Compare Byetta vs. Januvia

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

Byetta
(exenatide)

Januvia
(sitagliptin)

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 your blood sugar. Januvia (sitagliptin) is a good add-on treatment if your blood sugars are not controlled and you don't want to use an injectable medicine.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Byetta (exenatide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Januvia
44%
+6% better vs. Byetta
34%
+16% better vs. Byetta
17%
+17% better vs. Byetta
143 reviews
Have you used Januvia (sitagliptin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ByettaJanuvia
  • 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 »
  • Common cold 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Upper respiratory infection 3%
  • Headache 1%
More Januvia side effects »
How it works
ByettaJanuvia
Byetta (Exenatide) enhances the release of insulin in your gut and pancreas to lower your blood sugar.Januvia (sitagliptin) is an anti-diabetic drug that enhances your body's release of insulin.
Type of medication
ByettaJanuvia
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ByettaJanuvia
  • Injection
  • Pill
Used for
ByettaJanuvia
Risk factors for serious side effects
ByettaJanuvia
  • Severe renal impairment
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Severe gastrointestinal disease
  • Gastroparesis
Detailed Byetta (exenatide) risks & warnings »
  • History of pancreatitis
  • High blood triglyceride levels
  • Gallstones (stones in gallbladder)
  • History of alchoholism
  • Kidney problems
Detailed Januvia (sitagliptin) 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.

Food
ByettaJanuvia
No food related info.
  • Take once a day in the morning with or without food.
Kidneys and liver
ByettaJanuvia
  • 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.
  • Januvia (sitagliptin) can worsen kidney problems. Your doctor may check your kidney function before and during treatment. Your doctor may have to adjust the dose or stop this medicine based on changes in kidney function.
Pain
ByettaJanuvia
  • 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.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain, nausea, and/or vomiting. These are symptoms of pancreatitis.
Weight
ByettaJanuvia
No weight related info.
  • It is less likely to cause weight gain and low blood sugar compared to other diabetes medicines.
Upsides and benefits
ByettaJanuvia
  • 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.
  • Oral blood sugar-lowering medicine.
  • Januvia (sitagliptin) is not linked to worsening heart failure like other medicines in its class.
  • Uses the hormones naturally produced by your body to affect how sugar is processed.
  • It is less likely to cause weight gain and low blood sugar compared to other diabetes medicines.
Downsides and risks
ByettaJanuvia
  • 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.
  • Lowers A1c (average blood sugar over time) by less than 1%.
  • Available as brand version only.
  • Some people might get frequent cold-like symptoms.
  • Rare but serious side effects include pancreatitis and severe joint pain.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ByettaJanuvia
  • 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.
  • Take once a day in the morning with or without food.
  • Can cause headache and cold-like symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain, nausea, and/or vomiting. These are symptoms of pancreatitis.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you are experiencing severe joint pain.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly to check for low blood sugar.
Learn more
More about ByettaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Byetta (exenatide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about JanuviaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Januvia (sitagliptin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it