Diabetes Home > Alternatives to Metformin

If metformin is not working for you or if you develop bothersome side effects from the medication, talk to your healthcare provider about trying some of the alternatives to metformin. There are several alternatives to metformin for type 2 diabetes, including lifestyle changes, other oral diabetes medications, and insulin.

What Are the Alternatives to Metformin?

Metformin (Glucophage®) is a prescription medication used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. A long-acting form, metformin ER (Glucophage XR®), is also available. For most people, metformin is effective in treating their diabetes, and most people tolerate it well. However, as with all medicines, side effects can occur. In other cases, the medicine may not completely control a person's diabetes. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to metformin.
Some of the metformin alternatives include:

Lifestyle Changes for Type 2 Diabetes

Many lifestyle changes have been shown to be very effective for controlling type 2 diabetes (especially early type 2 diabetes). These lifestyle changes include weight loss, becoming more physically active (see Diabetes and Exercise), and changes in diet (see Diabetic Diet). In fact, these changes are important for all people with type 2 diabetes, including people taking diabetes medications.
For many people, lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to adequately control type 2 diabetes. For these people, medications (including oral and injectable medications) may be necessary.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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