Adlyxin (Lixisenatide) – Subcutaneous

What Is Adlyxin?

Adlyxin (lixisenatide) is an injectable medication used to lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It is part of a drug class known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists.

Lixisenatide works by affecting two hormones in your body that control your blood sugar: glucagon and insulin. It reduces the amount of glucagon made, increases glucose-dependent insulin secretion, and slows stomach emptying.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Lixisenatide

Brand Name: Adlyxin

Drug Availability: Prescription

Administration Route: Subcutaneous

Therapeutic Classification: Antidiabetic

Available Generically: No

Controlled Substance: N/A

Active Ingredient: Lixisenatide

Dosage Form: Subcutaneous injectable solution

What Is Adlyxin Used For?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Adlyxin for use along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It is used in people who have already tried or cannot take metformin

Your healthcare provider may tell you to take this drug in addition to your other diabetes medicines.

This drug is not for people with type 1 diabetes or with diabetic ketoacidosis. Your provider may also not prescribe Adlyxin for you if you have chronic pancreatitis, a history of unexplained pancreatitis, or gastroparesis.

Adlyxin (Lixisenatide) Drug Information - Illustration by Zoe Hansen

Verywell / Zoe Hansen

How to Use Adlyxin

You can administer Adlyxin by yourself as directed by your healthcare provider. 

Give yourself the shot within one hour before the first meal of the day, preferably before the same meal each day. Wash your hands before and after use. 

Take the following steps to administer:

Step 1: Inspect your drug

  • Make sure the drug solution is clear and colorless. 
  • Do not use it if it is leaking or cloudy, or if there are particles or any color change.

Step 2: Activate a new prefilled pen before first use. Do this only for new pens before the first injection. Do not repeat the activation steps for the following injections.

  • Pull the cap off the pen.
  • Check that the liquid is clear.
  • Attach a new needle by removing the protective cap from the outer needle, lining up the needle with the pen, pushing the needle cap straight onto the pen, and screwing the needle on securely.
  • Remove the outer cap by pulling straight off.
  • Pull the injection button out until it stops.
  • Firmly press and hold the injection button to discard liquid.
  • Inject into a tissue or a container (and not into your skin).
  • Hold button down for another two seconds.
  • Check that the activation window appears white.

Step 3: Give yourself the dose

  • First, clean your skin where you will inject the solution (the injection site).
  • Attach a new needle onto the prefilled pen. (Use a new pen needle for each shot.)
  • Remove the pen needle caps by pulling straight out before giving a dose.
  • Pull the injection button out until it firmly stops.
  • Press against your skin and hold the injection button to inject the solution into the fatty part of your thigh, upper arm, or belly area. 
  • Once given, continue to press the button down until it stops and for an extra two seconds. 
  • Remove and discard the needle and replace the cap.

Rotate the drug injection sites on your body. Do not share your pens, even if you changed the needles. It may increase your risk of infection.

If you have any questions about your pen needle or how to use it, ask your healthcare provider. Continue using your medicine even if you feel well.

Do not reuse your needles. Instead, dispose of them in a needle/sharps disposal box. When the container is full (preferably, three-quarters full), follow the proper procedure to discard them. Ask your pharmacist or doctor about the right way to toss your pens and unused and expired medicines.

Hormonal birth control pills may affect this drug. Take your birth control one hour before or at least 11 hours after your shot.

Storage

Before use, store the unopened pens in the refrigerator. The temperature should be between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave in its original package and do not freeze.

 After use:

  1. Store it at room temperature.
  2. Take off the needle. Do not store the pen with the needle on it.
  3. Toss the pen 14 days after first use.

Keep your medication away from children and pets. Discard all unused and expired medications. Do not toss down the drain, sink, or toilet. Ask your pharmacist about the best ways to dispose of your medicine. Check out drug take-back programs in your area.

How Long Does Adlyxin Take to Work?

Adlyxin starts working once you inject it and takes one to 3.5 hours to peak in your body.

What Are the Side Effects of Adlyxin?

