Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Endocrine

Glucophage Alternatives

(metformin)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Endocrine
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Compare Glucophage (metformin) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Glucophage (metformin) or used for similar purposes.

Glucophage
(metformin)

Actos
(pioglitazone)

Prandin
(repaglinide)

Precose
(acarbose)

Januvia
(sitagliptin)

Invokana
(canagliflozin)

Victoza
(liraglutide)

Lantus
(insulin glargine)

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.Lowers blood sugar. Actos (Pioglitazone) is a last-choice blood sugar-lowering medicine since it's only moderately effective but has a lot of undesirable side effects.Coming soon.Coming soon.Lowers your blood sugar. Januvia (sitagliptin) is a good add-on treatment if your blood sugars are not controlled and you don't want to use an injectable medicine.Lowers blood sugar. Invokana (canagliflozin) can be used together with other diabetes medicines to help lower your blood sugar, but it can be expensive because it's brand name.Lowers your blood sugar. Victoza (Liraglutide) helps lower blood sugar for people with diabetes and causes weight loss, but it has to be given by injection and many people have upset stomach.Lowers blood sugar. Lantus (Insulin Glargine) is a long-acting insulin that provides all-day sugar control. It can cause low blood sugar, so make sure you know what the symptoms are and always have a source of sugar nearby.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
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5.01metformin
Reviews for Glucophage (metformin)
65%
of people (All ages) say Glucophage (metformin) is worth it
46%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
938 reviews
Have you used Glucophage (metformin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Actos (pioglitazone)
42%
-23% worse vs. Glucophage (metformin)
30%
-16% worse vs. Glucophage (metformin)
21%
-5% worse vs. Glucophage (metformin)
175 reviews
Have you used Actos (pioglitazone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Prandin (repaglinide)
Not enough review data. Review it!
-65% worse vs. Glucophage (metformin)
Not enough review data. Review it!
-46% worse vs. Glucophage (metformin)
Not enough review data. Review it!
+16% better vs. Glucophage (metformin)
Have you used Prandin (repaglinide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Precose (acarbose)
Not enough review data. Review it!
+35% better vs. Glucophage (metformin)
Not enough review data. Review it!
+54% better vs. Glucophage (metformin)
Not enough review data. Review it!
+16% better vs. Glucophage (metformin)
Have you used Precose (acarbose)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Januvia (sitagliptin)
44%
-21% worse vs. Glucophage (metformin)
34%
-12% worse vs. Glucophage (metformin)
17%
-1% worse vs. Glucophage (metformin)
143 reviews
Have you used Januvia (sitagliptin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Invokana (canagliflozin)
67%
+2% better vs. Glucophage (metformin)
56%
+10% better vs. Glucophage (metformin)
19%
-3% worse vs. Glucophage (metformin)
Have you used Invokana (canagliflozin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Victoza (liraglutide)
73%
+8% better vs. Glucophage (metformin)
91%
+45% better vs. Glucophage (metformin)
27%
-11% worse vs. Glucophage (metformin)
Have you used Victoza (liraglutide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Lantus (insulin glargine)
67%
+2% better vs. Glucophage (metformin)
51%
+5% better vs. Glucophage (metformin)
14%
+2% better vs. Glucophage (metformin)
584 reviews
Have you used Lantus (insulin glargine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
metforminActosPrandinPrecoseJanuviaInvokanaVictozaLantus
  • Diarrhea 41%
  • Nausea/vomiting 18%
  • Gas 6%
  • Weakness 3%
  • Indigestion 3%
  • Stomach pain 1%
  • Headache 1%
More metformin side effects »
  • Swelling due to excess fluid 11%
  • Low blood sugar 8%
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 4%
  • Headache 2%
  • Cardiac failure 2%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Sinus inflammation 1%
  • Muscle pain 2%
More Actos side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Prandin side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Prandin »

