If you’re carrying around extra pounds and are interested in shedding them with the help of a prescription medication, you’re far from alone. In fact, a recent poll revealed that nearly half of American adults are interested in the possibility of using weight-loss drugs.

Over the past few years, injectable semaglutide drugs (Ozempic, Wegovy) have been consistently in the media for their groundbreaking weight loss potential. But, if you’ve been doing your research, you’ll have realized that they are not the only drugs in their class.

As a matter of fact, several injectable prescription medications belong to the same class of drugs as Ozempic and Wegovy (incretin mimetics—specifically, GLP-1 receptor agonists). These include dulaglutide (Trulicity), liraglutide (Victoza, Saxenda), and exenatide and exenatide extended-release (Byetta and Bydureon BCise, respectively).

While every drug is unique, you might be wondering whether or not other GLP-1 receptor agonist drugs might offer similar weight loss outcomes to semaglutide while perhaps also being more accessible and affordable. Below, we’ll compare Bydureon BCise and Ozempic directly, including information about their impact on weight loss. For comparisons of Ozempic with other GLP-1 receptor agonists, read our posts on Trulicity Vs. Ozempic, Victoza Vs. Ozempic, and Which Is Better For Weight Loss, Saxenda Or Ozempic?

Bear in mind that the information provided on Bisonpharmacy.com, though accurate and well-researched, does not constitute and should never replace medical advice. Speak to your doctor directly about which weight loss solution may be right for you.

What Is Bydureon?

Bydureon BCise (extended-release exenatide) is a prescription, name-brand drug produced by AstraZeneca. It was FDA-approved in 2012 for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes in adults as an adjunct to diet and exercise. Often used in combination with other diabetic medications when they’re not providing adequate glycemic control, Bydureon BCise is a once-weekly injectable medication administered via autoinjector. It should be injected on the same day each week and may be taken with or without food.

Belonging to the class of drugs known as GLP-1 receptor agonists, extended-release exenatide is slowly delivered to the body over the course of a week. Like other GLP-1 receptor agonists, it mimics the natural incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). It regulates blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin secretion and inhibiting glucagon secretion and, in addition, slows gastric emptying (the rate at which food leaves the stomach and enters the digestive tract).

Beyond its approved use (improving glycemic control in adult patients with Type 2 Diabetes), some doctors may prescribe Bydureon for off-label uses if they believe it will benefit a particular patient. Ongoing trials are exploring Bydureon’s effectiveness for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.

What Is Ozempic?

Ozempic (semaglutide) is a prescription, name-brand drug produced by Novo Nordisk. It was FDA-approved in 2017 for the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes in adults as an adjunct to diet and exercise. It is also approved for the reduction of risk from major cardiovascular events in adult patients with Type 2 Diabetes and known heart disease. Ozempic is a once-weekly medication that is administered via subcutaneous injection. It should be injected on the same day each week and may be taken with or without food.

Like Bydureon BCise, Ozempic belongs to the class of drugs known as GLP-1 receptor agonists. It is sometimes prescribed off-label for weight loss purposes.

Bydureon Vs. Ozempic for Weight Loss

Like most GLP-1 receptor agonists, both Bydureon BCise and Ozempic are associated with healthy weight loss in combination with lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and a healthy diet. That being said, Ozempic’s weight loss outcomes are more significant.

Clinical trials of semaglutide at a 2.4 mg weekly dosage found that obese and overweight participants lost as much as 15%-17% of their starting body weight over a period of 60-68 weeks, in combination with lifestyle interventions. These trials led to the FDA approval of Wegovy for weight loss (Wegovy is the same as Ozempic, except for its higher dosage; see dosage information below). Though clinical trials studying semaglutide at a 1 mg dosage elicited less dramatic results, weight loss outcomes were still medically significant in many cases.

