Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Endocrine

Glucophage 

(metformin)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Endocrine
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Lowers blood sugar.

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Our bottom line

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.

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Price and discounts
Best available price for 60 (500mg) tablets of metformin

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.
People say this drug is:
938 reviews

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.
How it works

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.

What to expect when you take Glucophage (metformin) for Type 2 diabetes

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Side effect rates for Glucophage (metformin)

286 From clinical trials of metformin / Type 2 diabetes
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Gas
  • Weakness
  • Indigestion
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache

Risks and Warnings for Glucophage (metformin)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Kidney problems
    • Liver problems
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Using contrast dye for procedures
    • Surgery
    • Alcohol use

    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.

    This is a black box warning. The FDA requires this warning when there is a significant risk of serious or life-threatening effects that anyone taking the drug should consider.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Common concerns from people taking Glucophage (metformin)

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Pregnancy
Alcohol
  • Excessive or chronic alcohol use can increase the risk of a dangerous side effect.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol when taking this medicine.
Food
  • Always take it with food to lessen stomach upset.
  • 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
  • Usually not a good choice for people with kidney problems. Your doctor will tell you if Glucophage (metformin) is right for you to take.
  • 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.
Weight
  • Doesn't cause weight gain.