Home / Medications / Compare Drugs / Ozempic vs Metformin

Ozempic vs Metformin

Drug facts and comparison

✅
Medically reviewed by  Jamie Winn, PharmD

Uses

  • Type 2 diabetes
Get Ozempic for only
$49 per month
Get started
  • Adults and children 10 years or older with Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Get Metformin for only
$49 per month
Get started

Summary

Active ingredient: semaglutide
Active ingredient: metformin
Indication: Type 2 diabetes
Indication: Adults and children 10 years or older with Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Average cost 2 mg/1.5 ml pre-filled Pen: $899

Side Effects

Most common

  • Feeling sick
  • Being sick (vomiting)
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach (abdominal) pain
  • Constipation

More serious

  • Thyroid tumors and a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma
  • Kidney problems, including kidney failure
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Changes in vision
  • Very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

Most common

  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Bloating and constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Weight loss

More serious

  • Lactic Acidosis
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency
  • Hypoglycemia

Drug Interactions

Severe Interactions
  • Antibiotics for bacterial infections such as gatifloxacin
  • Bexarotene used to treat skin cancer
Serious interactions
  • Any other diabetes medications, like insulin or sulfonylureas
  • Diuretics, taken to make you lose water and salt, usually to treat high blood pressure – bumetanide, furosemide
  • Corticosteroids such as cortisone and prednisolone
  • Fenofibrate, taken to lower blood triglyceride levels
  • Beta 2-stimulants, taken to treat asthma – salmeterol
  • Antidepressants, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors – phenelzine, selegiline, sertraline
  • Disopyramide, taken to treat heart rhythm problems
  • Estrogen containing drugs including birth control and hormone replacements
Moderate Interaction
  • Steroids used topically (on the skin) such as betamethasone, clobetasol, hydrocortisone, and mometasone
Severe Interactions
  • Antibiotics for bacterial infections such as gatifloxacin
  • Treatments for epilepsy and migraine such as topiramate
Serious interactions
  • Diuretics such as bendroflumethiazide, bumetanide, furosemide
  • NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as bromfenac, diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen
  • Treatments for high blood pressure such as captopril, enalapril, ramipril
  • Corticosteroids such as betamethasone, cortisone, hydrocortisone, prednisolone
  • Antipsychotics such as clozapine
Moderate interactions
  • Antifungals such as itraconazole
  • Topical steroid treatments such as clobetasol and fluticasone

Warnings

You should not use Ozempic if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient semaglutide
  • Are allergic to any of the other ingredients in Ozempic
  • Have Type 1 diabetes (Ozempic is for Type 2 diabetes only)
  • Have an endocrine system condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2)
  • Have or anyone in your family has had a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)
  • Have diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Are under 18 years of age

You should talk to your doctor before using Ozempic if you:

  • Are taking any of the medications that could interact with Ozempic
  • Have or have had any problems with your pancreas
  • Have or have had any problems with your kidneys
  • Have a history of diabetic retinopathy
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed

You should not use Metformin if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient Metformin, or any other ingredients in Metformin
  • Have hypersensitivity to Metformin
  • Have severe renal impairment
  • Have liver or kidney disease
  • Have recently been treated for heart failure or heart attack
  • Have type 1 diabetes (Metformin  is for type 2 diabetes only)
  • Have acute or chronic metabolic acidosis, including diabetic ketoacidosis, with or without coma
  • Are due for surgery or an x-ray

You should talk to your doctor before using Metformin if you:

  • Have kidney or liver problems
  • Consume excessive alcohol
  • Are over 65 years old
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed

Dosage

0.25mg once weekly
0.5mg once weekly
1mg once weekly

Once, twice or three times a day

Cost

2 mg/1.5 ml pre-filled Ozempic Pen costs $899 on average for 1.5 milliliters

14, 500 mg Metformin oral tablets will cost $11

FAQs

Ozempic and Metformin are FDA-approved medications that are prescribed for diabetes management. They can be prescribed alone, combined with other medication, or used together for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Clinical trials show Ozempic and Metformin are effective at reducing blood glucose and HbA1c levels. They both also cause similar gastrointestinal side effects. Let’s take a look at the similarities and differences between these two diabetes drugs.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic is a brand name diabetes medication manufactured by Novo Nordisk given to adults with Type 2 diabetes to:

  • Lower blood sugar (glucose) levels, when used alongside exercise and diet changes
  • Reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events, like heart attacks and strokes, in people who have heart disease

Ozempic can help you lower your blood sugar levels when used alongside dietary and lifestyle changes. It causes you to secrete more insulin, helping to lower your blood sugar and reduce your risk of major cardiovascular events, like heart attacks and strokes, if you have cardiovascular disease.

How is Ozempic taken?

You take Ozempic as a weekly injection. It is injected under your skin (subcutaneous injection), using a pre-filled pen. As it’s a non-insulin medication, your doctor may prescribe Ozempic alongside insulin. Make sure you always use your Ozempic as directed by your doctor.

How does Ozempic work?

The active ingredient in Ozempic is called semaglutide. It’s a non-insulin drug that can help lower your blood glucose levels by stimulating the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin (called beta cells).

When you take Ozempic, semaglutide molecules attach to beta cells in your pancreas at sites called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptors. The semaglutide stimulates these receptors, which makes the beta cells produce more insulin, helping to lower your blood sugar after you’ve eaten.

Semaglutide also encourages the growth of more beta cells in your pancreas, allowing your pancreas to produce higher levels of insulin, reversing any declines in your body’s insulin production.

