Compare metformin vs. Glucotrol

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

Glucophage
(metformin)

Glucotrol
(glipizide)

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.Lowers blood sugar. Glucotrol (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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.01metformin
Reviews for metformin
65%
of people (All ages) say metformin is worth it
46%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
938 reviews
Have you used Glucophage (metformin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Glucotrol
50%
+15% better vs. metformin
32%
+14% better vs. metformin
19%
+3% better vs. metformin
332 reviews
Have you used Glucotrol (glipizide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
metforminGlucotrol
  • Diarrhea 41%
  • Nausea/vomiting 18%
  • Gas 6%
  • Weakness 3%
  • Indigestion 3%
  • Stomach pain 1%
  • Headache 1%
More metformin side effects »
  • 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 »
How it works
metforminGlucotrol
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.Glucotrol (glipizide) stimulates your body to release insulin and lower blood sugar.
Type of medication
metforminGlucotrol
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
metforminGlucotrol
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
Used for
metforminGlucotrol
Risk factors for serious side effects
metforminGlucotrol
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Using contrast dye for procedures
  • Surgery
Detailed Glucophage (metformin) risks & warnings »
  • 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 (glipizide) 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
metforminGlucotrol
  • Limit or avoid alcohol when taking this medicine.
  • Excessive or chronic alcohol use can increase the risk of a dangerous side effect.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Glucotrol (glipizide).
Food
metforminGlucotrol
  • Always take it with food to lessen stomach upset.
  • Eat regular and well-balanced meals to keep your blood sugar levels normal.
Kidneys and liver
metforminGlucotrol
  • 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.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Weight
metforminGlucotrol
  • Doesn't cause weight gain.
  • Can cause mild weight gain of 2-3lb.
Upsides and benefits
metforminGlucotrol
  • 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.
  • Lowers A1c levels by 1-2%.
  • Glucotrol (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.
  • Okay to use by people with kidney problems.
  • Available as a generic form and is relatively cheap.
Downsides and risks
metforminGlucotrol
  • 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.
  • Has a higher risk than other diabetes medicine for causing blood sugar levels to be too low.
  • While taking Glucotrol (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 2-3lb.
  • Might lose its effectiveness over time.
  • Needs to be taken 30 minutes before a meal for it to be most effective.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
metforminGlucotrol
  • 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.
  • Take the medicine 30 minutes before eating, usually before your first big meal of the day.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Glucotrol (glipizide).
  • Eat regular and well-balanced meals to keep your blood sugar levels normal.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly.
  • Glucotrol (glipizide) can cause dizziness so avoid activities that require coordination until you know how your body can handle the medicine.
Learn more
More about metforminSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Glucophage (metformin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about GlucotrolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Glucotrol (glipizide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it