This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. A medical professional can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a medical professional. You may report side effects to the FDA at www.fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.

Some people may have little to no side effects while on lixisenatide. Call your healthcare provider if you have side effects that do not go away or that become bothersome.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects of Adlyxin include:

Severe Side Effects

Call your provider promptly if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if you feel that your symptoms are life-threatening. Some severe side effects of lixisenatide include:

Signs of pancreas problems:

  • Stomach pain that persists and may shoot to the back
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe vomiting

Signs of kidney problems:

  • Inability to pass urine
  • Blood in the urine
  • Change in the amount of urine passed

Signs of an allergic reaction:

  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in the chest or throat
  • Swelling of the face, tongue, mouth, lips, or throat

Signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia):

  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Hunger
  • Shaking
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Sweating

The risk of having low blood sugar increases if you are taking other medications used for diabetes. If you have any symptoms of low blood sugar, call your provider right away. Your provider may instruct you to take fruit juice (orange juice), glucose tablets, or liquid glucose.

Lixisenatide may also increase your risk of bile duct and gallbladder disease, including gallstones and inflammation.

Dosage: How Much of Adlyxin Should I Take?

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For diabetes mellitus:
      • Adults—At first, 10 micrograms (mcg) injected under the skin once a day for 14 days. Your doctor may increase your dose to 20 mcg once a day starting on Day 15 and until your blood sugar is controlled.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

Inject a missed dose within one hour of your next meal. If it is too close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not inject extra doses or two doses at the same time.

Overdose: What Happens If I Take Too Much Adlyxin?

Overdose symptoms may include chest pain, excessive sweating, or abnormal heartbeat. Taking more than the recommended dose over time can also increase the risk of gastrointestinal disorders.

Call your medical provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222) right away if you think you or someone else may have swallowed or overdosed on Adlyxin.

If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Adlyxin, call 911 immediately.

What Happens If I Overdose on Adlyxin?

If you think someone may have overdosed on Adlyxin, contact a healthcare provider or Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222.

If a person has collapsed or is not breathing after a suspected overdose, call 911.

Precautions

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It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

It is very important to carefully follow any instructions from your health care team about:

  • Alcohol—Drinking alcohol may cause severe low blood sugar. Discuss this with your health care team.
  • Other medicines—Do not take other medicines during the time you are using lixisenatide unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This especially includes nonprescription medicines such as aspirin, and medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems.
  • Counseling—Other family members need to learn how to prevent side effects or help with side effects if they occur. Also, diabetic patients may need special counseling about diabetes medicine dosing changes that might occur because of lifestyle changes, such as changes in exercise and diet. Furthermore, counseling on contraception and pregnancy may be needed because of the problems that can occur during pregnancy in patients with diabetes.
  • Travel—Keep a recent prescription and your medical history with you. Be prepared for an emergency as you would normally. Make allowances for changing time zones and keep your meal times as close as possible to your usual meal times.
  • In case of emergency—There may be a time when you need emergency help for a problem caused by your diabetes. You need to be prepared for these emergencies. It is a good idea to wear a medical identification (ID) bracelet or neck chain at all times. Also, carry an ID card in your wallet or purse that says that you have diabetes and a list of all of your medicines.

Pancreatitis may occur while you are using this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you have sudden and severe stomach pain, chills, constipation, nausea, vomiting, fever, or lightheadedness.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Check with your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, mouth, or throat while you are using this medicine.

This medicine does not cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). However, low blood sugar can occur when you use lixisenatide with other medicines that can lower blood sugar, such as insulin, metformin, or a sulfonylurea. Low blood sugar also can occur if you delay or miss a meal or snack, exercise more than usual, drink alcohol, or cannot eat because of nausea or vomiting.