In contrast, a study showed that participants only lost an average of 4.5 lbs. over the course of 26 weeks while taking Bydureon BCise. Neither Ozempic nor Bydureon BCise has been approved as a weight loss medication.

Ozempic Vs. Bydureon: Dosages

Bydureon Dosage

Bydureon BCise comes in 2 mg doses and is auto-injected subcutaneously. With Bydureon, there is no need for incremental increases of the drug and the 2 mg prescription is typically maintained over the long term.

Ozempic Dosage

Ozempic comes in single-patient-use pre-filled pens and may be administered in the following doses:

  • 0.25 mg
  • 0.5 mg
  • 1 mg
  • 2 mg

Patients begin at the 0.25 mg starting dose, which is increased after about a month to the 0.5 mg dose. If indicated, your doctor may continue to increase your dose at one-month intervals until you reach an effective maintenance dose (maximum of 2 mg weekly). Incremental increases allow your body time to adjust to the drug and can reduce side effects.

If you’re taking Wegovy, the same process of incremental increases will be followed up to a weekly maintenance dose of 2.4 mg.

Ozempic Vs. Bydureon: Common Side Effects

Like all prescription drugs, both Ozempic and Bydureon come with the risk of potential side effects.

Side Effects of Bydureon

Mild and Common Side Effects of Bydureon

  • Gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, and indigestion
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Injection site reactions (itching, discoloration, bump under the skin)

Serious Side Effects of Bydureon

  • Pancreatitis
  • Severe hypoglycemia
  • Kidney damage or kidney failure
  • Low platelet level
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Risk of thyroid tumors (including thyroid cancer)

For more details, consult Bydureon BCise’s prescribing information.

Side Effects of Ozempic

Mild and Common Side Effects of Ozempic

  • Gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, and abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Injection site reactions

Serious Side Effects of Ozempic

  • Pancreas, kidney, and gallbladder issues
  • Severe allergic reaction
  • Vision changes
  • Severe hypoglycemia
  • Risk of thyroid tumors (including thyroid cancer)

For more details, consult Ozempic’s prescribing information.

Ozempic Vs. Bydureon: Drug Interactions

Bydureon Drug Interactions

Bydureon can interact negatively with a wide range of other drugs, including skin cancer treatments, HIV/AIDS treatments, diuretics, steroids, blood pressure medications, anti-coagulant medications, some antibiotics, ACE inhibitors, insulin, and other diabetic medications. Be sure to disclose all medications you are currently taking (including over-the-counter drugs and supplements) to your doctor before starting Bydureon.

Ozempic Drug Interactions

Ozempic can also interact with a wide range of drugs, including sulfonylureas, antibiotics, beta-blockers, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), corticosteroids, oral medications, insulin, other diabetic medications, and more. Disclose all medications and supplements you’re taking to your doctor before starting on Ozempic.

How Much Do Ozempic and Bydureon Cost?

The cost of drugs can vary substantially depending on where you purchase them, your insurance coverage, the dose you purchase, and many other factors. On average, a Bydureon BCise autoinjector costs around $850 USD, while an Ozempic pen costs around $900 USD.


To conclude, while neither Bydureon BCise nor Ozempic is approved for weight loss, both are associated with weight loss in combination with exercise and a healthy diet. That being said, semaglutide (Ozempic’s active ingredient) offers the potential for more substantial off-label weight loss outcomes than Bydureon.

Looking to source high-quality Ozempic at an affordable price? Bisonpharmacy.com can help. We specialize in safely shipping Canadian Ozempic to Americans who have been prescribed the drug by their doctor. Contact us directly for more information and to place your order today!

About the Author

Ida Edlweiss Gumpal is a licensed Pharmacist and medical writer. She took her internships at Mercury Drug Corporation, Inc., a Hospital internship at De Vera Medical Center, Inc., and a Manufacturing internship at Philmed Laboratories, Inc. She has plans on attending medical school with the goal of specializing in Neurosurgery or Cardiothoracic surgery.