Compare Glyset vs. metformin

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


Glyset (miglitol)

Prescription only

Glucophage (metformin)

Prescription only
Lowers blood sugar.

Glyset (miglitol) controls your blood sugar, but the side effects and how you're supposed to take it can make it hard to take every day.

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
  • Glyset (miglitol) controls post-meal time blood sugars and does not cause weight gain.
  • Glyset (miglitol) doesn't cause low blood sugar as much as other similar medications.
  • Safe for people 65 years and older.
  • Glyset (miglitol) won't increase your risk of bone fractures like some other antidiabetic drugs.
  • 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.
  • Glyset (miglitol) isn't a first choice medication because it doesn't lower blood sugar as well as others.
  • You have to take Glyset (miglitol) 3 times a day with each meal.
  • Glyset (miglitol) can cause diarrhea, excessive gas, and stomach pain when you first start taking it.
  • Not recommended for children under 18.
  • 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
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Side effects
The Glyset (miglitol) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
7possible side effects
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Gas
  • Weakness
  • Indigestion
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Severely low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
    • Use of other blood sugar-lowering medications
    • Unstable kidney function
  • Kidney problems
    • History of kidney problems
  • Stomach and intestine problems
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Ulcers
    • Bowel obstruction or blockage
    • Trouble absorbing or digesting food
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