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Comparing Byetta, Januvia Diabetes Drugs

Armen Hareyan's picture
Byetta Diabetes Treatment Drug

For a long period of time physicians were questioning the difference between Byetta and Januvia, which are rival diabetes treatment drugs. Byetta (produced by Eli Lilly and Co and Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc) is an injection drug which should be taken twice a day, while Januvia (produced by Merck and Co) is a pill that needs to be taken only once a day. This clearly shows Januvia's advantage compared to Byetta, but the latter was still being prescribed and considered as a powerful drug.

The question was even more worrying after linking Byetta to six recent deaths associated with inflammation of pancreas.

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This new four-week trial is the first of it's kind to compare the two diabetes treatment drugs to make it easier for physicians to make prescription decisions. The study looked at 61 patients, who were randomly assigned to take the drugs.

Participants were checked for blood glucose levels two hours after taking a meal. Those taking Byetta showed to have glucose lowered by 112 milligrams per deciliter, while those taking Januvia showed to have glucose lowered only 37 milligrams per deciliter. This shows that Byetta is better in stimulating insulin production when blood glucose levels get higher.

Another trial by Citi Investment Research showed that both drugs have an adverse side effect of developing pancreatitis, and Byetta takers are at higher risk than Januvia takers. 6.5 out of 100000 patients on Byetta develop pancreatitis, compared to 1.6 out of 100000 patients on Januvia. Based on this information, FDA is already developing a warning that should be put on Byetta's packaging.

Therefore, it is very important to understand that all drugs have advantages and disadvantages, thus it is very important to take one's physiological specifications before prescribing drugs. Also, every single drug has adverse side effects, which may not appear during a trial, but can come up later and urge a warning on packaging. It is very hard to say which drug is better and the most powerful trial for every single drug and treatment method is time.