Non-insulin injectables

There is a type of medication for type 2 diabetes which is injected but is not insulin.

Instead, this medication increases the level of a different hormone, called an ‘incretin’. Incretins are produced in the stomach and they help the body produce more insulin only after food. Incretins also reduce the amount of glucose produced by the liver. And they slow your stomach from emptying, making you feel full for longer.

These non-insulin injectables are called GLP-1 receptor agonists.

Type of non-insulin injectables available in Australia:

GLP-1 RAs

This medication is injected into the fat layer under the skin. One type is taken twice a day half an hour before breakfast and dinner. The other types are taken once a week, at any time of the day.

Brand names include:

Dulaglutide (Trulicity®) – once weekly

Exenatide (quick acting) (Byetta®) – injected twice a day half an hour before meal

Exenatide (extended release) (Bydureon®) – once weekly

Semaglutide (Ozempic®) – once weekly

How do GLP-1RAs lower blood glucose levels?

This medication increases insulin production after meals and decreases glucose release from the liver. It also slows your stomach from emptying.

Side effects

Nausea, vomiting, weight loss.

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