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Metformin vs Ozempic: Type 2 Diabetes Medication

Type 2 diabetes management relies heavily on lifestyle decisions such as eating a nutritious diet, exercising, and maintaining a healthy body weight. However, you may need to take medicine to keep your blood sugar, also known as glucose, within a healthy range. Sometimes one drug is sufficient. In certain circumstances, taking many drugs is more effective.

The list of drugs for type 2 diabetes is extensive and might be bewildering. Take the time to read about these medications, including how to take them, what they do, and any adverse effects that may occur. That might help you prepare to talk to your doctor about diabetes treatment options that are right for you.

Diabetes treatment involves lowering blood sugar.
Type 2 diabetes medications are classified into several categories. Each type of drug acts in a unique way to reduce blood sugar. Medication may function by:

– Causing the pancreas to produce and release additional insulin.
– Limits the liver’s ability to produce and release sugar.
– Blocking the function of enzymes in the intestines that break down carbs, which slows the pace at which cells absorb them.
– Improving cell sensitivity to insulin.
– Limiting the kidneys’ ability to absorb sugar increases the amount of sugar excreted in the urine.
– Slowing the rate at which food travels through the stomach.

Each class of medicine includes one or more drugs. Some of these treatments can be given orally, while others require an injection.

Compare diabetic medicinesHere’s a list of common diabetes drugs. Other drugs are available. Ask your doctor about your options and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Oral medications

Sodium-glucose transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors


Canagliflozin (Invokana)
Dapagliflozin (Farxiga)
Empagliflozin (Jardiance)
Ertugliflozin (Steglatro).


Limiting the kidneys’ ability to absorb sugar increases the quantity of sugar that leaves the body in urine.


May cause weight loss.
May reduce blood pressure.

Possible adverse effects.

Urinary tract infections.
Yeast infections.

Medications you take as shots

Incretin mimetic (agonists of the GLP-1 receptor)


Dulaglutide (Trulicity)
Exenatide (Byetta, Bydureon BCS)
Liraglutide (Saxenda or Victoza)
Lixisenatide (Adlyxin)
Semaglutide (Ozempic, Rybelsus, and Wegovy).


Cause the release of insulin as blood sugar levels rise.
Possibly used with a sulfonylurea, basal insulin, or metformin.


May decrease hunger.
May cause weight loss.

Possible adverse effects

Abdominal Pain
Increased chance of inflamed pancreas—a disease called pancreatitis.

Diabetes & High Blood Pressure

The risk of high blood pressure is twice as high in diabetics as in non-diabetics. Untreated, high blood pressure can cause heart disease and stroke. A diabetic with high blood pressure is four times more likely to develop heart disease than someone without either illness. Approximately two-thirds of persons with diabetes have blood pressure levels higher than 130/80 mm Hg or take hypertension drugs regularly. 

What exactly constitutes high blood pressure? 

The force of blood pressing against arterial walls is known as blood pressure. The highest blood pressure occurs when the heart contracts and pumps blood into these arteries. High blood pressure, often known as hypertension, raises the risk of coronary heart disease (heart attack) and stroke. With high blood pressure, the arteries may be more resistant to blood flow, requiring the heart to work more to circulate it.

Blood pressure is measured using two numbers. The figure at the top, systolic pressure, represents the pressure inside the artery as the heart contracts and pumps blood throughout the body. The value at the bottom, diastolic pressure, represents the pressure inside the artery when the heart is at rest and filling with blood. Both systolic and diastolic pressures are measured in “mm Hg” (millimeters of mercury).The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NHLBI) defines high blood pressure in adults as:

140 mm Hg or higher systolic pressure

90 mm Hg or higher diastolic pressure

The NHLBI criteria for prehypertension are:

Systolic pressure ranges from 120 to 139 mm Hg, and

Diastolic pressure ranges from 80 to 89 mm Hg.

The NHLBI criteria for normal blood pressure are as follows:

Systolic pressure is less than 120 mm Hg.

Diastolic pressure is less than 80 mm Hg

What are the signs of high blood pressure? 

Often, people with high blood pressure have no obvious symptoms. If a person’s blood pressure is significantly raised, they may experience the following. However, each individual’s symptoms may differ. Symptoms could include:

Blurred vision

High blood pressure symptoms can be similar to those of other medical diseases or issues. Always speak with your doctor for a diagnosis.

Preventing High Blood Pressure

The American Diabetes Association suggests the following to help avoid the development of high blood pressure: 

  • Reduce your sodium consumption. 
  • Practice stress-relieving hobbies. 
  • Exercise regularly. 
  • Get to and maintain a healthy weight. 
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption. 
  • Reduce your exposure to secondhand smoke by quitting smoking. 
  • Monitor your blood pressure.

Treatment for High Blood Pressure

Your doctor will determine the appropriate treatment for high blood pressure based on: 

  • Your age, general health, and medical history 
  • The extent of the condition 
  • Your tolerance to specific drugs, procedures, or therapies. 
  • Expectations regarding the progression of the disease 
  • Your opinion or preference. 
  • Exercise, a healthy diet, stopping smoking, and medications prescribed by your doctor may all be part of the treatment plan.


