Compare Glucotrol vs. metformin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Glucotrol XL
(glipizide)

Glucophage
(metformin)

Lowers blood sugar. Glucotrol XL (glipizide) is an effective medicine for lowering blood sugar, but it can cause your blood sugar level to be too low, so you must always carry some form of sugar with you that can be readily used.Lowers blood sugar. Glucophage (metformin) is the first choice medicine to control your blood sugar and lower the risk of death from diabetes, although a few people may not tolerate the stomach side effects.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.29Glucotrol
Reviews for Glucotrol
50%
of people (All ages) say Glucotrol is worth it
32%
say it works well
19%
say it's a big hassle
332 reviews
Have you used Glucotrol XL (glipizide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for metformin
65%
-15% worse vs. Glucotrol
46%
-14% worse vs. Glucotrol
16%
-3% worse vs. Glucotrol
938 reviews
Have you used Glucophage (metformin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Glucotrolmetformin
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Diarrhea 5%
  • Nervousness 1%
  • Tremor 4%
  • Passing gas 2%
  • Low blood sugar 3%
  • Constipation 3%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Headache 2%
More Glucotrol side effects »
  • Diarrhea 41%
  • Nausea/vomiting 18%
  • Gas 6%
  • Weakness 3%
  • Indigestion 3%
  • Stomach pain 1%
  • Headache 1%
More metformin side effects »
How it works
Glucotrolmetformin
Glucotrol XL (glipizide) stimulates your body to release insulin and lower blood sugar.Glucophage (metformin) is an anti-diabetic drug. It lowers the amount of sugar your body makes or absorbs, and allows your body use the existing insulin better.
Type of medication
Glucotrolmetformin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Glucotrolmetformin
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
Used for
Glucotrolmetformin
Risk factors for serious side effects
Glucotrolmetformin
  • Skipping meals or having inconsistent meal times
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Using other blood sugar-lowering medicine
  • People age 60 or older
  • Those with kidney and/or liver problems
Detailed Glucotrol XL (glipizide) risks & warnings »
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Using contrast dye for procedures
  • Surgery
Detailed Glucophage (metformin) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Alcohol
Glucotrolmetformin
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Glucotrol XL (glipizide).
  • Limit or avoid alcohol when taking this medicine.
  • Excessive or chronic alcohol use can increase the risk of a dangerous side effect.
Food
Glucotrolmetformin
  • Eat regular and well-balanced meals to keep your blood sugar levels normal.
  • Always take it with food to lessen stomach upset.
Kidneys and liver
Glucotrolmetformin
  • People with kidney and/or liver problems take a longer time to get rid of Glucotrol XL (glipizide) from their body. They are more sensitive to the effects of low blood sugar that include symptoms such as fast heartbeat, sweating, pale skin, shakiness, confusion and irritability. They need to make sure to carry with them some form of sugar such as hard candies or glucose tablets at all times while they are on this medicine.
  • Can be used in those with kidney problems.
  • Glucophage (metformin) can cause this rare life-threatening condition. Your doctor will check your kidneys and liver before you start. Symptoms include deep and rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency and you should get help right away. You're more likely to get this if you already have kidney problems. Glucophage (metformin) should be stopped 48 hours before and after surgery or any imaging procedure needing contrast dye.
  • Usually not a good choice for people with kidney problems. Your doctor will tell you if Glucophage (metformin) is right for you to take.
Weight
Glucotrolmetformin
  • Can cause mild weight gain of 2 to 3 pounds on average.
  • Doesn't cause weight gain.
Upsides and benefits
Glucotrolmetformin
  • Lowers A1c levels by 1-2%. (A1c is a test that measures your average blood sugars over the past 3 months).
  • Glucotrol XL (glipizide) is an oral medicine so it might be a good alternative for those who don't like injections.
  • Protects your organs and blood vessels by preventing the harmful effects of high blood sugar levels.
  • Can be used in those with kidney problems.
  • Available as a generic form and is relatively cheap.
  • Improves sugar control and lowers A1c levels as much as 2%.
  • One of the few diabetes medicines that lowers the risk of death from diabetes-related complications.
  • Doesn't cause weight gain.
  • Rarely causes low blood sugar.
Downsides and risks
Glucotrolmetformin
  • Has a higher risk than other diabetes medicine for causing blood sugar levels to be too low.
  • While taking Glucotrol XL (glipizide), your blood sugars should be checked 2 to 5 times a week, but less often once you are on a stable dose.
  • Can cause mild weight gain of 2 to 3 pounds on average.
  • Might lose its effectiveness over time.
  • Needs to be taken 30 minutes before a meal for it to be most effective.
  • Often causes stomach upset, like diarrhea, nausea, gas, or stomach cramping.
  • Usually not a good choice for people with kidney problems. Your doctor will tell you if Glucophage (metformin) is right for you to take.
  • Excessive or chronic alcohol use can increase the risk of a dangerous side effect.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Glucotrolmetformin
  • Take the medicine 30 minutes before eating, usually before your first big meal of the day.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Glucotrol XL (glipizide).
  • Eat regular and well-balanced meals to keep your blood sugar levels normal.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly.
  • Glucotrol XL (glipizide) can cause dizziness so avoid activities that require coordination until you know how your body can handle the medicine.
  • Can cause upset stomach with nausea and especially diarrhea in the first couple of weeks.
  • Always take it with food to lessen stomach upset.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol when taking this medicine.
  • Tell your doctor about any deep or rapid breathing, or persistent nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly.
Learn more
More about GlucotrolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Glucotrol XL (glipizide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about metforminSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Glucophage (metformin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it