What are Byetta and Bydureon for?
Byetta and Bydureon are injectable medications used to treat type 2 diabetes. Even though they are injectibles, they are not insulins. With the same active ingredient, exenatide, both Byetta and Bydureon are considered GLP-1 receptor agonists, a class of drugs that help your pancreas release insulin.
Byetta is available as a prefilled pen that delivers either 5 mcg or 10 mcg of exenatide per dose (each pen contains 60 doses), while Bydureon is available as both a vial and pen that delivers 2mcg of exenatide.
See a detailed explanation of how Byetta works here and how Bydureon works here.
- You only have to take it once a week. Bydureon is a once-weekly injection, where Byetta must be injected twice a day. The once-weekly dose of Bydureon cuts down on the number of injections and may increase adherence to the medication.
- It’s easy to use. Bydureon is currently available as both a prefilled pen and a vial.
- It’s expensive. Although it can potentially be less expensive than Byetta, one month of Bydureon with a discount or coupon may still cost as much as $660.
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- It’s easy to use. Byetta is currently available in a prefilled pen which may be easier to use.
- It has some harsh side effects. Byetta has a greater chance of nausea and upset stomach compared to Bydureon. However, nausea should subside after a few weeks.
- You have to take it more often. Twice-daily Byetta may not be as convenient or easy to remember as once-weekly Bydureon.
- It’s expensive. One month of Byetta with a discount or coupon can cost well over $700—more than the newer once-weekly Bydureon.
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