Compare Byetta vs. Human Insulin

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

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Byetta (Exenatide)

Prescription only

Humulin (Human Insulin)

Prescription only
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.

This form of insulin is one of the few medications in its class that you can get without a prescription, but it's expensive.

3.6/ 5 average rating with 57 reviewsforHuman Insulin
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Some types of this medication are available without a prescription.
  • Available as a shot to be injected into the fatty part of the skin, and as a powder to be inhaled through your nose.
  • Available in different combinations so that you can do one shot or multiple shots a day.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Has to be taken exactly as directed or it can cause high or low blood sugar.
  • As with all insulins, you have to work with your doctor closely to make sure you're giving yourself the correct dose, or you can have low or high blood sugar.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Injection
  • Injection
  • Inhaler
Price
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Reviews
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57 reviews so far
67%
saidit'sworth it
46%
saiditworked well
11%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
3possible side effects
  • Nausea
    8%
  • Vomiting
    4%
  • Upset stomach
    3%
See more detailed side effects
The Humulin (Human Insulin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Loss of medication effectiveness
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney problems
    • Severe renal impairment
    • End-stage renal disease
  • Serious stomach problems
    • Severe gastrointestinal disease
    • Gastroparesis
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Changes in blood sugar
  • Changes in skin appearance
  • Weight gain
See more detailed risks and warnings