Compare Onglyza vs. metformin

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

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Onglyza (saxagliptin)

Prescription only

Glucophage (metformin)

Prescription only
Lowers blood sugar.

Onglyza (saxagliptin) can cause heart failure unlike other medicines that work just like it.

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
  • DRUG-NAME is an oral blood sugar lowering medicine. It's a good option if you don't like injections.
  • Does not cause weight gain.
  • May be a good option for those with bad liver function.
  • Does not cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when taken by itself.
  • 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
  • Typically not first-choice treatment for diabetes.
  • Only lowers A1C (average blood sugar over time) by ~0.5%.
  • Risk for heart failure has not been seen in other medicines that work just like it.
  • May be more expensive than other anti-diabetic medicines.
  • 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.
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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
The Onglyza (saxagliptin) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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
  • inflammation of the pancreas
    • Alcoholism
    • Elevated triglycerides
    • History of pancreatitis
    • Gallstones
  • Heart failure
    • History of heart failure
    • Bad kidney function
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
    • Alcohol
    • Unexpected changes in diet
    • Changes in amount of exercise
    • Taking other anti-diabetic medications
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Severe joint pain
  • Fluid-filled blisters on the skin (bullous pemphigoid)
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