Ever wondered why some pharmaceuticals are referred to as “wonder drugs”?

Sometimes it’s because the drug gives significant health benefits for a specific ailment, such as insulin for type 1 diabetes or antibiotics for pneumonia. Or it could be because the drug is effective for a wide range of conditions: aspirin has been dubbed a wonder drug since it can reduce pain, treat or prevent cardiovascular disease, and even prevent cancer. 

Could metformin join this list? It is approved in the United States to treat type 2 diabetes when combined with diet and exercise in people aged 10 and up. However, in recent years, there has been increased interest in its ability to prevent or treat a wide range of other illnesses, including aging. Yes, aging. If this is accurate, “wonder drug” may be an understatement.

Metformin vs Ozempic: Type 2 Diabetes MedicationWhat is Metformin? 

Metformin’s history dates back hundreds of years. Galega officinalis was a prominent medical herb in Europe for digestive health, as well as the treatment of urinary and other disorders. In 1918, a scientist discovered that one of its components, guanidine, may reduce blood sugar. Guanidine-containing medicines, such as metformin and phenformin, were created to treat diabetes. However, they fell out of favor due to major side effects from phenformin and the discovery of insulin, which is an understatement.

Metformin was rediscovered decades later and approved as a diabetes medication in Europe during the 1950s. It was not until 1995 that the FDA approved it for usage in the United States. It has subsequently been the most commonly recommended drug for diabetics who are unable to regulate their blood sugar with diet and exercise alone.

Metformin’s Benefits May Go Well beyond Diabetes

Metformin has been recognized for decades to do more than merely help diabetics control their blood sugar levels. It also has cardiovascular benefits, including as lower risks of death from cardiovascular disease. It can also help diabetics lose weight.

Metformin may potentially provide health benefits for non-diabetics. Doctors have long prescribed it off-label – that is, to treat ailments outside than its recognized usage, including:

  • Prediabetes. People with prediabetes have raised blood sugar levels that are not yet high enough to be classified as diabetic. Metformin may help to delay or prevent the onset of diabetes in persons with prediabetes. 
  • Gestational diabetes. Pregnant women may experience high blood sugar, which returns to normal after delivery. Metformin can help pregnant women control their blood sugar levels.
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This condition typically affects young women whose ovaries develop numerous cysts. Menstrual abnormalities and reproductive issues are prevalent. Despite conflicting clinical trial results, metformin has long been administered to women with PCOS to help with menstrual regulation, fertility, and increased blood sugar. 
  • Weight increase from antipsychotic medications. Antipsychotics are potent drugs used to treat psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. One common side effect is substantial weight gain. Metformin may reduce weight gain in some patients using these medications.

In addition, researchers are examining metformin’s potential to 

  • Lower the risk of cancer in those with type 2 diabetes. These include malignancies of the breast, colon, and prostate. 
  • Reduced chances of dementia and stroke. Some studies have found that patients with diabetes who take metformin have less cognitive deterioration, a lower rate of dementia, and a lower risk of stroke than those who do not.
  • Slow aging, avoid age-related diseases, and extend life. Preliminary research suggests that metformin may reduce aging and extend life expectancy, presumably via enhancing insulin sensitivity, antioxidant effects, and blood vessel health.

Because the vast majority of metformin studies have only included patients with diabetes or prediabetes, it is unknown if these potential benefits are confined to those illnesses, or whether persons without diabetes may benefit as well.

What about the Side Effects?

Metformin’s safety profile is fairly good. Side effects such as nausea, stomach trouble, or diarrhea are usually minimal. More serious adverse effects are infrequent. They include acute allergic reactions and lactic acidosis, a condition in which lactic acid accumulates in the bloodstream. People with serious kidney illness are at a higher risk for this, thus doctors avoid recommending metformin to them.

The Bottom Line
Metformin is the first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes, according to current guidelines. It is reasonably affordable, and the potential negative effects are well understood.

If you have diabetes and need metformin to control your blood sugar, the other potential health benefits are a welcome — not a negative — side effect. What if you don’t have diabetes? However, its significance in illness prevention or treatment, as well as possibly delaying aging and extending life expectancy, is far less obvious.

While the research thus far is promising, more persuasive data is required before recommending its broad usage for those without diabetes. However, for clinical researchers looking to repurpose an old medicine as a new wonder drug, metformin appears to be an excellent starting point.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 42% of American adults are obese. For years, people have tried various procedures and pharmaceuticals in search of the ideal weight loss answer.

A new practice has gained popularity: people utilizing the diabetic medicine Ozempic to lose weight.

But what does science say about this drug’s use? Do health experts endorse Ozempic for weight loss? Our professionals provide answers to these and other related questions.

What is Ozempic?

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Ozempic, also known as semaglutide, in 2017 for use in people with type 2 diabetes.

