms of pancreatitis.
  • Your risk for getting low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is higher if you take BYETTA with another medicine that can cause low blood sugar, such as a sulfonylurea or insulin. The dose of your sulfonylurea or insulin medicine may need to be lowered while you use BYETTA. Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar may include headache, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, confusion, irritability, hunger, fast heartbeat, sweating, and feeling jittery.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have or had kidney problems or a kidney transplant. BYETTA may cause new or worse problems with the way your kidneys work. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that will not go away, or if you cannot take liquids by mouth.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have severe problems with your stomach, such as delayed emptying of your stomach (gastroparesis) or problems with digesting food.
  • The most common side effects with BYETTA include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, feeling jittery, dizziness, headache, acid stomach, constipation, and weakness. Nausea most commonly happens when first starting BYETTA, but may become less over time.
  • Before using BYETTA, tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, as taking them with BYETTA may affect how each medicine works. Tell your healthcare provider if you take other diabetes medicines, especially insulin or a sulfonylurea, or birth control pills, an antibiotic, warfarin sodium (Coumadin® or Jantoven®), a blood pressure medicine, water pill, pain medicine, or lovastatin (Altoprev®, Mevacor®, or Advicor®). Take your birth control pills or antibiotics at least one hour before injecting BYETTA.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if BYETTA will harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider first if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please click here for Medication Guide and click here for US Full Prescribing Information for BYETTA (exenatide) injection.

BYDUREON® (exenatide extended-release) for injectable suspension was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012 as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes. BYDUREON should not be used for treatment of patients with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. BYDUREON is not recommended as first-line therapy for patients who have inadequate glycemic control on diet and exercise. BYDUREON is not a substitute for insulin. The concurrent use of BYDUREON with insulin has not been studied and is not recommended.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION for BYDUREON® (exenatide extended-release) for injectable suspension

  • POSSIBLE THYROID TUMORS, INCLUDING CANCER: Tell your healthcare provider if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer. In animal studies, BYDUREON and medicines that work like it caused thyroid tumors, including thyroid cancer. It is not known if BYDUREON will cause thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in people.
  • Do not use BYDUREON if you or any of your family members have ever had MTC or if you have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).
  • Do not use BYDUREON if you have had an allergic reaction to exenatide or any of the other ingredients in BYDUREON.

BYDUREON may cause serious side effects, including:             

  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).Stop using BYDUREON and call your healthcare provider right away if you have severe pain in your stomach area (abdomen) that will not go away, with or without vomiting. You may feel the pain from your abdomen to your back
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).Your risk for getting low blood sugar may be higher if you use BYDUREON with another medicine that can cause low blood sugar, such as a sulfonylurea or insulin. Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar may include dizziness or lightheadedness, sweating, confusion or drowsiness, headache, blurred vision, slurred speech, shakiness, fast heartbeat, anxiety, irritability, mood changes, hunger, weakness, or feeling jittery
  • Kidney problems (kidney failure).Tell your healthcare provider if you have or had kidney problems. In people who have kidney problems, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting may cause a loss of fluids (dehydration) which may cause kidney problems to get worse
  • Stomach problems.Tell your healthcare provider if you have severe problems with your stomach, such as delayed emptying of your stomach (gastroparesis) or problems digesting food. Other medicines like BYDUREON may cause severe stomach problems. It is not known if BYDUREON causes or worsens stomach problems
  • Serious allergic reactions.Stop using BYDUREON and get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including itching, rash, or difficulty breathing
  • Injection-site reactions.Serious injection-site reactions, with or without bumps (nodules), have happened in some people who use BYDUREON. Some of these injection-site reactions have required surgery. Call your healthcare provider if you have any symptoms of injection-site reactions, including severe pain, swelling, blisters, an open wound, or a dark scab

The most common side effects with BYDUREON may include nausea, diarrhea, headache, vomiting, constipation, itching at the injection site, a small bump (nodule) at the injection site, and indigestion. Nausea is most common when you first start using BYDUREON, but decreases over time in most people as their body gets used to the medicine.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements, as taking them with BYDUREON may affect how each medicine works.

Before using BYDUREON, talk to your healthcare provider about low blood sugar and how to manage it. Tell your healthcare provider if you are taking other diabetes medicines, including insulin or sulfonylureas.

Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if BYDUREON will harm your unborn baby. Talk to your healthcare provider first if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.


BYDUREON is an injectable prescription medicine that may improve blood sugar (glucose) in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus, and should be used along with diet and exercise.

BYDUREON is not recommended as the first choice of medicine for treating diabetes.

BYDUREON is not a substitute for insulin and is not for people with type 1 diabetes or people with diabetic ketoacidosis.

BYDUREON is a long-acting form of the medication in BYETTA® (exenatide) injection so both drugs should not be used at the same time.

It is not known if BYDUREON can be used in people with a history of pancreatitis or if BYDUREON is safe and effective for use in children.

Please click here for Medication Guide, and click here for Full Prescribing Information for BYDUREON 2 mg, including Boxed WARNING about possible thyroid tumors including thyroid cancer.

3156200 Last Updated 8/15

Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes with AZ Patient Support Programs

Eat right. Exercise regularly. Sleep well. Take your medications. Managing type 2 diabetes can be challenging, if not sometimes overwhelming. With more than 29 million Americans living with diabetes, AstraZeneca has developed a number of resources that help people living with diabetes navigate their own personal journey with the condition while establishing healthy habits.


