Byetta vs Bydureon: What’s the Difference?

Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Byetta (exenatide) and Bydureon (exenatide) for type 2 diabetes can be confusing—they have similar names, and both are injected rather than taken orally. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to each, and they are available in different strengths, and have different directions for use.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes, also known as adult onset diabetes, occurs when the body does not use the insulin it makes properly. Symptoms may include frequent urination, increased thirst or hunger, tiredness, slow healing, trouble seeing, and darkened skin in the armpits and neck.

In what forms are Byetta and Bydureon available?
Byetta is available as a prefilled pen that delivers either 5 mcg or 10 mcg of exenatide per dose (each pen contains 60 doses).

Bydureon is is available as a kit containing a vial of exenatide and delivery system. Bydureon kits contain 2 mg per dose, and are only used once.

Do these medications require injections?

Yes. Both Byetta and Bydureon are injectable medications.

What types of medication are Byetta and Bydureon?

With the same active ingredient, exenatide, both Byetta and Bydureon are considered GLP-1 receptor agonists.

GLP-1 receptor agonists work by helping your pancreas release insulin only when needed, and may decrease the amount of food you eat by signaling to your brain when you are full.

See a detailed explanation of how Byetta works here and how Bydureon works here.

Advantages of using Bydureon:

Disadvantages of using Bydureon:

Advantages of using Byetta:

Disadvantages of using Byetta:

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