We haven’t found good data for Precose side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Precose »
  • Common cold 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Upper respiratory infection 3%
  • Headache 1%
More Januvia side effects »
  • Yeast infection in women 8%
  • Urinary tract infections 2%
  • Increased urination 4%
  • Yeast infection in men 3%
  • Thirst 3%
  • Vaginal itching 2%
  • Constipation 1%
  • Abdominal pain 1%
More Invokana side effects »
  • Nausea 26%
  • Diarrhea 17%
  • Vomiting 9%
  • Constipation 10%
More Victoza side effects »
  • Ear, nose, or throat infection 22%
  • Infection 9%
  • Accidental injury 6%
  • Headache 6%
  • Ankle and leg swelling 20%
  • High blood pressure 20%
  • Sinus inflammation 19%
  • Flu 19%
  • Clouded eye lens 18%
  • Bronchitis 15%
More Lantus side effects »
How it works
metforminActosPrandinPrecoseJanuviaInvokanaVictozaLantus
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.Actos (Pioglitazone) is an anti-diabetic drug. It improves your body's ability to use insulin to lower your blood sugar.Coming soon.Coming soon.Januvia (sitagliptin) is an anti-diabetic drug that enhances your body's release of insulin.Invokana (canagliflozin) is an anti-diabetes medication. It lowers blood sugar by causing your body to get rid of sugar in your urine.Victoza (Liraglutide) is a medication for diabetes. It stimulates your body to produce and release more insulin, lower the sugar hormone (glucagon), and slow down digestion.Lantus (Insulin Glargine) is a long-acting insulin medicine for diabetes. It acts like the insulin that your body normally makes to process sugars and fats, and it keeps your blood sugar stable throughout the day.
Type of medication
metforminActosPrandinPrecoseJanuviaInvokanaVictozaLantus
Prescription only
Prescription only
Prescription only
Prescription only
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
metforminActosPrandinPrecoseJanuviaInvokanaVictozaLantus
  • Pill
  • Extended release pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Injection
Used for
metforminActosPrandinPrecoseJanuviaInvokanaVictozaLantus
  • Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
  • Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
Risk factors for serious side effects
metforminActosPrandinPrecoseJanuviaInvokanaVictozaLantus
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Using contrast dye for procedures
  • Surgery
Detailed Glucophage (metformin) risks & warnings »
  • Heart failure diagnosis
  • Current liver problems
  • Female
Detailed Actos (pioglitazone) risks & warnings »
    Coming soon.
      Coming soon.
      • History of pancreatitis
      • High blood triglyceride levels
      • Gallstones (stones in gallbladder)
      • History of alchoholism
      • Kidney problems
      Detailed Januvia (sitagliptin) risks & warnings »
      • History of amputations 
      • Peripheral vascular disease (narrowed blood vessels)
      • Nerve problems
      • Diabetic foot ulcers 
      • History of kidney damage
      Detailed Invokana (canagliflozin) risks & warnings »
      • Using insulin
      • Using medications that increase the amount of insulin in your body (glipizide, glyburide or glimepiride)
      • Dehydration
      • Diarrhea
      • Nausea
      Detailed Victoza (liraglutide) risks & warnings »
      • Insulin dose too high
      • Use of other blood sugar lowering medicines
      • Poor injection techniques
      • Unstable kidney functions
      • Unstable liver functions
      Detailed Lantus (insulin glargine) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy

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

      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.

      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.

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

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

      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.

      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.

      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.