Our newest program, Fit2Me™, offers free type 2 diabetes diet and lifestyle support covering four key areas of diabetes care: food, activity, treatment information and support. Fit2Me allows patients to pick their favorite ingredients, cuisines and fitness activities to build a customized lifestyle plan based on their individual preferences. Love pasta? Fit2Me has 601 diabetes-friendly pasta dishes. Craving dessert? Fit2Me has 902 healthy dessert options. Trying to implement a new cardio routine? Fit2Me has 144 cardio exercises to try out. Fit2Me also provides a personalized digital health coach to help guide each patient’s journey and track their progress.


Fit2Me includes interactive games, team challenges and rewards to encourage individuals to reach their personal goals. But Fit2Me is more than just fun and games – it also includes access to diabetes health resources like type 2 diabetes-trained nurses, certified diabetes educators and assistance verifying insurance coverage.


AstraZeneca also offers SteadySTART™, a diabetes education program that focuses on helping adults with type 2 diabetes by offering them access to Clinical Educators, who  provide participants education focused on healthy eating and being active, as well as treatment support. SteadySTART has both full-time and on-demand Clinical Educators available to help in face-to-face meetings or over the phone. For those patients who prefer group support, the program offers educational sessions, where educators provide resources and lead discussions and activities.

Clinical Educators help patients get started with their treatment and continue to check in throughout the process to ensure patients are on the right track to reach their goals. With check-ins at day 7, day 30, day 60 and day 90, Clinical Educators offer support and encouragement, answer questions, keep patients on track and help them plan for future success.

AZ&ME Prescription Savings Program

AstraZeneca supports patient access to treatments, including diabetes medications, through the AZ&ME Prescription Savings Programs, which is designed to help provide AstraZeneca medications to qualifying people without insurance, those in Medicare Part D and those who receive their medications through participating healthcare facilities.

Patients without insurance or with Medicare Part D can sign up for the program at no cost and remain enrolled for one calendar year, when they can reapply for the following calendar year. Medicines are mailed to the patient’s home or physician’s office at no cost and the patient, physician or caregiver can request refills.

The AZ&Me Prescription Savings program for healthcare facilities is designed to help provide AstraZeneca medicines to low-income patients through qualifying facilities such as disproportionate share hospitals, community health centers, community free clinics, central fill pharmacies and charitable pharmacies. Facilities enrolled in the program can dispense AstraZeneca medicines at no cost or for a nominal, facility-assessed dispensing fee from their outpatient pharmacy or dispensary to qualified patients.

AstraZeneca values the importance of resources, support and information needed for a more positive health care experience, and continuously looks for ways to support patients who want to better manage their type 2 diabetes.

DiabetesSisters: Empowering Women with Diabetes

By Brandy Barnes, Founder, DiabetesSisters

Brandy Barnes

Being diagnosed with diabetes as a young woman in the early 1990s, I was astounded by the lack of services and resources available to women like me. Facing a new and complex diagnosis as a teenager, I experienced firsthand the obstacles associated with diabetes. Through my experiences, I recognized the heightened difficulty that women with diabetes face, as well as the sheer absence of valuable resources and support. This important realization led to the formation of DiabetesSisters, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the health and quality of life of women with diabetes, and to advocate on their behalf.

During this National Women’s Health Week, I proudly stand behind its goal to empower women to make their health a priority. At DiabetesSisters, we also aim to do just that – through offering a range of education and support services, the organization helps women of all ages with diabetes to live healthier, fuller lives.
NWHW logo

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes currently affects 29.1 million people in the United States, 13.4 million of which are women. Globally, diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women, accounting for 2.1 million deaths per year, according to the International Diabetes Federation. In 2013, there were an estimated 184 million women with diabetes in the world – a number expected to rise to 288 million by 2030.

Women with diabetes face unique challenges and health risks when compared to their male counterparts with diabetes and their female counterparts who do not have diabetes. Women with diabetes must plan childbearing carefully, being sure they keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible in order to protect both mother and baby. Additionally, for women who do not already have diabetes, pregnancy brings the risk of gestational diabetes where pregnant women experience high blood sugar levels. Not only do hormones have an effect on managing blood glucose levels – during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause – but women also face additional health risks such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, depression, eating disorders, and body image issues. For these reasons, women-specific resources are vital to the overall health, well-being, and longevity of women with diabetes.

When it comes to dealing with a chronic illness like diabetes, women tend to seek out ongoing peer support. DiabetesSisters believes all women with diabetes should have access to a healthy support system that includes peers with diabetes. This provides encouragement, empowerment, and education with the purpose of helping each woman reach her full potential in life. We at DiabetesSisters believe that an empowered, informed woman with diabetes is a healthy woman with diabetes.

If you or a woman you know has diabetes, I urge you to join the network and support other women living with diabetes. DiabetesSisters is hopeful for a future when women with diabetes talk freely about their disease; when the differences between women and men with diabetes are acknowledged, researched and understood; and when women with diabetes around the world declare their health a top priority.

About Brandy Barnes, Founder of DiabetesSisters
Brandy Barnes was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 15 and through her personal experiences, discovered that she wanted to help other women with the disease. She therefore founded DiabetesSisters in 2008, a place where women with diabetes could get answers and support. 

« Older Entries