Compare metformin vs. Glyburide

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

Glucophage
(metformin)

Diabeta
(glyburide)

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. Glyburide is a very effective oral blood sugar-lowering medicine, but has more side effects and restrictions compared to other medicines in this class (sulfonylureas).
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Coupons for metformin
Best available price for 60 (500mg) tablets of metformin
Coupons for Glyburide
Best available price for 60 (5mg) tablets of glyburide
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.01metformin
Reviews for Glucophage (metformin)
65%
of people (All ages) say Glucophage (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 Diabeta (glyburide)
45%
-20% worse vs. Glucophage (metformin)
34%
-12% worse vs. Glucophage (metformin)
21%
-5% worse vs. Glucophage (metformin)
110 reviews
Have you used Diabeta (glyburide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
metforminGlyburide
  • Diarrhea 41%
  • Nausea/vomiting 18%
  • Gas 6%
  • Weakness 3%
  • Indigestion 3%
  • Stomach pain 1%
  • Headache 1%
More metformin side effects »
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances 2%
  • Allergic skin reactions 2%
More Glyburide side effects »
How it works
metforminGlyburide
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.Glyburide is an anti-diabetic drug. It stimulates your body to make more insulin to lower blood sugar.
Type of medication
metforminGlyburide
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
metforminGlyburide
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
metforminGlyburide
Risk factors for serious side effects
metforminGlyburide
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Using contrast dye for procedures
  • Surgery
Detailed Glucophage (metformin) risks & warnings »
  • Elderly
  • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
  • Alcohol
  • Intense physical activity
  • History of sulfa allergies
Detailed Diabeta (glyburide) 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 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.

Alcohol
metforminGlyburide
  • Excessive or chronic alcohol use can increase the risk of a dangerous side effect.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol when taking this medicine.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
Food
metforminGlyburide
  • Always take it with food to lessen stomach upset.
  • Eat regular, balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
Kidneys and liver
metforminGlyburide
  • 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.
  • Not a good choice for people with kidney problems because it's processed by the kidneys.
Weight
metforminGlyburide
  • Doesn't cause weight gain.
  • Can cause mild weight gain (2 to 3 pounds).
  • Can cause weight gain, dizziness, or stomach upset.
Upsides and benefits
metforminGlyburide
  • 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.
  • Oral blood sugar-lowering medicine.
  • Lowers A1c levels by 1-2%. (Hemoglobin A1c measures your average blood sugar over time.)
  • Prevents the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
  • One of the least expensive diabetes medicines.
Downsides and risks
metforminGlyburide
  • 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.
  • Higher risk of low blood sugar episodes than other kinds of oral diabetes medicines.
  • You have to check your blood sugar 2 to 5 times a week (less often once you are on a stable dose).
  • Can cause mild weight gain (2 to 3 pounds).
  • Not preferred for people 65 years or older since it can cause prolonged low blood sugar (more than 12 hours).
  • Not a good choice for people with kidney problems because it's processed by the kidneys.
  • Loses effectiveness over time or as your body stops making insulin.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
metforminGlyburide
  • 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.
  • Works best if you take it 30 minutes before a meal, usually your first big meal of the day.
  • Can cause weight gain, dizziness, or stomach upset.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • Eat regular, balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly.
Learn more
More about metforminSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Glucophage (metformin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about GlyburideSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Diabeta (glyburide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it