Other common brands of GLP-1 agonists are Trulicity (dulaglutide), Byetta (exenatide), Bydureon Bcise (exenatide extended-release), and Victoza (liraglutide).

Ozempic side effects & Ozempic drug interactions

The most common side effects of Ozempic include:

  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Vomiting (being sick)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

In rare instances, Ozempic can cause more serious side effects, including:

  • An increased risk of thyroid tumors, including cancerous tumors
  • Kidney problems, including kidney failure
  • Severe allergic reactions to the medication that can cause itching, rashes, swelling, and difficulties breathing
  • Inflammation of your pancreas (pancreatitis)
  • Changes in your vision
  • Very low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

Ozempic can also interact with the following medications:

  • Any medications you take orally to reduce the risk of blood clots (oral anticoagulants) like warfarin
  • Insulin – Ozempic can be used alongside insulin, but your doctor may change the dose of insulin you take and/or how often you take insulin
  • Any other medications you take to treat type 2 diabetes

Talking with your doctor about all medications you take will allow them to pick up any drug interactions and help manage any possible side effects.

Ozempic warnings & precautions

Don’t take Ozempic if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient semaglutide, or any of the other ingredients in Ozempic
  • Have had, or anyone in your family has had, a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC)
  • Have an endocrine system condition called multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2
  • Have pancreatitis
  • Have type 1 diabetes (Ozempic is for type 2 diabetes only)
  • Are under 18 years of age

Talk to your doctor before taking Ozempic if you:

  • Have had any problems with your pancreas or kidneys
  • Have ever had diabetic retinopathy
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed

What is Metformin?

Metformin is a diabetes medication belonging to the drug class called biguanides. Metformin helps to reduce or control the amount of sugar in your blood. It can help with weight loss, while nearly all other diabetes drugs cause weight gain. It is especially useful for diabetic patients struggling with obesity.

Metformin is given to adults and children 10 years or older diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes mellitus to

  • Increase glycemic control as an adjunct to diet and exercise

How is Metformin taken?

Metformin is an oral medication taken as a liquid, a tablet, or an extended-release tablet.

The liquid form is usually taken with meals one or two times a day. The regular tablet is usually taken with meals two or three times a day. The extended-release tablet is usually taken once daily with the evening meal.

The tablets are available in four strengths

  • 500 mg, 625 mg, 750mg, 850mg and 1000mg

The recommended starting dose of Metformin hydrochloride tablets is 500 mg orally twice a day or 850 mg once a day, given with meals. Your healthcare provider will advise you on what dosing regime is suitable for you.

How does Metformin work?

Metformin works in three ways:

  • It reduces the amount of glucose absorption from your food
  • It reduces the amount of glucose made by your liver
  • It increases your body’s response to insulin

Metformin is a very useful drug in that it reduces high blood sugar but does not cause hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes who are not taking insulin injections. It can do this because it does not increase your insulin production like many other diabetes medications.

Side effects of Metformin

The most common side effects of Metformin include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Bloating and constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Weight loss

In rare instances, Metformin can cause more serious side effects, including:

  • Lactic Acidosis
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency
  • Hypoglycemia

Metformin can also interact with the following medications:

  • Sulfonylureas when taken in combination with metformin can cause hypoglycemia
  • Cimetidine can cause the levels of metformin to rise

Give a complete list of all the prescription drugs, including over-the-counter meds, supplements, and medical conditions you may have to your healthcare provider. Talking with your doctor will allow them to pick up any drug interactions with Metformin and help manage any possible side effects.

Metformin warnings and precautions

Don’t take Metformin if you:

  • Are allergic to the active ingredient Metformin, or any other ingredients in Metformin
  • Have hypersensitivity to Metformin
  • Have a severe renal impairment
  • Have liver or kidney disease
  • Have recently been treated for heart failure or heart attack
  • Have type 1 diabetes (Metformin is for type 2 diabetes only)
  • Have acute or chronic metabolic acidosis, including diabetic ketoacidosis, with or without coma
  • Are due for surgery or an x-ray

Talk to your doctor before taking Metformin if you:

  • Have kidney or liver problems
  • Consume excessive alcohol
  • Are over 65 years old
  • Are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding or are planning to breastfeed

Read the full prescribing information for Metformin and Ozempic and always speak with your healthcare provider for medical advice about your medicine so they can monitor and evaluate your condition.

Also read

Featured image

Ozempic and alcohol: can they be used together?

Surprisingly, it is extremely difficult to predict what effect Ozempic and drinking alcohol will have on an individ...

Read more
Featured image

Ozempic side effects and how to avoid them

Ozempic is used to control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Just like other drugs, it can ...

Read more
Featured image

Ozempic vs Trulicity

Ozempic and Trulicity are brand-name prescription drugs for type 2 diabetes commonly taken with metformin to help l...

Read more
Featured image

Rybelsus vs Ozempic

Rybelsus and Ozempic are brand names of semaglutide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist used for diabetes t...

Read more
Featured image

Diabetes medications

Having a good grasp of the medication you are taking and how it works gives you more confidence in managing your di...

Read more
Featured image

How much is Ozempic without insurance?

Ozempic prices can be very expensive without insurance. The list prices for Ozempic® 0.25 or 0.5 mg (1 x 1.5-mL pe...

Read more
The content on this website is intended for information purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of any treatment.
NiceRx Logo

Your medication,
$49 per month

Get your brand name medication for only $49 per month through NiceRx.

Get Started