Compare metformin vs. Levemir

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

Glucophage (metformin)

Prescription only

Levemir (insulin detemir)

Prescription only
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.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 938 reviewsformetformin
Lowers blood sugar.

Levemir (insulin detemir) is an effective, long-acting insulin that provides all-day sugar control, but there are similar medications that can be used instead.

3.3/ 5 average rating with 130 reviewsforLevemir
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Insulin is the most effective blood sugar lowering medication, as it lowers A1c (average blood sugar over time) up to 2 or 3%. When used correctly, it'll prevent the harmful effects of high blood sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
  • Levemir (insulin detemir) is a long lasting insulin that provides consistent, all-day blood sugar control with less risk of low blood sugar.
  • Doses can be easily adjusted to make a customized regimen that's tailored to your body's needs.
  • Starting insulin early in the treatment of type 2 diabetes can maintain your body's insulin producing cells and slow down disease progression.
  • Levemir (insulin detemir) can be used in people with liver or kidney problems.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • You have to take Levemir (insulin detemir) by injection.
  • You have to check your blood sugar regularly.
  • There is a risk of low blood sugar episodes with use of Levemir (insulin detemir).
  • Levemir (insulin detemir) can cause tiredness, moderate weight gain, and swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
  • Injection
Price
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Reviews
938 reviews so far
65%
saidit'sworth it
46%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Glucophage (metformin)?

Leave a review
130 reviews so far
45%
saidit'sworth it
35%
saiditworked well
22%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Levemir (insulin detemir)?

Leave a review
Side effects
7possible side effects
  • Diarrhea
    53%
  • Nausea/vomiting
    26%
  • Gas
    12%
  • Weakness
    9%
  • Indigestion
    7%
  • Stomach pain
    6%
  • Headache
    6%
See more detailed side effects
5possible side effects
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
    26%
  • Headache
    23%
  • Sore throat
    10%
  • Flu-like symptoms
    8%
  • Stomach pain
    6%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Excess lactic acid in the blood
    • Kidney problems
    • Liver problems
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Using contrast dye for procedures
    • Surgery
    • Alcohol use
  • Low vitamin B12 levels
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Life-threatening low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia)
    • Insulin dose too high
    • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
    • Poor injection techniques
  • Complications due to low potassium
    • Use of other medicine that lower potassium
    • Current electrolyte imbalance
  • Severe allergic reactions
    • Allergy to insulin
See more detailed risks and warnings