Compare Januvia vs. Byetta

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

Januvia
(sitagliptin)

Byetta
(exenatide)

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.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.34Januvia
Reviews for Januvia
44%
of people (All ages) say Januvia is worth it
34%
say it works well
17%
say it's a big hassle
143 reviews
Have you used Januvia (sitagliptin)?
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Have you used Byetta (exenatide)?
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Side effects
JanuviaByetta
  • Common cold 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Upper respiratory infection 3%
  • Headache 1%
More Januvia side effects »
  • 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 »
How it works
JanuviaByetta
Januvia (sitagliptin) is an anti-diabetic drug that enhances your body's release of insulin.Byetta (Exenatide) enhances the release of insulin in your gut and pancreas to lower your blood sugar.
Type of medication
JanuviaByetta
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
JanuviaByetta
  • Pill
  • Injection
Used for
JanuviaByetta
Risk factors for serious side effects
JanuviaByetta
  • History of pancreatitis
  • High blood triglyceride levels
  • Gallstones (stones in gallbladder)
  • History of alchoholism
  • Kidney problems
Detailed Januvia (sitagliptin) risks & warnings »
  • Severe renal impairment
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Severe gastrointestinal disease
  • Gastroparesis
Detailed Byetta (exenatide) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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

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.

Food
JanuviaByetta
  • Take once a day in the morning with or without food.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
JanuviaByetta
  • 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.
  • 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.
Pain
JanuviaByetta
  • Tell your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain, nausea, and/or vomiting. These are symptoms of pancreatitis.
  • 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.
Weight
JanuviaByetta
  • It is less likely to cause weight gain and low blood sugar compared to other diabetes medicines.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
JanuviaByetta
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
JanuviaByetta
  • 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.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
JanuviaByetta
  • 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.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about JanuviaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Januvia (sitagliptin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ByettaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Byetta (exenatide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it