My Byetta isn't working for me

I started about a month ago on Byetta 5mcg twice a day. I’m also on 1000 metformin twice a day. The only thing I see the Byetta doing for me is the side effect of losing weight. I’ve lost 12 lbs since I started. When I started my BS averaged about 280. Now they are down to about 220. A week ago I started the 10mcg twice a day. I’m still about 220. I am counting carbs and I usually keep them under 70g a day. I’m also using my treadmill, but probably not as much as I should. I guess my understanding of Byetta was that it would drop my sugars almost immediatly. This hasen’t happened and I’m trying so hard. Did anyone else have a problem with getting the sugars to lower in the beginning?


I have just the opposite problem. It lowers my BS too much to the point of having lows. And I haven’t lost an ounce!

Hi Kathy,
I also started about a month ago on Byetta 5mg twice a day. I take 1000 metformin and actos. My bs has dropped almost half since I started and I have lost about 10 pounds. I just start taking 10mg twice a day and things are still about the same. But after I take the night dose with supper I’m done for the night. I feel like I have the flu, my body aches and I can’t get warm enough. I’m hoping that gets better because it is awlful feeling. Maybe it will take you a little longer for your body to adjust to get the bs down some more. Or maybe they need to add actos to your meds.

I would suggest that you give the Byetta more time and make sure you are using it properly. When I first started, I was not using it properly. I now know to wait 30-40 minutes after a shot before I eat my meal. Also, I now know to take the injections on an empty stomach, making sure that I wait at least 3 hrs after snacking in the afternoon before I take my shot before the dinner meal. I was not doing either of those when I first started Byetta. I have lost a total of 47 lbs in 18 months and my A1c was 5.7 this month. I take a 1000mg of metformin after breakfast and dinner, my Byetta dose is 5mcg twice a day.

Thanks for the advice. I’m happy to say that as of 2 days ago my BS started dropping. My last reading was 166 which for me is great! Last nights reading before bed was 136. I think it is finally kicking in. Guess I had to complain a little to get it to work. :slight_smile:

I read your post and realized I could have written it myself.

I started Byetta 3 and a half weeks ago and the weight is steadily coming off, but the BS numbers are all over the map — on the high side. My endo keeps telling me to be patient, that the Byetta is creating new beta cells and changing my metabolism.

I continued using Metformin, as you do, plus Januvia, but I dropped Glyburide and Actos when I started 5 mcg Byetta twice daily. The high readings scared me and I tried to add Glyburide back in, but my low readings then dropped to the low 60s. The MD said to stop the Glyburide and be more patient.

The numbers just were going in the wrong direction and I was feeling desperate. Byetta is my last hope. The endo also suggested doing a double shot of 5 mcg to see if I can tolerate the larger dosage, which I’ve done. It seems like I’ll be moving onto the stronger 10 mcg shot twice a day at the next doctor’s office visit.

As a result of this despair about the “wonder drug” not working, I’ve become more serious about controlling my diabetes by all means. I have also jumped on the exercise, walking each morning and cycling when I can, as well as not cheating on the diet at all.

My last post-meal reading was 250. Last week those after-eating readings were in the 300’s. So perhaps something is also finally working for me too. Good Luck! :wink:


Hi Tony,
I’ve been on Byetta now for 2 1/2 months at the 10mcg dosage. I think you’re right. I need to be more patient. When I started taking it my bs was 280. Now I’m more around 200 and lower during the day but my spikes at night are still 230-250. I’m excersising daily and counting my carbs like I should. I have managed to lose 19 lbs in the process so that’s a good thing. I’m just frustrated because in my younger days I could lose twice as much weight in the same amount of time. I refuse to give up though. My next doctor’s appt. is in June and hopefully by then my sugars will come down lower. You sound like you are doing great. Keep it up and stick with it. Keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.


Hey, Kathy

Did you ever find out if Byetta just doesn’t work for some people? Wondering if you asked your doc. I’d ask the folks at Eli Lilly, but I don’t think I’d get a straight answer.

