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  • Byetta

    I'm having trouble finding any information about Byetta and breastfeeding. Does it pass into milk? Is it orally bioavailable to the infant? Does it affect nursling's blood sugar or anything else?

    My toddler (age 2.5) continues to eagerly breastfeed often. I'm taking metformin and considering adding Byetta, if only I can get some information about its safety in lactation.

    From the perspective of breastfeeding, is there any notable difference between Victoza, Bydureon, or Byetta?

    Thank you!
    Last edited by halpina; 11-23-2012, 01:15 AM. Reason: adding detail

  • #2

    Exenatide promotes insulin release from beta cells in the presence of elevated glucose concentrations. Exenatide is a 39-amino acid peptide and has a molecular weight of 4186 daltons which is far too large to enter milk in clinically relevant amounts. While it is reported to enter rodent milk at extremely low levels, we do not have human studies. The plasma levels of this product are extraordinarily low (picograms), and I would imagine the transfer into human milk is much lower. It would be unlikely that this product would enter milk in clinically relevant amounts, nor would it be orally bioavailable in infants. But as yet, we have no data in breastfeeding mothers and caution is recommended if this product is used.

    Lastly, at 2.5 years postpartum, it is extremely unlikely the infant would be exposed to any exenatide at all.

    Tom Hale Ph.d.


    • #3
      Dr. Hale,
      Does this answer pertain to her question about Bydureon as well? My doctor is currently recommending this for me - my nearly 2 year old is still nursing mornings and evening and the prescription calls for a weekly injection.


      • #4
        Dear Lauralynne,

        Yes, the answer is basically the same. Bydureon is the same generic medication (exenatide) but is the extended release formulation. The plasma level of Bydureon is also in the picogram range so very small thus would not be expected to enter breastmilk in clinically relevant amounts or be orally bioavailable in infants. We do not have data in breastfeeding mothers and thus caution is recommended if this product is used.

        Cindy Pride, MSN, CPNP
        TTUHSC InfantRisk Center