Compare Precose vs. metformin

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

Precose (acarbose)

Prescription only

Glucophage (metformin)

Prescription only
Lowers blood sugar.

Precose (acarbose) helps lower your post-mealtime blood sugar levels, but it must be taken at the beginning of each main meal in order for it to be most effective.

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
Upsides
  • Precose (acarbose) helps control meal-time blood sugar levels without causing weight gain.
  • When used alone it doesn't normally cause blood sugar levels to be too low unlike other anti-diabetes medicines.
  • Safe to be used in people age 65 or older.
  • Has relatively few interactions with other medicines.
  • 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.
Downsides
  • Not a first choice medicine because it isn't as effective at lowering blood sugar compared to other treatment options.
  • Associated with bothersome side effects like excessive gas and diarrhea.
  • Relatively more expensive than other diabetes medicines.
  • Has to be taken three times a day with each meal.
  • Might cause episodes of low blood sugar when taken together with insulin or medicines that stimulate insulin release.
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
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938 reviews so far
65%
saidit'sworth it
46%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
3possible side effects
  • Excessive gas
    74%
  • Diarrhea
    31%
  • Stomach pain
    19%
See more detailed 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
Risks and risk factors
  • Low blood sugar
    • Using insulin or other medicines that stimulate insulin release
  • Kidney function
    • Those with kidney problems
  • Interactions with other medicines
    • Taking multiple medicines together
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • 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