      Alcohol
      metforminActosPrandinPrecoseJanuviaInvokanaVictozaLantus
      • Excessive or chronic alcohol use can increase the risk of a dangerous side effect.
      • Limit or avoid alcohol when taking this medicine.
      No alcohol related info.No alcohol related info.No alcohol related info.No alcohol related info.
      • Avoid if you are a heavy drinker of alcohol.
      No alcohol related info.No alcohol related info.
      Food
      metforminActosPrandinPrecoseJanuviaInvokanaVictozaLantus
      • Always take it with food to lessen stomach upset.
      No food related info.No food related info.No food related info.
      • Take once a day in the morning with or without food.
      • You only have to take Invokana (canagliflozin) once a day before meals.
      • Take once daily before your first meal of the day.
      • Eat regular, balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
      No food related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      metforminActosPrandinPrecoseJanuviaInvokanaVictozaLantus
      • 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.
      No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.
      • Januvia (sitagliptin) can worsen kidney problems. Your doctor may check your kidney function before and during treatment. Your doctor may have to adjust the dose or stop this medicine based on changes in kidney function.
      • Not for people with severe kidney problems.
      • There have been reports of people having kidney damage or failure while on Victoza (Liraglutide), usually when they've also had diarrhea, vomiting or nausea. Stay hydrated to prevent this from happening, or call your doctor if you're suddenly unable to urinate or the amount of urine you pass is decreased.
      • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
      Pain
      metforminActosPrandinPrecoseJanuviaInvokanaVictozaLantus
      No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.
      • Tell your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain, nausea, and/or vomiting. These are symptoms of pancreatitis.
      • Rarely, Invokana (canagliflozin) can hurt the kidneys. This is more likely to happen if you already have kidney damage, heart failure, or take certain medicines for blood pressure or anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). Invokana (canagliflozin) can also lower your blood pressure since it makes you urinate more. Your doctor will check your kidneys by blood tests regularly, and might ask you to change how you take Invokana (canagliflozin). Make sure to stay hydrated to prevent low blood pressure and kidney problems.
      • Using Victoza (Liraglutide) has been associated with stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If you have severe gastrointestinal disease such as Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, you should talk to your doctor about using a different medication for diabetes.
      No pain related info.
      Weight
      metforminActosPrandinPrecoseJanuviaInvokanaVictozaLantus
      • Doesn't cause weight gain.
      • More likely to cause weight gain (2 to 6 pounds or more) compared to other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
      • Can cause weight gain, headache, and fluid retention.
      No weight related info.No weight related info.
      • It is less likely to cause weight gain and low blood sugar compared to other diabetes medicines.
      No weight related info.
      • Weight loss is a common side effect.
      • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
      • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
      Upsides and benefits
      metforminActosPrandinPrecoseJanuviaInvokanaVictozaLantus
      • 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.
      • Oral blood sugar-lowering medicine.
      • Lowers A1c levels by around 1%. (Hemoglobin A1c measures your average blood sugar over time.)
      • Prevents the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
      • Rarely causes low blood sugar.
      Coming soonComing soon
      • Oral blood sugar-lowering medicine.
      • Januvia (sitagliptin) is not linked to worsening heart failure like other medicines in its class.
      • Uses the hormones naturally produced by your body to affect how sugar is processed.
      • It is less likely to cause weight gain and low blood sugar compared to other diabetes medicines.
      • Lowers A1C (blood sugar) levels by 1%.
      • You only have to take Invokana (canagliflozin) once a day before meals.
      • Less likely to cause low blood sugar than other diabetes medicines.
      • Also available as a combination drug with metformin (Invokamet).
      • Lowers A1c levels by 1% (A1c measures your average blood sugar over time.)
      • Prevents the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs.
      • Taken only once a day compared to similar medications that have to be taken more often.
      • Weight loss is a common side effect.
      • Helps lower your blood sugar in combination with other medications when other medications alone aren’t working.
      • Insulin is the most effective blood sugar-lowering medicine. When used correctly, it'll lower blood sugar every time you use it and prevent the harmful effects of high sugar levels on your organs and blood vessels.
      • Lantus is a long-lasting insulin that provides consistent, all-day sugar control with less risk of low blood sugar.
      • Dose can be easily adjusted to make a customized regimen that's tailored to your body.
      • Starting insulin early in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes can maintain your body's insulin-producing cells and slow down disease progression.
      • Okay to use even if you have liver or kidney problems, unlike most other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
      Downsides and risks
      metforminActosPrandinPrecoseJanuviaInvokanaVictozaLantus
      • 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.
      • May take several weeks to lower blood sugar.
      • You have to check your blood sugar regularly with this medicine.
      • Has more side effects than similar medicines, so it's usually not the first choice for new Type 2 diabetes patients.
      • More likely to cause weight gain (2 to 6 pounds or more) compared to other blood sugar-lowering medicines.
