Compare glyburide vs. metformin

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

Diabeta
(glyburide)

Glucophage
(metformin)

Lowers blood sugar. Diabeta (glyburide) is a good oral anti-diabetic medicine, but can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.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
4.42glyburide
Reviews for glyburide
45%
of people (All ages) say glyburide is worth it
34%
say it works well
21%
say it's a big hassle
110 reviews
Have you used Diabeta (glyburide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for metformin
65%
-20% worse vs. glyburide
46%
-12% worse vs. glyburide
16%
-5% worse vs. glyburide
938 reviews
Have you used Glucophage (metformin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
glyburidemetformin
  • Nausea and heartburn 2%
  • Skin allergies 2%
More glyburide 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
glyburidemetformin
Diabeta (glyburide) 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
glyburidemetformin
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
glyburidemetformin
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
Used for
glyburidemetformin
Risk factors for serious side effects
glyburidemetformin
  • Over age 65
  • Kidney problems
  • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
  • Alcohol
  • Intense physical activity
Detailed Diabeta (glyburide) 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 found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

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

Alcohol
glyburidemetformin
  • Try to avoid drinking alcohol while on Diabeta (glyburide).
  • Limit or avoid alcohol when taking this medicine.
  • Excessive or chronic alcohol use can increase the risk of a dangerous side effect.
Food
glyburidemetformin
  • Eat well-balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
  • Always take it with food to lessen stomach upset.
Kidneys and liver
glyburidemetformin
  • Not ideal for elderly or those with poor kidney function.
  • 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
glyburidemetformin
  • Can cause weight gain, dizziness, or stomach upset.
  • Can cause weight gain (about 2 to 3 pounds).
  • Doesn't cause weight gain.
Upsides and benefits
glyburidemetformin
  • Available as an oral tablet.
  • Lowers your A1c (average blood sugar over time) up to 2%.
  • Available in generic version.
  • Available in single pill combination with other anti-diabetic medicines.
  • 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
glyburidemetformin
  • More likely to cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar than other types of oral anti-diabetics.
  • You will have to check your blood sugar often when you first start taking it.
  • Can cause weight gain (about 2 to 3 pounds).
  • Not ideal for elderly or those with poor kidney function.
  • May not work as well for those with severe diabetes and when pancreas cannot produce insulin.
  • 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
glyburidemetformin
  • Check your blood sugar regularly.
  • Eat well-balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
  • Works best if you take it 30 minutes before first main meal of the day.
  • Can cause weight gain, dizziness, or stomach upset.
  • Try to avoid drinking alcohol while on Diabeta (glyburide).
  • 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 glyburideSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Diabeta (glyburide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about metforminSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Glucophage (metformin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it