Byetta (exenatide) is an effective medication to lower blood sugar levels and treat diabetes. It is also prescribed for weight loss. This prescription medication can be expensive, it can also have side effects and it is not available to all. This article lists the two best natural alternatives for Byetta – for weight loss and blood sugar control.
Natural Alternatives to Byetta (Exenatide)
Byetta has two main target markets; to control blood glucose levels and to aid weight loss. The two supplements below are naturally formulated alternatives that can be purchased over the counter and without prescription. Both products can be used simultaneously to good effect – both brands are made by different manufacturers so if you decide to buy both you need to make two separate orders.
Here is a brief review of the natural Byetta alternatives.
PhenQ – Body Weight Reduction
PhenQ is a revolutionary weight loss supplement that promises to help users reduce body fat in a safe, effective manner.
Unlike many of its competitors, PhenQ is known for its direct approach towards weight management: using mainly natural ingredients, it works to suppress hunger, while boosting metabolism and energy levels at the same time.
This creates the perfect environment for the body to burn fat without any crash diets or strenuous workouts.
PhenQ can be an attractive alternative for those looking to lose weight without spending as much compared to Byetta, which is often more costly than other prescription medications and may even incur an additional doctor visit fee each month, PhenQ proves to be a much cheaper option for those wanting results that last.
Altai Balance – Improved Blood Sugar Control
Altai Balance is an all-natural product that can help to regulate diabetes and control blood sugar levels.
Many find it to be a safer, more affordable alternative to Byetta (Exenatide).
The unique blend of natural ingredients, such as berberine, bitter melon extract, and hibiscus extract, enhances the body’s natural processes and helps promote healthy blood sugar balance by stimulating glucose metabolism, without causing spikes or drops in blood sugar.
The herbs used in Altai Balance are thought to be potent antioxidants which can protect organs from the damaging effects of high blood sugar.
Together these ingredients work together synergistically to provide maximum support for controlling blood sugar levels naturally and safely. Altai Balance is best used if combines with a healthy diet and exercise program
Byetta Review (Exenatide)
Byetta is a brand-name prescription medication that’s designed to help lower blood sugar levels in adults who have type-2 diabetes. One of the side effects is appetite suppression so doctors sometimes prescribe Byetta off-label as a weight loss injection.
Unfortunately, appetite suppression and weight loss are not the only Byetta side effects. There are many more. Using Byetta for type-2 diabetes or weight loss can present serious health risks including high blood pressure and severe gastrointestinal discomfort.
More worryingly, Byetta has been linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. According to a study published in the February 2011 issue of Gastroenterology, diabetics who were using Byetta were three times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than diabetics who were not using the drug. 
There can be no denying Byetta’s value as a treatment for type-2 diabetes. Many Byetta users also confirm the drug works well as a weight loss injection. However, people who are offered Byetta prescriptions are often concerned about the potential dangers, and quite rightly so.
In this review, we are going to concentrate on the pros and cons of using Byetta for weight loss. Please consider the information it provides as a starting point for your investigation, not a substitute for professional medical advice.
What is Byetta and How Does It Work?
Byetta is a branded form of the drug Exenatide. It’s distributed in a prefilled injector pen that is used two times per day.
Exenatide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist. As with other drugs of this type, such as semaglutide, exenatide responds to the presence of glucose-bearing food in the small intestine.
Glucose is the body’s primary source of energy. After it passes through the intestinal walls it raises the blood sugar (glucose).
Exenatide prevents blood sugar from becoming too high by acting in three ways.
The first thing it does is slow gastric emptying. This limits the speed at which food reaches the intestines, helping to prevent sudden elevations in blood sugar (spikes).
By slowing gastric emptying, Exenatide also causes food to stay in the stomach for longer. This is what gives Byetta its value as a weight loss injection.
The second thing Exenatide does is stimulate increases in insulin, which lowers blood sugar.
The third way the drug regulates blood sugar is by inhibiting glucagon secretion.
Like Insulin, glucagon is a pancreas hormone. However, instead of lowering blood sugar, it pushes it up. 
By working in these three ways, Exenatide can be very useful for supporting first-line diabetes medications such as metformin, sulfonylureas, and exogenous insulin. However, exenatide is not powerful enough to be used as a primary treatment for type-2 diabetes. Its role is purely supportive.
Byetta for Weight Loss
Byetta is only intended to be a medicine to help type-2 diabetics keep their symptoms under control. It is not FDA-approved for any other medical condition.
However, many doctors consider Byetta’s ability to suppress appetite (as a side effect) gives it value as a weight management aid and are happy to prescribe it off-label.
Appetite suppression is a useful tool in the armory of anyone who is trying to lose weight. Weight loss requires low-calorie dieting, which generally results in problems with hunger.
Hunger is no picnic. It’s very annoying, makes you feel miserable, and can be extremely distracting. It’s also one of the main things that stop people from losing weight.
Many Byetta users confirm the medication reduces their hunger and countless users have lost weight while using it. However, many over-the-counter (OTC) diet pills can suppress hunger like Byetta and also offer additional weight loss benefits such as faster metabolism and relief from fatigue.
As a weight loss aid, Byetta offers a very limited level of support. It’s good for suppressing the appetite of most users but that’s it. Nothing more.
Many people who are using Byetta for weight loss may also find it unpleasant to stick a needle into their flesh two times each day.