      • Up to 1 in 10 people might get fluid retention (edema), ranging from mild ankle swelling to severe swelling in the lungs that makes it hard to breathe. People with severe congestive heart failure shouldn't use Actos.
      • Raises the risk of bone fractures, especially for people who already have a risk for fractures.
      • Slightly raises the risk of bladder cancer.
      Coming soonComing soon
      • Lowers A1c (average blood sugar over time) by less than 1%.
      • Available as brand version only.
      • Some people might get frequent cold-like symptoms.
      • Rare but serious side effects include pancreatitis and severe joint pain.
      • You're more likely to have broken bones, yeast infections and urinary tract infections with Invokana (canagliflozin).
      • There's a rare but serious risk of leg and foot amputations with Invokana (canagliflozin). Talk to your doctor if you develop new pain or infections in your feet.
      • Not for people with severe kidney problems.
      • Can raise your cholesterol.
      • Avoid if you are a heavy drinker of alcohol.
      • Only lowers A1c levels by 1%, which may not be enough to get your blood sugar in the safe range.
      • Only available as an injectable medication; other diabetes medications can be taken by mouth.
      • Up to a third of people taking Victoza (Liraglutide) have upset stomach, and side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or indigestion.
      • Other diabetes medications work as well and are cheaper.
      • Not considered the best first choice drug to help lower blood sugar.
      • You have to take insulin by injection.
      • You have to check your blood sugar every day.
      • Likely to cause moderate weight gain (around 4 to 6 pounds).
      • Higher risk of low blood sugar episodes than other kinds of diabetes medicines.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      metforminActosPrandinPrecoseJanuviaInvokanaVictozaLantus
      • Can cause upset stomach with nausea and especially diarrhea in the first couple of weeks.
      • Always take it with food to lessen stomach upset.
      • Stay hydrated.
      • Limit or avoid alcohol when taking this medicine.
      • Tell your doctor about any deep or rapid breathing, or persistent nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
      • Check your blood sugar regularly.
      • Takes several weeks to see full effect on blood sugar control.
      • Can cause weight gain, headache, and fluid retention.
      • Tell your doctor about any mental confusion, persistent abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing of eyes/skin, or easy bruising.
      • Not recommended for patients with certain heart problems.
      • Check your blood sugar regularly.
      Coming soonComing soon
      • Take once a day in the morning with or without food.
      • Can cause headache and cold-like symptoms.
      • Tell your doctor right away if you have severe stomach pain, nausea, and/or vomiting. These are symptoms of pancreatitis.
      • Tell your doctor right away if you are experiencing severe joint pain.
      • Check your blood sugar regularly to check for low blood sugar.
      • Take once daily before your first meal of the day.
      • Invokana (canagliflozin) can cause you to urinate more, so be sure to stay hydrated.
      • Can cause genital yeast infections in females and males.
      • Can cause urinary tract infections (UTI).
      • Can cause low blood sugar, so make sure to check your blood sugar if you don't feel well.
      • You should continue to exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and take your other diabetes medicines along with Invokana (canagliflozin).
      • Store in the refrigerator until opening.
      • Give injections in your belly, thighs, or upper arm.
      • Change the needle every time you inject.
      • It’s not safe to share this medication with other people, even if you change the needle.
      • Don’t mix with insulin; always give yourself separate injections. Can be given at the same time as insulin, but in different injection areas.
      • Eat regular, balanced meals to avoid low blood sugar.
      • It's best to check your blood sugar at least once a day using a home blood sugar monitor to make sure your medication is working and is safe. Some people may need to test more often, ask your doctor.
      • Long-acting insulin good for baseline blood sugar control.
      • Works in 1 hour and lasts about 24 hours.
      • Can cause weight gain and low blood sugar.
      • Make sure you and your family know the symptoms of low blood sugar: sweating, shakiness, weakness, fast heartbeat, nervousness, headache, blurry vision, trouble thinking clearly, or passing out.
      • Always have a good source of sugar nearby for low blood sugar episodes.
      • Take it at the same time every day.
      • Make sure you understand how to give yourself the injections.
      • Don't shake the vial or mix with another insulin. Store unopened vials in the refrigerator. Opened vials are good at room temperature for 28 days.
      • Check your blood sugar levels every day.
      Learn more
      More about metforminSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      Have you used Glucophage (metformin)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about ActosSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
      Have you used Actos (pioglitazone)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about PrandinSide effectsFDA package insert
      Have you used Prandin (repaglinide)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about PrecoseSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
      Have you used Precose (acarbose)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about JanuviaSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
      Have you used Januvia (sitagliptin)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about InvokanaSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
      Have you used Invokana (canagliflozin)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about VictozaSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
      Have you used Victoza (liraglutide)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it
      More about LantusSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
      Have you used Lantus (insulin glargine)?
      Worth itNot sureNot worth it