Byetta Vs Ozempic (Exenatide Vs Semaglutide)

Byetta Vs Ozempic

Diabetes and obesity are among the most prevalent chronic conditions. Because the two conditions often coexist, the term “Diabesity” is now used to address the main issue which is obesity. Treating obesity can have remarkable effects on diabetes control.

GLP-1 agonists are potent drugs used primarily to treat diabetes. However, these drugs have been found to have a significant effect on body weight as well.

In fact, two GLP-1 analogs have already been approved by the FDA for the treatment of obesity in individuals with or without diabetes.

Here is a list of GLP-1 analogs that are commonly used nowadays:

GLP-1 analogs




Byetta was the first GLP-1 analog approved for the treatment of Diabetes. Semaglutide under the brand name, Ozempic, is a recently approved GLP-1 analog that has been a blockbuster in the treatment of diabesity, obesity, and diabetes.

In this article, we will compare Byetta Vs Ozempic and discuss their effectiveness in treating diabetes and obesity.

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What is Byetta?

Byetta is the brand name of Exenatide. It is a GLP-1 analog that acts by releasing insulin in a glucose-dependent mechanism. In addition, it lowers glucagon levels which is responsible for increasing blood glucose levels.

It also slows gastric motility and enhances the feeling of fullness. It alleviates the symptoms of hunger and enhances satiety.

Thus, apart from controlling diabetes, it also helps you lose weight. It is administered twice daily as a subcutaneous injection.

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What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is an injectable formulation of semaglutide. It is a long-acting GLP-1 analog and is administered once a week.

Like Byetta, it is also an incretin mimetic that works by stimulating insulin secretion and suppressing glucagon in a glucose-dependent mechanism.

It is 95% similar to endogenous GLP-1 and because of its smaller molecular size, it also enters the blood-brain barrier to suppress satiety via central mechanisms.

It is one of the most potent antidiabetic drugs and is associated with significant weight loss. Its higher dose formulation, Wegovy, is also approved for the treatment of weight loss.

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Byetta Vs. Ozempic – Which is More Effective?

When it comes to treating type 2 diabetes, both Byetta and Ozempic are effective medications. In clinical trials, both drugs have been shown to lower blood glucose levels and improve glycemic control.

However, studies have shown that Ozempic may be more effective than Byetta in reducing HbA1c levels.

The Sustain 3 Trial evaluated the efficacy of Semaglutide vs Exenatide ER. The results of the study are summarized in the table below [Ref]:


Mean HbA1c reduction

Mean reduction in body weight

HbA1c <7.0%

Semaglutide1.5% (16.8 mmol/mol)5.6 kg67%
Exenatide ER0.9% (10.0 mmol/mol)1.9 kg40%
Difference-0.62% (-6.78 mmol/mol)-3.78 kg 

It is evident that Ozmepic (Semaglutide) was superior to Exenatide (Byetta) in lowering A1C. In addition, the weight loss in the Semaglutide group was greater compared to Exenatide.

Byetta has been shown to help patients lose an average of 2 to 3 kg (4.4-6.6 lbs) over 6 months, while Ozempic has been shown to help patients lose an average of 4 to 5 kg (8.8-11 lbs) over 6 months.

Real-life data of users have documented more significant weight loss with Ozempic compared to Byetta. We collected data from individuals using Ozempic. The average weight loss after three months was 17 lbs (7.71 kg)

Table 1: Comparison of Byetta and Ozempic for Diabetes and Weight Loss




HbA1c Reduction

Weight Loss

ByettaInjectionTwice daily0.9%2-3 kg
OzempicInjectionOnce weekly1.5%4-5 kg
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Side Effects of Byetta Vs Ozempic:

There are slight differences in the side effects of Byetta VS Ozempic although both belong to the same class of medicines.

The most common side effects of Byetta are related to the GI tract. Patients commonly report nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

These side effects typically occur during the first few weeks of treatment and tend to subside over time. In rare cases, Byetta can also cause pancreatitis, a serious inflammation of the pancreas.

In addition, injection-site reactions are also common. Compared to Ozempic, Byetta is associated with more number of injection-site reactions as mentioned in the table below [Ref]:


Gastrointestinal side effects

Injection-site reactions

Exenatide ER33.3%22.0%

The most common side effects of Ozempic include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.

These side effects also tend to occur during the first few weeks of treatment and usually resolve on their own. In rare cases, Ozempic can cause thyroid cancer, pancreatitis, and severe allergic reactions.

Table: Comparison of Byetta and Ozempic Side Effects


Common Side Effects

Serious Side Effects

ByettaNausea, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetitePancreatitis
OzempicNausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipationThyroid cancer, pancreatitis, severe allergic reactions

It’s important to note that both medications are prescription-only, and patients should always consult with their healthcare provider before starting any new medication.

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In conclusion, both Byetta and Ozempic are effective medications for treating type 2 diabetes and aiding in weight loss.

While both medications work similarly, Ozempic is more effective in reducing HbA1c levels and promoting weight loss over a longer period.

However, both medications can cause side effects, and patients should be aware of the potential risks before starting treatment.

Ultimately, the choice of medication will depend on individual patient factors, and healthcare providers can help determine which medication is best suited for each patient’s needs.

Table: Summary Comparison of Byetta and Ozempic




  • Effective for diabetes
  • Associated with modest weight loss
  • Twice-daily injections
  • Injection-site reactions are common
  • Less effective than Ozempic
  • Very effective for diabetes.
  • Associated with significant weight loss
  • Injectable formulation
  • GI side effects are common
  • Serious side effects like thyroid cancer and pancreatitis
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What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

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