Regardless of its value in this area, it’s hard to justify the possible dangers of using Byetta as a weight loss injection. Especially when there are so many alternative options that are so much safer to use.
Byetta for weight loss – Average Weight Loss
Byetta is an effective medication for managing Type 2 diabetes, but it is also prescribed off label as a weight loss drug.
Studies suggest that people lose up to 5-7% of their body weight with Byetta.
This significant weight loss can be attributed to the fact that Byetta works by lowering appetite (decreased food intake) and making individuals feel fuller for longer periods of time – in other words, it can help you control what and how much you eat!
While one should always exercise caution when considering taking any new medications, the potential benefits of successful weight loss with Byetta may prove irresistible to some.
Byetta pens come in two strength options:
5 mcg exenatide
10 mcg exenatide
Regardless of the strength, Byetta pens always contain 60 doses, so each pen provides a 30-day treatment.
Doctors normally prescribe the lower-strength pen for the first four weeks of treatment and then swap it for the 10 mcg pen after their patients have been using Byetta for a month.
How to Use Byetta
People who are using Byetta for type-2 diabetes or weight loss need to take two injections per day. These are delivered beneath the skin. Never into a muscle or vein. The stomach is one of the most popular injection sites but some users prefer to inject the medication into their thighs or upper arms.
To reduce the risk of irritation, it’s best not to use the same area of skin every time.
The first dose is one hour before breakfast. The second one is one hour before your evening meal.
Byetta is an immediate-release medication so the timing is important. Injecting the drug one hour before eating allows it time to prime the pancreas ready for the coming influx of glucose.
From a weight loss perspective, taking Byetta one hour before eating will help it have the maximum effect on gastric emptying speed and appetite.
With many similar options such as Bydureon Bcise (which also provides exenatide) there is no need to see or handle the needle. This is not the case with Byetta, people who use this option need to fit a fresh needle every time and will need to visually monitor its entrance into the skin.
Byetta Side Effects and Drug Interactions
Byetta has many known side effects. Some of them are mild, but others are more serious. The drug affects different people in different ways, there is no way to predict specific responses. It’s generally a case of having to try it and see.
Common Side Effects
This is not a complete list, but here are some of the most common Byetta side effects:
Many of these side effects only occur during the early stages of treatment. However, if side effects are severe or continue for a long time it will be necessary to ask for advice from a doctor or pharmacist.
Serious Side Effects
Serious side effects are less common, but they can be an issue for some people.
Serious Byetta side effects can include:
High blood pressure
Acute pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
Problems with kidney function/kidney failure
Low blood platelet level
Severe allergic reactions to exenatide
There are also reports of Byetta causing hair loss. Although losing hair is hardly life-threatening, nor is it something that many people are likely to consider a minor side effect.
The potential for pancreas and thyroid harm is particularly worrying. It could easily be argued these risks are far too great to justify using Byetta injections for weight loss.
As we pointed out earlier on in this review, research shows diabetics using Byetta were three times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than diabetics who were not using the drug. 
The results of a recent study, published in February 2023, in Diabetes Care are equally worrying and highlight the link between GLP-1 receptor agonists and thyroid cancer.
Here’s what the researchers said in their study conclusion: “In the current study we found an increased risk of all thyroid cancer and medullary thyroid cancer with use of GLP-1 RA, in particular after 1-3 years of treatment.” 
Where to Obtain Byetta for Weight Loss
Byetta is only available from pharmacies but to obtain it you will need to arrive bearing a prescription.
The average retail price of the Byetta pen is around $940 per month so using it as a weight loss aid isn’t going to be cheap. However, some medical insurance plans may help bring the cost down.
Similar Diabetes Drugs to Byetta (Other Diabetes Drugs)
Here are some similar prescription medications to treat diabetes, improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar. The following can also be used to reduce body weight and prevent future weight gain. They are all glucagon-like peptide 1 diabetes drugs.
Byetta (Exenatide) FAQs
What is the difference between Byetta and Bydureon?
Although both products provide the same drug and offer similar benefits and risks, there are some differences between Byetta and Bydurion.
Byetta provides 5-10 mcg of exenatide two times each day. It’s an immediate-release medication that gets to work fast but requires regular top-ups.
Bydureon is an extended-release medication. It provides 2 mg of exenatide via a once-weekly injection.
After it’s under the skin, Bydureion releases exenatide by dribbling it into the body over the following days.
The other big difference is the pen. With Byetta pens, you need to see and handle needles, with Bydurion, you do not.
Can Byetta help me to lose weight without dieting?
Byetta only helps you to eat less food without feeling hungry. When you are using it for weight loss, you will still need to avoid high-calorie foods. Even though your portions may be smaller, you won’t lose weight if the foods you eat are loaded with excess calories.
Is it safe to use Byetta during pregnancy?
In animal-based studies, exenatide caused fetal harm. That does not necessarily mean it will do the same in humans but, women who are pregnant or trying to become so will need to discuss the benefits and risks with their doctors.
1. Diabetes Drug Byetta Linked to Increased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer: https://www.drugdangers.com/news/diabetes-drug-byetta-linked-to-increased-risk-of-pancreatic-cancer/
3. GLP-1 Receptor Agonists and the Risk of Thyroid Cancer: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36356111/