What is Byetta (Exenatide)?
Byetta is the brand name medication of the drug exenatide. It is a drug used for treating Type 2 diabetes. The drug comes in a pre-filled injection pen and is typically administered twice a day at 5 mcg per injection.
Byetta (Exenatide) and Weight Loss
Although Byetta should not be used as a weight loss drug, weight loss is one of the common side effects in patients with Type 2 diabetes. In clinical studies, participants using Byetta consistently exhibited weight loss. In a 24-week study, patients taking Exenatide and no other diabetes medication lost an average of 6 to 6.4 pounds, compared to patients taking a placebo who lost an average of 3.3 pounds.
In a 30-week study, participants taking Byetta and metformin lost, on average, 2.9 to 5.7 pounds. Patients taking a placebo lost, on average, only 0.4 pounds. In another 30-week study, participants taking Exenatide and sulfonylurea lost, on average, 2.4 and 3.5 pounds. Participants taking a placebo only lost an average of 1.8 pounds.
Though the clinical studies show consistent weight loss, anecdotal evidence shows even more success with weight loss. Endocrinologist Dr. Joe Prendergast has said that for his 200 patients on Byetta, the average weight loss was 35 pounds over nine months.
Weight loss on Byetta is most likely caused by a decrease in appetite, which is another side effect of its use. As patients find themselves less hungry, it makes it easier for them to eat less and stick to a successful weight loss diet.