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Byetta Side Effects

Generic Name: exenatide

Note: This document contains side effect information about exenatide. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Byetta.

For the Consumer

Applies to exenatide: subcutaneous powder for suspension extended release, subcutaneous solution

Along with its needed effects, exenatide (the active ingredient contained in Byetta) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking exenatide:

Incidence not known
  • Agitation
  • bloated or full feeling
  • chills
  • coma
  • confusion
  • constipation
  • cough
  • darkened urine
  • decreased urination or urine output
  • depression
  • difficulty with swallowing
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • fainting
  • fast heartbeat
  • fever
  • headache
  • hives or welts, itching, or skin rash
  • hostility
  • increase in heart rate
  • indigestion
  • irritability
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • lethargy
  • lightheadedness
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle twitching
  • nausea
  • pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
  • puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • rapid breathing
  • rapid weight gain
  • seizures
  • shortness of breath
  • stupor
  • sunken eyes
  • swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  • thirst
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • vomiting
  • wrinkled skin
  • yellow eyes or skin

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking exenatide:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Anxiety
  • blurred vision
  • cold sweats
  • cool, pale skin
  • increased hunger
  • nervousness
  • nightmares
  • severe vomiting
  • shakiness
  • slurred speech

Some side effects of exenatide may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • diarrhea
  • feeling jittery
  • heartburn
  • stomach discomfort or upset
Less common
  • Appetite decreased
  • increased sweating
  • lack or loss of strength
Incidence not known
  • Bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of the skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
  • change in taste
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • loss of taste
  • passing gas
  • pressure in the stomach
  • rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin
  • redness of the skin
  • sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  • swelling of the abdomen or stomach area

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to exenatide: subcutaneous powder for injection extended release, subcutaneous solution, subcutaneous suspension extended release


The most commonly reported side effects have included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, injection site pruritus, and injection site nodules.[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Generalized pruritus and/or urticaria, macular or papular rash, angioedema, anaphylactic reaction[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Anti-exenatide (the active ingredient contained in Byetta) antibodies (up to 90%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Hypoglycemia (up to 19%)
Common (1% to 10%): Decreased appetite, rapid weight loss (greater than 3.3 lbs/1.5 kg a week), anorexia, hypokalemia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Dehydration (associated with nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea)[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection
Postmarketing reports: Altered renal function, including increased serum creatinine, renal impairment, worsened chronic renal failure or acute renal failure (sometimes requiring hemodialysis), kidney transplant and kidney transplant dysfunction[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Injection-site reactions (up to 17.1%)
Common (1% to 10%): Injection-site pain, injection site pruritus, injection site erythema[Ref]

During clinical trials for the exenatide auto-injector (Bydureon BCISE[R]), injection site nodule was the most commonly reported adverse reaction reported in 10.5% of patients (n=526). Injection site pruritus and injection site erythema were reported in 3.2% and 2.3% of patients, respectively. Injection site nodule was reported as the reason for discontinuation in 0.5% of patients.

Clinical trials comparing immediate-release (Byetta[R]) and extended-release (Bydureon[R]) exenatide have shown that injection-site reactions occurred more frequently in patients treated with extended-release (17.1% vs 12.7%).[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea (up to 34%), diarrhea (up to 13%), vomiting (up to 19%)
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Intestinal obstruction
Common (1% to 10%): Dyspepsia, constipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, abdominal distension, abdominal pain, upper abdominal pain, abdominal discomfort, toothache, viral gastroenteritis, gastroenteritis
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Ileus, ischemic colitis, gut ischemia
Postmarketing reports: Eructation, flatulence, acute pancreatitis, hemorrhagic and necrotizing pancreatitis sometimes resulting in death[Ref]

In clinical trials with the extended-release auto-injector, acute pancreatitis occurred in 0.4% of patients.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Increased heart rate (up to 15%)
Common (1% to 10%): Hypertension[Ref]

Increases in heart rate of up to 4.5 beats per minute have been observed; long-term effects of increases in heart rate have not been established.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hyperhidrosis
Rare (less than 0.1%) Alopecia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Erectile dysfunction[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Joint pain, back pain, arthralgia, pain in extremity, musculoskeletal pain, muscle spasms[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache, dizziness, diabetic neuropathy
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dysgeusia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Somnolence[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Depression, insomnia, anxiety[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nasopharyngitis (up to 19%), upper respiratory tract infection (up to 17%)
Common (1% to 10%): Sinusitis, influenza, cough, oropharyngeal pain[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Fatigue, asthenia, feeling jittery[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Increased INR with concomitant warfarin therapy, sometimes associated with bleeding[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Bydureon BCise (exenatide)." Astra-Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, Wilmington, DE.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information." O 0

3. "Product Information. Byetta (exenatide)." Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc, San Diego, CA.

Some side effects of Byetta may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.