Compare Levemir vs. metformin

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

Levemir
(insulin detemir)

Glucophage
(metformin)

Lowers blood sugar. Levemir is a long-acting insulin that provides all-day sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.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.
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Prices and coupon for 1 (5 flextouch pens of 3ml) carton of insulin detemir
Coupons for
Prices and coupon for 60 (500mg) tablets of metformin
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.39Levemir
Reviews for Levemir (insulin detemir)
45%
of people (All ages) say Levemir (insulin detemir) is worth it
35%
say it works well
22%
say it's a big hassle
130 reviews
Have you used Levemir (insulin detemir)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Glucophage (metformin)
65%
+20% better vs. Levemir (insulin detemir)
46%
+11% better vs. Levemir (insulin detemir)
16%
+6% better vs. Levemir (insulin detemir)
938 reviews
Have you used Glucophage (metformin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Levemirmetformin
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 26%
  • Headache 23%
  • Sore throat 10%
  • Influenza-like illness 8%
  • Abdominal pain 6%
  • "stomach flu" 17%
  • Fever 10%
  • Cough 8%
  • Viral infection 7%
  • Nausea 7%
More Levemir 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
Levemirmetformin
Levemir is a long-acting insulin medicine for diabetes. It acts like the insulin that your body normally makes to process sugars and fats, and it keeps your blood sugar stable throughout the day.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
Levemirmetformin
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
Levemirmetformin
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
Used for
Levemirmetformin
Risk factors for serious side effects
Levemirmetformin
  • Insulin dose too high
  • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
  • Poor injection techniques
  • Unstable kidney functions
  • Unstable liver functions
  • Use of other medicine that lowers potassium
  • Current electrolyte imbalance
    Detailed Levemir (insulin detemir) risks & warnings »
    • Kidney problems
    • Liver problems
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Using contrast dye for procedures
    • Surgery
    • Alcohol use
      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.

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

      Alcohol
      Levemirmetformin
      No alcohol related info.
      • Excessive or chronic alcohol use can increase the risk of a dangerous side effect.
      • Limit or avoid alcohol when taking this medicine.
      Food
      Levemirmetformin
      No food related info.
      • Always take it with food to lessen stomach upset.
      Kidneys and liver
      Levemirmetformin
      • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
      • Usually not a good choice for people with kidney problems. Your doctor will tell you if Glucophage (metformin) is right for you to take.
      • 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.
      Weight
      Levemirmetformin
      • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
      • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
      • Doesn't cause weight gain.
      Upsides and benefits
      Levemirmetformin
      • Insulin is the most effective blood sugar-lowering medicine. When used correctly, it'll lower blood sugar every time you use it and prevent the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
      • Levemir is a long-lasting insulin that provides consistent, all-day sugar control with less risk of low blood sugar.
      • Dose can be easily adjusted to make a customized regimen that's tailored to your body.
      • Starting insulin early in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes can maintain your body's insulin-producing cells and slow down disease progression.
      • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering 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
      Levemirmetformin
      • You have to take insulin by injection.
      • You have to check your blood sugar every day.
      • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
      • Higher risk of low blood sugar episodes than other kinds of diabetes medicines.
      • 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
      Levemirmetformin
      • Long-acting insulin good for baseline blood sugar control.
      • Works in 1 hour and lasts about 24 hours.
      • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
      • Make sure you and your family know the symptoms of low blood sugar: sweating, shakiness, weakness, fast heartbeat, nervousness, headache, blurry vision, trouble thinking clearly, or passing out.
      • Always have a good source of sugar nearby for low blood sugar episodes.
      • Take it at the same time every day.
      • Make sure you understand how to give yourself the injections.
      • Don't shake the vial or mix with another insulin. Store unopened vials in the refrigerator. Opened vials are good at room temperature for 28 days.
      • Check your blood sugar levels every day.
      • 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 LevemirSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Levemir (insulin detemir)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about metforminSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Glucophage (metformin)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it