Incretin mimetics

Incretin mimetics / GLP-1 analogues

This type of medication works by increasing the levels of hormones called ‘incretins’. These hormones help the body produce more insulin only when needed and reduce the amount of glucose being produced by the liver when it’s not needed. They reduce the rate at which the stomach digests food and empties, and can also reduce appetite. There are three incretin mimetics currently available: exenatide (Byetta), which is given via a twice-daily injection or one weekly injection (Bydureon), and liraglutide (Victoza)and lixisenatide (Lixumia), which are given via a once-daily injection – but they are not insulin.

Medications in the Incretin mimetic/GLP-1 analogues family

Generic or proper nameBrand or trade name
Exenatide (twice-daily injection) Byetta
Exenatide (once-weekly injection) Bydureon
Liraglutide Victoza
Lixisenatide Lixumia

Side effects

All medication has side effects and you should check the patient information leaflet (PIL) supplied with your medication to see which side effects you might experience from your particular medication. Remember that you are unlikely to experience all side effects that are listed, and you may not experience any at all. If you do, speak to your doctor as there may be another diabetes medication you could try instead.