Byetta Injection: Side Effects, Weight Loss Results, Benefits

Byetta is a brand-name medication to help treat type 2 diabetes. 

It is an injection medication that works as a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist.

Currently, there are no generic forms of this medication, so you will only find it under this name. 

Its main ingredient is exenatide, which helps control blood sugar levels. 

The medication is administered through a subcutaneous injection. 

It is typically initiated at five mcg, but you may need a higher dosage depending on your glucose levels. 

Each pen contains 50 doses, and your doctor determines how many you should take. 

Byetta is taken twice a day within 60 minutes before the morning and evening meals. 

In this article, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about Byetta. We’ll go into Byetta’s side effects, mechanism of action, and benefits.

Side Effects of Taking Byetta (Exenatide)

While Byetta is considered safe to take, just like any other medication, it can have side effects. 

Here are some of the possible side effects of Byetta:

  • Hives
  • Swelling 
  • Rapid heartbeats
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Lightheadedness
  • Itching 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Little or no urination 
  • Headache
  • Hunger 
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability 
  • Anxiety

If you suffer any of the previous side effects, talk to a health professional to determine if you should change the dosage or if you should switch medications. 

While Byetta doesn’t typically cause low glucose levels (only 5% experience this symptom), if you take Byetta along with other anti-diabetic medications, it can increase the risk of low sugar levels. 

Be on the lookout for symptoms like hunger, shaking, blurred vision, dizziness, sweating, and tingling sensation. 

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How Does Byetta Work?

Exenatide is a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonist. It works by increasing insulin production in the pancreas and reducing glucagon (a hormone that raises blood sugar levels). It also helps by decreasing the absorption of glucose in the gut. 

In the end, Byetta can help reduce blood glucose levels and also have a positive effect on weight. 

Byetta’s Weight Loss Results

While the main purpose of Byetta is not weight loss, research shows it can help you lose weight. 

According to clinical trials, people taking Byetta lost, on average, 3 to 6 lbs. This can be highly beneficial for people with diabetes since it can further help them decrease their blood glucose levels. 

However, keep in mind that Byetta is not a weight loss medication and should not be used as such. It should only be followed under medical supervision. 

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What Are The Benefits of Byetta?

The most common benefit from Byetta is reduced blood sugar levels. 

But thanks to its effects on lowering blood sugar levels, Byetta can also help:

  • Reduce the risk of kidney problems
  • Improve heart health
  • Decrease the risk of metabolic syndrome
  • Reduce appetite
  • Promote weight loss
  • Delay gastric emptying


Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that leads to high blood sugar levels. If left untreated, it can increase the risk of heart disease, kidney problems, and vision loss. 

To prevent it from happening, good lifestyle choices (nutrition, sleep, water, exercise, and stress) are encouraged, along with prescription medications. 

Byetta can help increase insulin production, resulting in lower blood sugar levels. While it is considered a safe medication, it can still increase the risk of side effects. So, if you experience one, make sure you talk with your doctor. 

Always follow this type of medication under medical supervision. And, while Byetta can promote weight loss, it should not be used as a weight loss drug or treatment.

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  1. CDC. Type 2 Diabetes.
  2. BYETTA® (exenatide) injection, for subcutaneous use and should be used with caution in patients with renal transplantation. Initial U.S. Approval: 2005.

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