Compare Byetta vs. Januvia

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

Byetta
(Exenatide)

Januvia
(Sitagliptin)

Lowers your blood sugar. Byetta (Exenatide) helps lower blood sugar for people with diabetes and causes weight loss, but it has to be given by injection and many people have upset stomach.Lowers blood sugar. Januvia (Sitagliptin) is a good add-on treatment if your blood sugar is still too high, but you don't want to use an injectable medicine.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Januvia (Sitagliptin)
43%
57% vs. Byetta (Exenatide)
34%
66% vs. Byetta (Exenatide)
17%
17% vs. Byetta (Exenatide)
Side effects
ByettaJanuvia
  • Low blood sugar 33%
  • Nausea 26%
  • Vomiting 14%
  • Headache 10%
  • Diarrhea 10%
  • Constipation 8%
  • Indigestion 6%
  • Feeling jittery 5%
  • Muscle weakness 4%
  • Dizziness 3%
More Byetta side effects »
  • Common cold 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
More Januvia side effects »
How it works
ByettaJanuvia
Byetta (Exenatide) is a medication for diabetes. It stimulates your body to produce and release more insulin, lower the sugar hormone (glucagon), and slow down digestion.Januvia (Sitagliptin) is an anti-diabetic drug. It helps your body release more insulin in order to lower blood sugar.
Type of medication
ByettaJanuvia
Anti-diabetic
Incretin mimetic
Prescription only
Anti-diabetic
DPP-4 inhibitor
Prescription only
Available as
ByettaJanuvia
  • Injection
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
ByettaJanuvia
Risk factors for serious side effects
ByettaJanuvia
        • Severe renal impairment
        • End-stage renal disease
        • Severe gastrointestinal disease
        • Gastroparesis
          Detailed Byetta (Exenatide) risks & warnings »
              Detailed Januvia (Sitagliptin) risks & warnings »
              Pregnancy category
              ByettaJanuvia
              CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

              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.

              See the FDA package insert
              BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

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

              See the FDA package insert
              Alcohol
              No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
              Food
              • Give injections in your belly, thighs, or upper arm within an hour of your two main meals of the day (separate doses by 6 or more hours).
              • Eat regular, balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
              No specific food-related info.
              Kidneys and liver
              • 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 specific kidneys and liver-related info.
              Sex
              No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
              Sleep
              No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
              Weight
              • Can lower your appetite by making you feel full. Some people also lose weight when taking Byetta (Exenatide).
              • Unlike some diabetes medicines, it's unlikely to cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
              Upsides and benefits
              ByettaJanuvia
              • Lowers A1c levels by 1% (A1c measures your average blood sugar over time.)
              • Prevents the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs.
              • Has a lower chance of causing low blood sugar than medications like glyburide or insulin.
              • Can lower your appetite by making you feel full. Some people also lose weight when taking Byetta (Exenatide).
              • Byetta (Exenatide) is not a replacement for diabetes pills, but you may be able to use it alone without the need for pills.
              • The injectable “pen” has easy to use doses which you may find more convenient than other types of injections.
              • Oral blood sugar-lowering medicine.
              • Lowers A1c levels by 0.5-0.8%. (Hemoglobin A1c measures your average blood sugar over time.)
              • Prevents the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
              • Uses the hormones naturally produced by your body to affect how sugar is processed.
              • Unlike some diabetes medicines, it's unlikely to cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
              • You don't have to check your blood sugar every day with this medicine.
              Downsides and risks
              ByettaJanuvia
              • Only lowers A1c levels by 1%, which may not be enough to get your blood sugar in the safe range.
              • Byetta (Exenatide) must be injected twice a day.
              • Up to 40% of people taking Byetta (Exenatide) have upset stomach and side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or indigestion.
              • Because Byetta (Exenatide) can interact with antibiotics and birth control pills, you can't take it until one hour after these medications.
              • Other diabetes medications work as well and are cheaper.
              • Not as strong as other diabetes medicines. Your doctor might add it to your blood sugar-lowering regimen if your sugar levels are still too high.
              • Likely expensive since there's no generic version available.
              • Some people might get frequent throat infections or nasal congestion.
              Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
              ByettaJanuvia
              • Store in the refrigerator until opening. Do not freeze.
              • Give injections in your belly, thighs, or upper arm within an hour of your two main meals of the day (separate doses by 6 or more hours).
              • Change the needle and prime the pen every time you inject.
              • It’s not safe to share this medication with other people, even if you change the needle.
              • Don’t mix with insulin; give separate injections. Can be given at the same time as insulin, but in different injection areas.
              • Eat regular, balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
              • It's best to check your blood sugar at least once a day using a home blood sugar monitor to make sure your medication is working and is safe. Some people may need to test more often, ask your doctor.
              • Can cause headache and cold-like symptoms.
              • Tell your doctor about persistent stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite.
              • Can be expensive depending on insurance coverage.
              • Check your blood sugar regularly.
              Learn more
              More about ByettaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
              More about JanuviaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert