I have a type 2 friend on insulin who finds that Byetta works great when she uses it with metformin, but it doesn't work at all when used alone.

She took metformin alone for several years and found it had no effect on her attempts to lose weight. Then she added Byetta, and she said it was like a miracle.

She said she felt full after eating very little, didn't feel nauseous but
lost her interest in food. She said it was as if she'd had a brain
transplant, and she started losing weight without effort. It was wonderful.

Someone else said the same. With the combination she had the same normal appetite she'd had as a child. She was so happy she cried.

Then my friend had a kidney test, and it showed only 30% kidney function. You're not supposed to take metformin when your kidneys are impaired, so they took her off the metformin. Without the metformin, the Byetta didn't do a thing for her. Didn't affect her A1c, didn't help her eat less, didn't help her lose weight. So she dropped it.

Now she simply can't stop nibbling all day.

IOW, metformin alone didn't affect appetite. Byetta alone didn't affect appetite. But metformin plus Byetta worked wonders.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? I'm speaking primarly of weight loss here, not BG control.

Most of the research papers on Byetta used patients already on metformin, and it's FDA approved for use with metformin or sulfs or both, or TZDs, not as first-line therapy or for people using insulin, although there's a lot of "off label" use.

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Replies to This Discussion

that is great your friend is having great success with byetta. I am taking it as well as metformin, and actos. I first started to lose the weight but the nausea began very unpredictable for me. earlier this week I had nausea and the normal GI "problems" from the metformin. Lately my numbers have not been great. So I believe my doctor will put my on insulin soon. The weight lose is steady....slow but steady.

Thanks for the article.....
It's good to hear that your friend is having success with those medications. Unfortunately I haven't had such results though I wish I could. I'm on both Byetta and Metformin, though I'm only on the 5mc dose of Byetta. I did experience the disinterest in food when I was on the 10 but it caused me more problems than helped. My normal appetite is already very low and the increased disinterest with the Byetta would often cause me to not eat for 10 or 15 hours at a stretch. Just looking at food made me nauseous. I had to force myself to eat then struggle to keep it down. Needless to say it made my sugars harder to control and because of this and other reasons I didn't stick with the higher dose for long. With the lower dose things seem normal, appetite wise, but my weight loss isn't remarkable. I wish it were more successful as weight is an issue.
My endocrinologist put on plain Metformin about 3 weeks ago. I WAS taking glyburide/metformin but she felt the glyburide was not doing much for me. She also put me on Byetta after a 2 year hiatus from it. Well, the metformin did nothing for me so I went back to taking the glyburide/metformin. Has anyone ever tired to use metformin alone and it did not help with lowering the blood sugar?
I have tried metformin several times and not had any success lowering my blood sugar. I frankly don't think I am very insulin resistant. In order to be sure that metformin does not work, you really need to give it a chance, it can take 6-8 weeks to be fully active. You really should take it for at least 3 months and see if you HbA1c changes or whether your fasting and postprandials improve.

But between you and I, if your HbA1c is 8.2%, and you are already following a strict low carb diet and exercising, I doubt metformin alone is going to do it for you. Work with your endo to find an effective regime, being at 8.2% is not doing you any favors.
Clee - I have used Met alone, and it didn't touch my bgs or my a1c. With Byetta, I have now reduced my a1c to 5.2 and I've lost over 35 lbs over a year and a half. I still have 20 to go, but my doc says he's inclined to leave me on the Byetta. I feel great with it!
I am taking Byetta and metformin. For me they work well together. I don't seem to have any side affects. I tried Byetta alone for a little while but it didn't do as well as along with Metformin.
I'm a walking example of what you just explained. Got off Metformin because I thought it was contributing to a hair loss issue, and I had lost 18 lbs and not interested in food. I've been off Metformin for 2 months and gained almost 10 lbs back, and eating CONSTANTLY. WOW! Thought you were describing me in your post.
For the first time in my life, I have had trouble with a med and my stomach. After nearly a year on Metformin, my stomach started acting up, and I had been taking it with IB for a long time too. I am thinking that if my numbers aren't going down on daily, that byetta might be in my future. Has your friend tried Januvia. Supposedly Januvia has some affect on the appetitie too...and shouldn't cause so much stomach concern or kidney problems. What is she doing now for her diabetes? Nothing or other meds? This is such an individual disease that it takes time from time to time to tweek things, especially if you've lost weight. I had to chose between losing the weight or getting my numbers under control --- I chose the numbers hoping that the weight would follow. I am a type II also, meds, diet and exercise are my chief sources of control...I sure hope she finds something that works for her....it's so disheartening when you do everything right and then you bod takes off and does as it pleases.

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