Hope all goes well for you this week — myself, I’m having some too low numbers so I may need to back off of the Glyburide when I go to 10 mcg. I did hit the bike riding heavily this weekend. Two rides of about 15-16 miles each. Had to eat a cookie or a banana at the midpoint of each ride cause I started to feel “low.”

What a weird disease: food’s the enemy and food’s the cure. Whatever!

Hi Tony,
I haven’t been to my doctor since starting Byetta. My next appt. is June 6 and I’ll ask then. Now I’m thinking maybe the Byetta is working. I think my meter is off. I took 3 readings yesterday within 5 minutes of each other and my numbers were 314,258,171. I changed meters and things look alot better now. So I’m really interested if my A1C has come down from 7.8. This morning was the first morning where my reading was below 200. It was 181 which for me is great.
I’ve never experienced a low so I’m not sure what you are going through. From the sounds of it though I hope I never have lows. Too scary for me. You’re doing fantastic on the excersising! Keep up the good work. I’m still at the walking stage for excersise.
Have a great week!


I was on Byetta for approximately one year (along with Metformin 1000mg twice a day and Glipizide 5mg twice a day), about two months ago my numbers started rising and I couldn’t get them down to save my life. Had my normal six month appointment with my Internist and he noticed right away since my Ha1c went from a wonderful 5.5 to 7 in six months. I explained to him my high numbers and he agreed I was one of those people it just quits working on. He called it the natural progression of the disease. When I first started Byetta I lost 15 lbs and when it quit working those 15 came back quickly. I’m now on Lantus and still trying to find my sweet spot. Give the Byetta time, it worked great for me. Sometmes too good! I did find that I had to eat a moderate amount of carbs after using it for it to work properly. If I ate little carbs it did nothing. Good luck and don’t give up hope.

Thank you for letting me know this. I don’t eat many carbs at all and maybe I should increase them a bit. I have seen my numbers drop this week to within range except at night when I get big spikes. Maybe I should have a few carbs before bed. Good luck with the Lantus.

Looks like the Byetta is finaly working! YEA!! My numbers during the day are between 120-145. Not quite there yet but it’s a start. Still spiking high at night but it seems to get lower each day. I’ve lost 19 lbs but seem to be stuck. That’s ok, the last plateau lasted 3 weeks. I’m not gaining so I feel good about it. Still doing a fair amount of exercising daily and counting carbs as well. It may have taken 2.5 months to start working but I feel it’s well worth it. Thanks to all of you for your input.

This morning my weight’s down either 3 or 4 lbs [my scale’s whacko]. No matter: my a.m. blood sugar stays high. I’ve had to supplement my Byetta with Novolog because I need to eat at some point. I’m only supposed to shoot the Novolog when my BS is over 200 before a meal. After eating, before the Novolog, I’ve had spikes into the 400’s after 1 hour and 300’s after 2 hours which are totally scary. But thank god using Byetta causes me to not be hungry all the time and not snacking!

My morning coffee with cream shoots my BS up about 50+ pts. [Okay, okay, I can drink it black, Mom.] It just seems the Byetta which I’m into 2 months of using is making a careful low-carb diet much more critical then before when I used to be able to control everything with Glyburide and Metformin, now with Metformin, Januvia and Byetta and the occasional Novolog.

I’m happy about the weight loss and want it to continue. My doc said ignore the BS readings until the Byetta has fully changed my metabolism, created new beta cells. He says 3 months until it stabilizes my blood sugar metabolism.

Just hard to believe the Byetta’s working when I have to supplement it with insulin, even on a temporary, conditional basis.

Anyone have a similar situation and got through it? Am I on the right track at all? Or is my doctor just a cheerleader for Big Pharma?


It took me about 2.5 months before the Byetta kicked in. My sugars although not normal are anywhere from 130-160 ususally. I still spike at night sometimes so my fasting BS is usually over 200. (this morning 215). I’ve lost 25 since March. I guess that’s ok. I remember in my younger days when I could lose weight faster. The doctor may put me on Insulin in July depending how my Sugars go. Make sure you don’t stay on the Januvia for too long. I’ve heard some nasty things about it. I was on it for about a year. Now I’m just on Metformin and Byetta. Sounds to me like you are on the right track. Keep it up and don’t give up.


