Compare Byetta vs. Human Insulin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Byetta
(exenatide)

Humulin
(human insulin)

Lowers blood sugar. Byetta (Exenatide) can lower your blood sugars in addition to metformin. It does not increase your appetite unlike some other anti-diabetics, but must be given by injection and usually causes upset stomach.Lowers blood sugar. This form of insulin is one of the few medications in its class that you can get without a prescription, but it's expensive.
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Coupons for Byetta
Best available price for 2.4 (10mcg) pens of byetta
Coupons for Human Insulin
Best available price for 15 (five 3ml kwikpens of 100 units/ml) cartons of humulin-n
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Byetta (exenatide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Human Insulin
67%
-17% worse vs. Byetta
46%
+4% better vs. Byetta
11%
+11% better vs. Byetta
Have you used Humulin (human insulin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ByettaHuman Insulin
  • Low blood sugar 11%
  • Nausea 33%
  • Diarrhea 10%
  • Vomiting 14%
  • Headache 10%
  • Constipation 8%
  • Indigestion 5%
  • Weakness 4%
  • Abdominal swelling 3%
  • Loss of appetite 3%
More Byetta side effects »

The Human Insulin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Human Insulin side effects »
How it works
ByettaHuman Insulin
Byetta (Exenatide) enhances the release of insulin in your gut and pancreas to lower your blood sugar.Insulin is a hormone normally produced by your pancreas. It helps your body absorb and store sugar and fat from your bloodstream.
Type of medication
ByettaHuman Insulin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ByettaHuman Insulin
  • Injection
  • Injection
  • Inhaler
Used for
ByettaHuman Insulin
Risk factors for serious side effects
ByettaHuman Insulin
  • Severe renal impairment
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Severe gastrointestinal disease
  • Gastroparesis
Detailed Byetta (exenatide) risks & warnings »
    Detailed Humulin (human insulin) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy

    Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

    Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    Kidneys and liver
    ByettaHuman Insulin
    • If you have severe kidney or liver problems, you should not take Byetta (Exenatide). Talk to your doctor about testing your kidneys before starting Byetta (Exenatide). People taking medications that are damaging to kidneys such as ACE inhibitors, NSAIDs or diuretics in addition to Byetta (Exenatide) may notice nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
    No kidneys and liver related info.
    Pain
    ByettaHuman Insulin
    • Using Byetta (Exenatide) has been associated with stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If you have severe gastrointestinal disease such as Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, you should talk to your doctor about using a different medicine for diabetes. You should not use Byetta (Exenatide) if you have gastroparesis, a condition that causes slow or irregular digestion. Gastroparesis can be common for people that have had uncontrolled diabetes for a while.
    No pain related info.
    Weight
    ByettaHuman Insulin
    No weight related info.
    • People on Humulin (Human Insulin) can experience weight gain. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about changing your diet if this bothers you.
    Upsides and benefits
    ByettaHuman Insulin
    • Can lower your A1c (average blood sugar over time) by 1%.
    • Not as likely to cause very low blood sugar as glyburine or insulin.
    • Does not increase your appetite like other anti-diabetic medicines.
    • Pen is dialed to a single dose for easy injections.
    • Some types of this medication are available without a prescription.
    • Available as a shot to be injected into the fatty part of the skin, and as a powder to be inhaled through your nose.
    • Available in different combinations so that you can do one shot or multiple shots a day.
    Downsides and risks
    ByettaHuman Insulin
    • Byetta (Exenatide) must be injected twice a day. Other medicines like it can be injected once daily or even weekly.
    • It commonly causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or indigestion.
    • Can affect how well your antibiotics and birth control pills work. Take them no sooner than one hour after your injections.
    • Has to be taken exactly as directed or it can cause high or low blood sugar.
    • As with all insulins, you have to work with your doctor closely to make sure you're giving yourself the correct dose, or you can have low or high blood sugar.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    ByettaHuman Insulin
    • Inject into your belly, thighs, or upper arms within an hour of your main meals.
    • Store unused pens in the refrigerator.
    • After first use, pens can be kept at room temperature for 30 days.
    • Change the needle and prime the pen every time you inject.
    • If you're also on insulin, don't inject into the same site.
    • Best to check your blood sugar once a day to make sure your medicine is working properly.
    • Change the location where you give yourself the shot every time.
    • Don't use if the liquid in the vial looks different than normal.
    • Store the unopened vials in the refrigerator. The used vials can be kept at room temperature for up to 28 days.
    • Take the medication exactly how your doctor tells you to.
    • Know the symptoms of low blood sugar.
    Learn more
    More about ByettaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Byetta (exenatide)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about Human InsulinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Humulin (human insulin)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it