Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Endocrine

Glucophage

(Metformin)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Endocrine
Back to: Full Site NavigationSkip to: side effects sectionSkip to: What to expect sectionSkip to: Risks and warnings sectionSkip to: Common concerns from users and pharmacists

Lowers blood sugar.

Skip Upsides & Downsides section. Skip to side effects section.

Our bottom line

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.

Price and discounts

Upsides

  • Oral blood sugar-lowering medicine.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • One of the least expensive diabetes medicines.
People say this drug is:
938 reviews

Downsides

  • 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.
How it works

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.

What to expect when you take Glucophage (Metformin) for Improves blood sugar levels

Skip what to expect section. Skip to Risks & Warnings section.
Skip side effects section. Skip to What to Expect and Pharmacists Tips section.

Side effect rates for Glucophage (Metformin)

286 From clinical trials of Metformin / Type 2 diabetes
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Passing gas
  • Muscle weakness
  • Indigestion
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Headache

Risks and Warnings for Glucophage (Metformin)

Skip risks section. Skip to common concerns section.
    • Higher risk if:
    • Kidney problems
    • Liver problems
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Using contrast dye for procedures
    • Surgery
    • Alcohol use

    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.

Common concerns from people taking Glucophage (Metformin)

Final section. Do you want to return to drug navigation?
Pregnancy
Food
  • Always take it with food or switch to the extended release version to avoid upset stomach.
  • If prescribed by your doctor to take a larger dose, take it after your evening meal. Rather than in the morning. I find that this is less likely to cause stomach issues.
  • Due to diarrhea, I find it helps to take it after main meals. i take 1 in the morning after breakfast, and take 1 after evening meal.
  • Always take it after meals to minimize the side effects, diarrhea and nausea can overwhelm you in the first couple of weeks.
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.
Weight
  • Unlike some diabetes medicines, doesn't cause weight gain or low blood sugar.