Long-Acting Byetta Tops Two Other Diabetes Drugs in Direct Comparison

Researchers conducting the study said that in general, the patients were not obese, a factor that made the weight loss associated with Byetta impressive.

Apr 15, 2009

Results from DURATION-2, a 26-week test comparing the diabetic drugs Januvia, Actos, and experimental long-acting Byetta (Byetta LAR) show that Byetta produced lower A1c's and more weight loss than the other two drugs.

Sponsored by Byetta's co-manufacturers, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Eli Lilly and Co., the randomized, double-blind study tracked 491 type 2 patients over a six-month period. Patients received either Byetta LAR (exenatide), Januvia (the brand name for Merck & Co., Inc.'s sitagliptin), or Actos (the brand name for Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd's pioglitazone).

Patients taking Byetta LAR reduced their baseline A1c by 1.7%, compared to 1.4% for patients on Actos and 1.0% for those on Januvia. 

Over the 26 weeks, Byetta LAR recipients lost an average of 6.2 pounds, versus a 1.9-pound loss for Januvia patients. Those on Actos experienced a weight gain that averaged 7.4 pounds. 

Researchers conducting the study said that in general, the patients were not obese, a factor that made the weight loss associated with Byetta impressive. 

The most common adverse responses for both Byetta LAR and Januvia patients were nausea and diarrhea. Actos users reported upper respiratory tract infection and peripheral edema as the most common side effects. 

One crucial result was that there were no reported cases of pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas among Byetta LAR patients in the study. Among the estimated 700,000 users of the current version of Byetta, a twice-daily drug that has been on the market for four years, there have been 30 reported incidents of pancreatitis, including six fatalities. Although there is no evidence that the drug caused the disease, the FDA made Amylin and Lilly rewrite the warning labels on the drug.

The possible connection between Byetta use and pancreatitis has also made FDA scrutiny of Byetta LAR more intense. The drug, which is now before the agency for marketing approval, uses injectable time-release capsules to provide a continuous does of the drug over a seven-day period.

Byetta's makers are hoping that the long-acting form of the drug will nudge sales, which have been flat over the past year, by appealing to users who want the convenience of once-a-week injections instead of having to remember to inject the drug every morning and evening at mealtimes.

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Categories: A1c Test, Actos, Byetta, Diabetes, Diabetes, Januvia, Medications Research, Professional Issues, Type 2 Issues

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Posted by helen2 on 20 April 2009

I have been on Byetta since it was first on the market. the drug has been very effective in helping me to loose weight and maintain an acceptable A1C (6.1). I am very eager to continue this treatment and have the convenience of the once a week injection

Posted by mjensentulsa on 24 April 2009

This article suffers from a confusion that we've seen in other A1C reports. Are the numbers reporting a net reduction in the starting point metric, or an absolute reduction in the A1C reading itself?

The A1C numbers we get are actually a percentage, though typically not printed as such on lab reports or magazine articles: Your A1C of 5 is actually an A1C of 5%. Thus, a reduction of "1%" could accurately mean your number went from 5 to 4.

Whereas, if we simply take 5 as the starting point, and say drug X reduces it 1% from its initial value, that could mean a reduction from 5 to 4.95 (1% of 5 being .05, and thus 4.95 being 1% less than 5). Big whoop.

Which is it?

Posted by Anonymous on 13 May 2009

I had been using Byetta 5 micrograms for the first 1 year and am now taking 10 micro from the past 1 year. It's been FANTASTIC !!
I am told that Byetta LMR is now available in the market.Could someone please let me know from where I could purchase it ? I will be much obliged.


Posted by mmills24 on 30 June 2009

i have been on byetta for 2 weeks, so i am new to the product. i have hashimotos disease and fibromyalgia, and also have type 2 diabetes with a history of diabetes in my family. the only down side to byetta is the nausea, which can be pretty fierce. anyone have any suggestions to help with it i would be grateful. it seems to be worse on some days than others. i am on the starting 5mcg dose and am afraid to go to the 10mcg with the nausea side effect getting worse. any help would be appreciated greatly.

Posted by margot on 7 October 2009

I was on Byetta 5mcg for several months and then changed to 10 mcg. My fasting glucose dropped from 150 to 70-80 every day. I lost 35 pounds and was extremely happy. Then the nausea began and was increasingly worse until I had to discontinue using byetta at all. I have since gained much of the weight back and my glucose is back up in the 140's. I want very much to try the LMR but I don't know if it has been okayed yet. How can I find out?

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