Thanks for your reply, Kathy — I think we’re going through a similar patch. All I know for sure is that something is happening with my body as it adjusts to the Byetta . Before, when I was taking Glyburide, my fasting BS was low, near normal, now it’s high like yours. I wake up with over 200 readings. But Glyburide is nasty, too. I’m glad to be rid of it.

You know, what the Byetta has done is got me over my fear of injections. If ultimately I need to be on insulin occasionally for awhile, okay, so be it, as long as the weight comes down and there’s an end date for it in sight. I am using the Novolog [insulin] when I need to eat and the BS number is high, around 200 or higher. I’m also supposed to walk a bit after a meal.

The doctor said that BS readings are whacko while the body adjusts to Byetta and not to pay too much attention to them. He has huge faith in Byetta. He also remarked that the Januvia really doesn’t do anything. I should have asked: then why do I still need to take it? My previous doctor had me on all four classes of oral meds, and the weight kept creeping upwards, particularly with Actos, whereas Glyburide hindered weight loss.

I ultimately want to lose more weight, get off all the meds, and just use only diet and exercise again for BS control.

Cheers and good luck to you — and thanks again for sharing your experience.

Me too me too me too. It is so discouraging!!! I have followed my diet to the letter and I am still hovering around 200. Grr. I hope this works because I am insulin resistant. What would they recommend next I wonder? This is only my first year with the diagnosis.

I’ve been on Byetta for about 3 years…I really don’t lose weight on it…but my numbers are pretty good…my A1C’s stay between 5.5 and 6.5, on an average…the main problem is just adjusting the carb intake…I just started reading a book, “Miracle Metabolism”, by Diane Kress…she’s a registered dietician in NJ who also has type 2 diabetes…She explains why type 2 diabetics don’t really lose weight with the diet that is given to them. (she used the “original” diet also, and didn’t lose weight either)…and as I’m sure you all know it comes down to the pancreas and the liver and what happens when we eat…Byetta is designed to make your digestion slower, and therefore you don’t feel hungry…it is a “gut” medication. however, if you don’t wait at least 30 minutes for it to take affect, you can become sick to your stomach, and may throw up…if you eat carbs , the carbs (like fruit for example), will make your sugar instantly rise, then drop too low…but that’s not the byetta…thhat’s the other meds you are on…I’ve had both problems and just have to work with it…and really watch the type of carbs I eat at a meal…but if you want a really good explanation of how all of this works, I really suggest that book…it really explains the problem with weight loss for us! Good luck and hope this helps some!

My Doctor has added Levimier to the mix and now my sugars and my weight have been coming down. Hopefully this trend continues. Thanks for all of your helpful comments.

Thank you so much, Kathy. I will ask about Levimier next endo visit.

My numbers are running high like yours were and I did the home A1c test and the numbers are up over 9 [started at 8.4]. The doc saw the 17 lbs weight loss and said everything was working fine and I should drop the Metformin in a week or two.

I feel like a fool for trusting the doc ---- but he says his patients never get complications from Diabetes and his reputation is good.

No one seems to say anything about Byetta not working for everybody. So the weight loss thing is good, yes, but the BG numbers really scare me — usually never lower than 150 [except after exercise] and just under 200 when I awaken. My daily average is over 200. I’m going to sleep now and it’s up at 235.

I’m exercising a lot, eating right, and I’m just getting more and more confused by this drug and this disease.

Sorry to dump all this on you all, but this seems the place to be honest with yourself. Any help appreciated.

I think you should try it out. Since starting it in March I’ve lost 30 lbs. True I’m watching what I’m eating now, but I think the Byetta helps to curb my appetite a bit. Right now my BS is under control and I think that is due to the fact that my doctor put me on 12 units of insulin a day. Byetta wasen’t bringing my BS down enough although it helped some. Try it for a couple months and see what happens.