Does Bydureon cause weight loss?

Bydureon BCise is a brand-name antidiabetic medication that is manufactured by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. It is used to reduce blood sugar levels and improve HbA1c levels in certain patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM).

Bydureon BCise is not approved as a weight loss medication but patients who take this medication may lose weight. Keep reading as we discuss Bydureon BCise and how much weight you can lose on this medication.

What is Bydureon BCise (exenatide)?

Bydureon BCise is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist that was initially approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2017. It is an extended-release injectable suspension that is approved along with diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults and pediatric patients 10 years of age and older with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). It is not approved to treat type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) or diabetic ketoacidosis. Bydureon BCise can be used alone or along with other antidiabetic medications such as sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, or metformin.

This medication should not be used as first-line treatment in T2DM patients who have uncontrolled blood glucose levels on diet and exercise. Bydureon BCise is an exenatide extended-release formulation. You should not use this medication with other products that contain exenatide, including Byetta.

GLP-1 agonists such as Bydureon Bcise are a type of incretin mimetic that works the same way as the GLP-1 hormone your body makes. Incretins help your body manage blood glucose levels and play a role in digestion. After binding to GLP-1 receptors in pancreatic beta cells, Bydureon BCise stimulates your pancreas to release insulin. It also decreases the release of glucagon, which is a hormone that increases your blood sugar and slows down how quickly your stomach moves food into your intestines.

Bydureon BCise is available as a 2 mg/0.85 ml extended-release injectable suspension in a single-dose autoinjector.

Does Bydureon BCise help with weight loss?

Bydureon BCise is approved to help manage blood glucose levels in patients with T2DM. There have not been any clinical studies on the use of Bydureon BCise as a weight loss medication, and it is not approved for this use. However, some patients taking Bydureon BCise have lost weight while on this medication. According to the package insert, clinical trials showed certain patients lost between almost 1kg (2.2 lbs) and 2.7kg (5.95 lbs). Patients also saw improvements in their systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Bydureon BCise should be prescribed along with changes in your diet and exercise to help manage your T2DM. Any weight loss you may have could be due to your diet and exercise changes.

If you’re interested in taking a medication such as Bydureon BCise for weight loss, other GLP-1 agonists are approved for this use. Wegovy (semaglutide) and Saxenda (liraglutide) are both approved as weight loss drugs to treat obesity in certain people.

How do you use Bydureon BCise?

  • Use Bydureon BCise exactly as your doctor prescribes it to you. You should not change your dose or stop this medication without discussing it with them first.
  • Your doctor should demonstrate how to use Bydureon BCise before you give your first dose. Bydureon BCise can be injected subcutaneously (under the skin) in your stomach, thigh, or upper arm. Bydureon BCise should not be injected directly into your muscle or vein.
  • This medication is given once a week on the same day of each week. It can be administered at any time of the day with or without food. You can change the day of the week you administer Bydureon BCise if your last dose was given at least 3 days before.
  • Do not mix this medication and insulin in the same injection. You can administer them in the same area of the body as long as it is not right next to each other.
  • Rotate the injection site with each dose of Bydureon.

What should you do if you miss a dose of Bydureon BCise?

If you miss a dose of this medication, administer the missed dose immediately as long as there are at least 3 days until the next dose. If there are less than 3 days until your next dose, skip the missed dose and administer the next dose on its scheduled day. Two doses of Bydureon BCise should not be administered within 3 days of each other.

What should you tell your healthcare professional before starting Bydureon BCise?

Before taking Bydureon BCise, be sure your doctor is aware of all your medical conditions, including:

  • Kidney disease
  • Pancreas problems
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Personal or family history of medullary thyroid carcinoma, a type of thyroid cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are breastfeeding

What are the most common side effects of Bydureon BCise?

The most common side effects seen in clinical trials include:

  • Injection site reactions such as nodules
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

Bydureon BCise can sometimes cause serious side effects such as:

  • Severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis (hives, swelling of your tongue or throat, and trouble breathing)
  • Kidney problems or injury
  • Increased risk of thyroid tumors
  • Increased risk of multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2), an endocrine system disorder
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), especially if taken with an insulin secretagogue or insulin
  • Major bleeding

Speak with your healthcare provider about the possible drug interactions with any other prescription drugs, over-the-counter products, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. These are not all of the possible side effects of Bydureon BCise. You should always seek medical advice for any questions or concerns relating to your medical condition or treatment. You can report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or

Which is better Ozempic (semaglutide) or Bydureon BCise (exenatide)?

Ozempic and Bydureon BCise are both GLP-1 receptor agonists that are used along with diet and exercise to manage glycemic control in adults with T2DM. They share some of the same side effects including constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. They also share most of the same drug interactions including insulin or insulin secretagogues. Bydureon BCise also can interact with Coumadin (warfarin). They are both given as injections under the skin once a week. While Ozempic and Bydureon BCise have not been directly compared, Ozempic was compared to Bydureon before it was discontinued. In this clinical study, Ozempic lowered HbA1c levels by 1.4% while Bydureon lowered them by 0.9%. In the same study, Ozempic (62%) helped more patients reach their HbA1c goal of less than 7% than Bydureon (40%). Ozempic was also shown to help patients lose more weight than other diabetic medications. Patients taking Ozempic lost an average of 10.6 lbs (4.8 kg) while patients on Bydureon lost 4.4 lbs (2 kg).

What diabetes medication helps you lose weight?

While there are numerous diabetes medications that you may lose weight with while taking, there are only a few that are approved for weight management. Wegovy (semaglutide) and Saxenda (liraglutide) are both GLP-1 agonists that are FDA-approved for weight loss. Both medications are manufactured by the Danish pharmaceutical company NovoNordisk and are used along with diet and exercise.

Clinical trials with Saxenda showed an average weight loss of 8% for patients taking 3 mg daily for 68 weeks. Wegovy trials found significantly more weight loss. Patients given Wegovy 2.4 mg weekly lost an average of 15.8% of their body weight after 68 weeks.

There are also other GLP agonists being studied for this indication that doctors may use off-label to help you lose weight. Talk with them about the options available that might be right for you.

Why was Bydureon discontinued?

The original single-dose tray (SDT) formulation of Bydureon was discontinued on September 14, 2020, by AstraZeneca due to business reasons. It was not due to any safety or efficacy issues. It continues to produce Bydureon BCise, which contains the same dose of exenatide. It is available as an extended-release injectable suspension in a single-dose autoinjector.

How quickly does Bydureon BCise work?

Bydureon BCise will start lowering your blood sugar right after you inject your first dose. It takes time for it to build up in your body so it can take up to 10 weeks before you see Bydureon BCise’s full effects.

Medically reviewed

A medical professional has reviewed this article.

Jamie Winn, PharmD
Jamie Winn, PharmD

Jamie Winn, PharmD

Medical Writer & Reviewer

Jamie Winn, PharmD

Medical Writer & Reviewer

Dr. Jamie Winn received his Doctor of Pharmacy in 2002 from the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Columbia, SC. Jamie is a medical reviewer for NiceRx.

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Sources (8)

  1. FDA - highlights of prescribing information for Bydureon

  2. Medical News Today - Bydureon BCise (exenatide)

  3. Lilly - News Release - Studies Show Effect of BYDUREON™ on A1C and Weight for Up to Three Years

  4. Bydureon BCise official website

  5. National Library of Medicine - Exenatide

  6. - Bydureon

  7. Healthline - All About Bydureon BCise

  8. Bydureon BCise official website - FAQ

The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.