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. Diabeta (glyburide) is a good oral anti-diabetic medicine, but can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
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 glyburide
45%
+20% better vs. metformin
34%
+12% better vs. metformin
21%
+5% better vs. 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 »
  • Nausea and heartburn 2%
  • Skin allergies 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.Diabeta (glyburide) stimulates your body to release insulin and lower blood sugar.
Type of medication
metforminglyburide
Prescription onlyPrescription 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 »
  • Over age 65
  • Kidney problems
  • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
  • Alcohol
  • Intense physical activity
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
  • Limit or avoid alcohol when taking this medicine.
  • Excessive or chronic alcohol use can increase the risk of a dangerous side effect.
  • Try to avoid drinking alcohol while on Diabeta (glyburide).
Food
metforminglyburide
  • Always take it with food to lessen stomach upset.
  • Eat well-balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
Kidneys and liver
metforminglyburide
  • 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.
  • Not ideal for elderly or those with poor kidney function.
Weight
metforminglyburide
  • Doesn't cause weight gain.
  • Can cause weight gain, dizziness, or stomach upset.
  • Can cause weight gain (about 2 to 3 pounds).
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.
  • 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.
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.
  • 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.
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.
  • 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).
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