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 a very effective medicine to lower blood sugar and the risk of complications and death from diabetes, but it's likely to cause diarrhea for the first few weeks.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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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.008611410118407Metformin
Reviews for Glucophage (Metformin)
65%
of people say Glucophage (Metformin) is worth it
46%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Diabeta (Glyburide)
46%
19% vs. Glucophage (Metformin)
33%
13% vs. Glucophage (Metformin)
20%
4% vs. Glucophage (Metformin)
Side effects
MetforminGlyburide
  • Diarrhea 41%
  • Nausea/vomiting 18%
  • Passing gas 6%
  • Indigestion 3%
  • Muscle weakness 3%
  • Abdominal discomfort 1%
  • Headache 1%
More Metformin side effects »

The Glyburide FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Glyburide side effects »
How it works
MetforminGlyburide
Glucophage (Metformin) is an anti-diabetic drug. It lowers sugar production in your body, decreases sugar absorption in your intestines, and makes your body more sensitive to insulin.Glyburide is an anti-diabetic drug. It stimulates your body to make more insulin to lower blood sugar.
Type of medication
MetforminGlyburide
Anti-diabetic
Biguanide
Prescription only
Anti-diabetic
Sulfonylurea
Prescription only
Available as
MetforminGlyburide
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
MetforminGlyburide
Risk factors for serious side effects
MetforminGlyburide
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Using contrast dye for procedures
  • Surgery
  • Alcohol use
    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 category
      MetforminGlyburide
      BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

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

      See the FDA package insert
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.
      • Avoid drinking alcohol.
      Food
      • Always take it with food or switch to the extended release version to avoid upset stomach.
      • Works best if you take it 30 minutes before a meal, usually your first big meal of the day.
      • Eat regular, balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
      Kidneys and liver
      • People with poor kidney function can't use it.
      • Glucophage (Metformin) can cause this rare but life-threatening condition. Symptoms include deep and rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency and you should get help right away. Baseline blood work for kidney and liver function are helpful to see if you can use Glucophage (Metformin). It may not be a good choice for people with kidney problems. Glucophage (Metformin) should be stopped 48 hours before and/or 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.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
      Weight
      • Unlike some diabetes medicines, doesn't cause weight gain or low blood sugar.
      • Can cause mild weight gain (2 to 3 pounds).
      • Can cause weight gain, dizziness, or stomach upset.
      Upsides and benefits
      MetforminGlyburide
      • A common first treatment for people with newly-diagnosed Type 2 diabetes.
      • The only oral diabetes medicine that lowers complications and deaths from conditions related to diabetes.
      • Also lowers certain lipid (fat and cholesterol) levels.
      • Unlike some diabetes medicines, doesn't cause weight gain or low blood sugar.
      • You don't have to check your blood sugar every day with this medicine.
      • 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.
      • 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
      • Most people will have nausea, indigestion, or diarrhea in the first few weeks. You can minimize this if you take it on a full stomach.
      • People with poor kidney function can't use it.
      • Only works if your body can still make your own insulin, a hormone that tells your body what to do with sugar, protein, and fat.
      • 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 or switch to the extended release version to avoid upset stomach.
      • 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
      More about GlyburideSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert