Know Your A1C
By now, you may have received quite a few A1C tests from your healthcare provider. But did you know that the A1C test can help tell you and your healthcare provider how well your blood sugar is being managed over time? You may not be able to feel your medicine working. However, staying on track with your treatment plan can lead to improvements in your A1C.
- Why did my doctor order an A1C test?
Daily blood sugar monitoring only measures your blood sugar at the time of the test. The A1C test, however, measures your average blood sugar level over the previous two to three months. So your doctor can use your A1C results to tell how well your diabetes treatment plan is working over all.
- What do my A1C results mean?
The results of your A1C test are given as a percentage, called your A1C level. The higher your A1C level, the more sugar you have in your blood, and the greater your need for blood sugar control. For most people who have diabetes, an A1C goal of 7% or less is recommended. You can talk to your healthcare provider to get your own personal goal.
- I have my A1C results. What’s next?
When you get your A1C results from your doctor, be sure to keep your number handy. Then compare it with your next test results in a few months to really see how well your blood sugar is managed over time. You could also write your A1C number next to the reason you want to manage your diabetes in the first place. Then put them both somewhere you can see them for a constant, encouraging reminder to help you stay on track.
If your A1C level is higher than it should be, your doctor may recommend a change in your treatment plan in addition to healthy eating and physical activity. When interpreting your A1C test results, keep in mind that the normal range for A1C results may vary somewhat among labs or even doctors.
- How does my A1C percentage relate to my daily blood sugar level?
You should always monitor your daily blood sugar, as instructed by your healthcare provider. You may want to compare those daily results with your most recent A1C results. Here’s how blood sugar self-testing results may compare with A1C levels:
Talk to your healthcare provider to find out more about the A1C test, and to set your own personal A1C goal.
WHAT IS BYDUREON® (exenatide extended-release for injectable suspension)?
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 medication to treat diabetes.
BYDUREON is a long-acting form of the medication in BYETTA® (exenatide) injection so both drugs should not be used together. BYDUREON is not a substitute for insulin and has not been studied in combination with insulin. BYDUREON is not for people with type 1 diabetes or people with diabetic ketoacidosis (a condition caused by very high blood sugar). BYDUREON is not recommended for use in children. It is not known if BYDUREON is safe and effective in people with a history of pancreatitis or severe kidney problems.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION for BYDUREON
- POSSIBLE THYROID TUMORS, INCLUDING CANCER: In animal studies, BYDUREON caused rats to develop tumors of the thyroid gland. Some of these tumors were cancer. It is not known if BYDUREON causes thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) in people. Do not take BYDUREON if you or any of your family members have MTC or if you have Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2. While taking BYDUREON, 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.
- Do not take BYDUREON if you have had an allergic reaction to exenatide or any of the other ingredients in BYDUREON. Severe allergic reactions can happen with BYDUREON. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to BYDUREON are 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 BYDUREON and call your healthcare provider right away.
- Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) may happen, which may be severe and lead to death. Before taking BYDUREON, 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 BYDUREON 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 stomach area through to your back. These may be symptoms of pancreatitis.
- Your risk for getting low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is higher if you take BYDUREON with another medicine that can cause low blood sugar, such as a sulfonylurea. The dose of your sulfonylurea may need to be lowered while you use BYDUREON. Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar may include shakiness, 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. BYDUREON may cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, leading to loss of fluids (dehydration). Dehydration may cause kidney failure; this can happen in people who have never had kidney problems before. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that will not go away or if you cannot drink liquids.
- 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 BYDUREON include nausea, diarrhea, headache, vomiting, constipation, itching at injection site, a small bump (nodule) at the injection site, and indigestion. Nausea most commonly happens when first starting BYDUREON, but may become less over time.
- Before using BYDUREON, tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, as taking them with BYDUREON may affect how each medicine works. Tell your healthcare provider if you take other diabetes medicines, especially insulin or a sulfonylurea, or warfarin sodium (Coumadin® or Jantoven®).
- 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.
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 BYDUREON, including Boxed WARNING about possible thyroid tumors including thyroid cancer.