Compare Byetta vs. metformin

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

Byetta
(exenatide)

Glucophage
(metformin)

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. Glucophage (metformin) is the first choice medicine to control your blood sugar and lower the risk of death from diabetes, although a few people may not tolerate the stomach side effects.
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Coupons for Byetta
Best available price for 1 (10mcg) pen of byetta
Coupons for metformin
Best available price for 60 (500mg) tablets of metformin
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Byetta (exenatide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for metformin
65%
-15% worse vs. Byetta
46%
+4% better vs. Byetta
16%
+16% better vs. Byetta
938 reviews
Have you used Glucophage (metformin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Byettametformin
  • 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 »
  • Diarrhea 41%
  • Nausea/vomiting 18%
  • Gas 6%
  • Weakness 3%
  • Indigestion 3%
  • Stomach pain 1%
  • Headache 1%
More metformin side effects »
How it works
Byettametformin
Byetta (Exenatide) enhances the release of insulin in your gut and pancreas to lower your blood sugar.Glucophage (metformin) is an anti-diabetic drug. It lowers the amount of sugar your body makes or absorbs, and allows your body use the existing insulin better.
Type of medication
Byettametformin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Byettametformin
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
Used for
Byettametformin
Risk factors for serious side effects
Byettametformin
  • Severe renal impairment
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Severe gastrointestinal disease
  • Gastroparesis
Detailed Byetta (exenatide) risks & warnings »
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Using contrast dye for procedures
  • Surgery
Detailed Glucophage (metformin) 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.

Alcohol
Byettametformin
No alcohol related info.
  • Excessive or chronic alcohol use can increase the risk of a dangerous side effect.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol when taking this medicine.
Food
Byettametformin
No food related info.
  • Always take it with food to lessen stomach upset.
Kidneys and liver
Byettametformin
  • 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.
  • Usually not a good choice for people with kidney problems. Your doctor will tell you if Glucophage (metformin) is right for you to take.
  • Glucophage (metformin) can cause this rare life-threatening condition. Your doctor will check your kidneys and liver before you start. Symptoms include deep and rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency and you should get help right away. You're more likely to get this if you already have kidney problems. Glucophage (metformin) should be stopped 48 hours before and after surgery or any imaging procedure needing contrast dye.
Pain
Byettametformin
  • 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
Byettametformin
No weight related info.
  • Doesn't cause weight gain.
Upsides and benefits
Byettametformin
  • 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.
  • Improves sugar control and lowers A1c levels as much as 2%.
  • One of the few diabetes medicines that lowers the risk of death from diabetes-related complications.
  • Doesn't cause weight gain.
  • Rarely causes low blood sugar.
Downsides and risks
Byettametformin
  • 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.
  • Often causes stomach upset, like diarrhea, nausea, gas, or stomach cramping.
  • Usually not a good choice for people with kidney problems. Your doctor will tell you if Glucophage (metformin) is right for you to take.
  • Excessive or chronic alcohol use can increase the risk of a dangerous side effect.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Byettametformin
  • 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.
  • Can cause upset stomach with nausea and especially diarrhea in the first couple of weeks.
  • Always take it with food to lessen stomach upset.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol when taking this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor about any deep or rapid breathing, or persistent nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly.
Learn more
More about ByettaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Byetta (exenatide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about metforminSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Glucophage (metformin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it