Compare Byetta vs. Novolog

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

Byetta
(Exenatide)

Novolog
(Insulin Aspart)

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. Novolog is a fast-acting insulin that provides meal-time sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Novolog (Insulin Aspart)
58%
42% vs. Byetta (Exenatide)
46%
54% vs. Byetta (Exenatide)
18%
18% vs. Byetta (Exenatide)
Side effects
ByettaNovolog
  • 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 »

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

More about Novolog side effects »
How it works
ByettaNovolog
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.Novolog is a short-acting insulin medicine for diabetes. It acts like the insulin that your body normally makes to process sugars and fats, and it keeps your blood sugar stable after meals.
Type of medication
ByettaNovolog
Anti-diabetic
Incretin mimetic
Prescription only
Anti-diabetic
Insulin
Prescription only
Available as
ByettaNovolog
  • Injection
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
ByettaNovolog
Risk factors for serious side effects
ByettaNovolog
        • Severe renal impairment
        • End-stage renal disease
        • Severe gastrointestinal disease
        • Gastroparesis
          Detailed Byetta (Exenatide) risks & warnings »
          • Insulin dose too high
          • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
          • Poor injection techniques
          • Unstable kidney functions
          • Unstable liver functions
          • Use of other medicine that lowers potassium
          • Current electrolyte imbalance
            Detailed Novolog (Insulin Aspart) risks & warnings »
            Pregnancy category
            ByettaNovolog
            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.
            • You have to check your blood sugar multiple times every day, usually before each meal.
            • Novolog is a fast-acting insulin that provides sugar control after meals.
            • Short-acting insulin good for blood sugar control around meal times.
            • Take 5 to 10 minutes before a meal. Effects last for 2-4 hours.
            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.
            • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
            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).
            • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
            • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
            Upsides and benefits
            ByettaNovolog
            • 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.
            • Insulin is the most effective blood sugar-lowering medicine. When used correctly, it'll lower blood sugar every time you use it and prevent the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
            • Novolog is a fast-acting insulin that provides sugar control after meals.
            • Dose can be easily adjusted to make a customized regimen that's tailored to your body.
            • Starting insulin early in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes can maintain your body's insulin-producing cells and slow down disease progression.
            • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
            Downsides and risks
            ByettaNovolog
            • 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.
            • You have to take insulin by injection.
            • You have to check your blood sugar multiple times every day, usually before each meal.
            • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
            • Higher risk of low blood sugar episodes than other kinds of diabetes medicines.
            Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
            ByettaNovolog
            • 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.
            • Short-acting insulin good for blood sugar control around meal times.
            • Take 5 to 10 minutes before a meal. Effects last for 2-4 hours.
            • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
            • Make sure you and your family know the symptoms of low blood sugar: sweating, shakiness, weakness, fast heartbeat, nervousness, headache, blurry vision, trouble thinking clearly, or passing out.
            • Always have a good source of sugar nearby for low blood sugar episodes.
            • Make sure you understand how to give yourself the injections.
            • When mixing with another insulin (such as insulin NPH), draw this insulin into the syringe first.
            • Don't shake the vial. Store unopened vials in the refrigerator. Opened vials are good at room temperature for 28 days.
            • Check your blood sugar levels every day.
            Learn more
            More about ByettaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
            More about NovologSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert