Compare Byetta vs. Precose

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

Byetta
(exenatide)

Precose
(acarbose)

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. Precose (acarbose) helps lower your post-mealtime blood sugar levels, but it must be taken at the beginning of each main meal in order for it to be most effective.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Byetta (exenatide)?
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Have you used Precose (acarbose)?
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Side effects
ByettaPrecose
  • 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 »
  • Excessive gas 46%
  • Diarrhea 19%
  • Stomach pain 10%
More Precose side effects »
How it works
ByettaPrecose
Byetta (Exenatide) enhances the release of insulin in your gut and pancreas to lower your blood sugar.Precose (acarbose) stops an enzyme in your body from turning carbohydrates into sugar for energy. As a result, your body will absorb less sugar from the foods that you eat which will lead to lower blood sugar levels.
Type of medication
ByettaPrecose
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ByettaPrecose
  • Injection
  • Pill
Used for
ByettaPrecose
Risk factors for serious side effects
ByettaPrecose
  • Severe renal impairment
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Severe gastrointestinal disease
  • Gastroparesis
Detailed Byetta (exenatide) risks & warnings »
  • Using insulin or other medicines that stimulate insulin release
  • Those with kidney problems
  • Taking multiple medicines together
Detailed Precose (acarbose) 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.

Interactions
ByettaPrecose
No interactions related info.
  • Has relatively few interactions with other medicines.
Kidneys and liver
ByettaPrecose
  • 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.
  • Precose (acarbose) is not a recommended treatment option if you have bad kidney function or kidney problems. Your doctor will have you do a blood test to decide if this is the right medicine for you.
Pain
ByettaPrecose
  • 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.
  • Causes side effects usually during the first few weeks of treatment including stomach pain, excessive gas, and diarrhea that will become less bothersome with time.
Weight
ByettaPrecose
No weight related info.
  • Precose (acarbose) helps control meal-time blood sugar levels without causing weight gain.
Upsides and benefits
ByettaPrecose
  • 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.
  • Precose (acarbose) helps control meal-time blood sugar levels without causing weight gain.
  • When used alone it doesn't normally cause blood sugar levels to be too low unlike other anti-diabetes medicines.
  • Safe to be used in people age 65 or older.
  • Has relatively few interactions with other medicines.
Downsides and risks
ByettaPrecose
  • 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.
  • Not a first choice medicine because it isn't as effective at lowering blood sugar compared to other treatment options.
  • Associated with bothersome side effects like excessive gas and diarrhea.
  • Relatively more expensive than other diabetes medicines.
  • Has to be taken three times a day with each meal.
  • Might cause episodes of low blood sugar when taken together with insulin or medicines that stimulate insulin release.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ByettaPrecose
  • 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 Precose (acarbose) with the first bite of each main meal.
  • Don't take the medicine for the times you have skipped a meal.
  • Causes side effects usually during the first few weeks of treatment including stomach pain, excessive gas, and diarrhea that will become less bothersome with time.
  • You should continue to maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and monitor your blood sugar levels while taking Precose (acarbose).
  • Your doctor will work with you to increase your dose gradually.
  • Carry glucose tablets with you at all times so that you can take them when your blood sugar drops to dangerously low levels. This is more likely to happen if you are also using insulin or a medicine that stimulates insulin release.
Learn more
More about ByettaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Byetta (exenatide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about PrecoseSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Precose (acarbose)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it