  • Symptoms of low blood sugar include anxiety, behavior change similar to being drunk, blurred vision, cold sweats, confusion, cool, pale skin, difficulty with thinking, drowsiness, excessive hunger, a fast heartbeat, headache (continuing), nausea, nervousness, nightmares, restless sleep, shakiness, slurred speech, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
  • If symptoms of low blood sugar occur, eat glucose tablets or gel, corn syrup, honey, or sugar cubes, or drink fruit juice, non-diet soft drink, or sugar dissolved in water to relieve the symptoms. Also, check your blood for low blood sugar. Glucagon is used in emergency situations when severe symptoms such as seizures (convulsions) or unconsciousness occur. Have a glucagon kit available, along with a syringe and needle, and know how to use it. Members of your family also should know how to use it.

Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) may occur if you do not take enough or skip a dose of your antidiabetic medicine, overeat or do not follow your meal plan, have a fever or infection, or do not exercise as much as usual.

  • Symptoms of high blood sugar include blurred vision, drowsiness, dry mouth, flushed, dry skin, fruit-like breath odor, increased urination (frequency and amount), ketones in the urine, loss of appetite, stomachache, nausea, or vomiting, tiredness, troubled breathing (rapid and deep), unconsciousness, or unusual thirst.
  • If symptoms of high blood sugar occur, check your blood sugar level and then call your doctor for instructions.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

What Are Reasons I Shouldn't Take Adlyxin? 

Do not use Adlyxin if you have:

What Other Medications Interact With Adlyxin?

Some drugs may worsen the side effects of Adlyxin. You should avoid taking this medication with Victoza (liraglutide) or Ozempic (semaglutide).

Tell your healthcare provider if you also take:

  • Antibiotics or the pain reliever acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol)
  • Birth control pills
  • Other diabetes medications, such as sulfonylurea medications or insulin

What Medications Are Similar?

Other injectable diabetes medications that are similar to Adlyxin include:

These drugs share similar side effects, including the risk of heart and pancreatic problems. They are used in people who have already tried taking or cannot take metformin (brands include Glucophage, Riomet, and Glumetza).

This is a list of drugs also prescribed for diabetes. It is not a list of drugs recommended to take with Adlyxin. In fact, you should not take these drugs together. Ask your pharmacist or a healthcare provider if you have questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does Adlyxin treat?

    Adlyxin is used to lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Adlyxin?

    Inject the missed dose within an hour of your next dose. If it is too close to the next dose, skip the missed dose. Go back to your regular dosing frequency. Do not inject extra or double the quantity.

  • How long does it take for Adlyxin to work?

    Adlyxin takes about one to 3.5 hours to reach peak concentration in your body.

  • What are the common side effects of Adlyxin?

    Common side effects of Adlyxin include:

    • Headache 
    • Diarrhea
    • Upset stomach
    • Dizziness 
    • Throwing up
  • Can I use Adlyxin if I have type 1 diabetes?

    No. Do not use Adlyxin if you have type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis.

    Only use this medication for type 2 diabetes.

  • Can hormonal birth control affect Adlyxin?

    Yes. Hormonal birth control pills may interact with this medicine. Take your birth control pill at least one hour before your injection or at least 11 hours after your injection.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Adlyxin?

Living with diabetes is a lifelong effort that involves healthy living and exercise. To stay healthy, be mindful of what you eat and take your medicine regularly (even if you feel well). Before starting a new diet or exercise plan, let your healthcare provider know as it may affect your blood sugar. 

Stressful times, including when you have infections, fever, or surgery, may make it difficult for you to control your blood sugar. Try to avoid stress when possible. 

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare professional. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some of the drug content, as indicated on the page.

3 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Food and Drug Administration. Adlyxin label.

  2. Aschenbrenner DS. New injectable drug for type 2 diabetes. The American Journal of Nursing. 2016;116(11):22-23. doi:10.1097/01.NAJ.0000505586.55332.9d

  3. Leon N, LaCoursiere R, Yarosh D, Patel RS. Lixisenatide (Adlyxin). P T. 2017;42(11):676-711.

By Queen Buyalos, PharmD
Queen Buyalos is a pharmacist and freelance medical writer. She takes pride in advocating for cancer prevention, overall health, and mental health education. Queen enjoys counseling and educating patients about drug therapy and translating complex ideas into simple language.