Ozempic is a weekly injection that helps the pancreas produce more insulin, which lowers blood sugar levels. Although it is not approved for weight loss, some doctors prescribe it for this purpose.

How Does Ozempics Work?

Ozempic mimics a naturally occurring hormone. As hormone levels rise, chemicals signal to your brain that you are full. It also slows digestion by lengthening the time it takes for food to exit the body. This is comparable to what happens after bariatric surgery.

Weight loss is a common side effect of taking Ozempic to treat diabetes. It is intended to be taken long-term.

Is Ozempic Effective for Weight Loss?

ozempic after 56 days

According to research, the active ingredient in Ozempic, semaglutide, helps people lose weight. It is critical that people continue to make lifestyle adjustments to aid in weight loss, such as eating healthy and exercising.

Ozempic is not recommended for weight loss. On the other hand, semaglutide is authorized for use in weight loss under the Wegovy brand. Ozempic contains a lower dosage of semaglutide than Wegovy.

It’s important to understand that your body may develop a new baseline if you start using one of these medications for weight loss. This may cause your weight to plateau. According to research, if you stop taking Ozempic (or Wegovy), you are more likely to regain the weight you lost.

Are There Any Benefits to Taking Ozempic for Weight Loss?

Ozempic can help patients lose weight, lowering their chance of developing a variety of significant health disorders, including heart problems. Some obese persons may be able to avoid bariatric surgery by using semaglutide therapy. Surgery typically results in considerably greater and longer-lasting weight loss than medicines.

Experts still advise people to avoid using Ozempic unless they have type 2 diabetes. Instead, talk to your doctor about starting Wegovy for weight loss.

Ozempic vs Metformin What’s the Difference

Ozempic (semaglutide) is a once-weekly injectable that primarily treats type 2 diabetes. This drug is well-known for its blood sugar-lowering properties.

Metformin, an oral pill, has been used for many years to treat high blood sugar levels in persons with type 2 diabetes. It is considered a first-line therapy for lowering blood sugar in newly diagnosed patients.

Ozempic and metformin differ in a number ways, including their mechanisms of action (how they function), dosage formats, and availability. Although both drugs can be used to treat diabetes, the majority of patients are prescribed metformin at the beginning of therapy.

This article will compare and contrast Ozempic and metformin, including their applications, mechanisms of action, doses, and weight loss implications.

Ozempic versus Metformin: What Are the Differences?

Ozempic and metformin are recommended for usage in combination with a healthier diet and more exercise to manage type 2 diabetes. While Ozempic is exclusively accessible for adults, metformin can be prescribed to children aged 10 and up.

Both Ozempic and metformin have been shown to help lower blood sugar levels, which may be assessed using an A1c test. According to studies, they can reduce blood sugar levels in as little as two to three months.

Lowering A1c levels is critical for improving diabetes outcomes and avoiding complications. Metformin and Ozempic have also been related to possible weight loss in patients with diabetes. This can help folks who are obese or need to reduce weight to improve their diabetes and overall health.


  • It belongs to the GLP-1 receptor agonist pharmacological class. 
  • Approved for treating type 2 diabetes in adults. 
  • Approved for weight loss and obesity treatment under the brand name Wegovy
  • No generic available. 
  • Taken by injecting it behind the skin 
  • Once-weekly dosage


  • Belongs to the biguanide drug class. 
  • Approved for treating type 2 diabetes in adults and children. 
  • Not authorized for weight loss. 
  • Generic versions are available. 
  • Taken orally in tablet form 
  • Daily or twice-daily dose

Although prices vary, Ozempic is typically more expensive than metformin without insurance. It is a newer medicine, and no generic equivalents are currently available on the market.

Prescribers are aware of this and frequently begin with metformin to decrease costs and improve adherence. 

Ozempic versus Metformin: Which is the Better Option?

Metformin has been studied extensively for decades to determine its efficacy and safety. It is also typically a less expensive option because generic versions are available. For these reasons, it is regarded as a cornerstone of type 2 diabetes treatment and the preferred first-line medication for decreasing blood sugar.

This does not invalidate the use of Ozempic. However, because it is a newer medicine than metformin, more research is needed to determine its long-term advantages.

Still, when novel drugs enter the market, more first-line treatment alternatives become accessible for certain patient populations.

Ozempic, for example, and other related pharmaceuticals (e.g., dulaglutide or liraglutide) are currently regarded first-line therapy alternatives for persons suffering from heart disease or kidney difficulties, as well as obesity. If metformin fails to decrease blood sugar or the negative effects become unacceptable, other antidiabetic medications are available.

Healthcare providers may also prescribe a combination of antidiabetic medications to help patients achieve or maintain their diabetes goals.

Who Can Take Both Ozempic and Metformin?

People with type 2 diabetes will either take metformin or another medication, such as Ozempic. These drugs can be prescribed as monotherapy (taking only one) or in combination to improve A1c levels if one therapy is insufficient.

Unlike Ozempic, metformin can be taken by children aged 10 and up.

If you become pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking these medications, you should consult your doctor. Metformin and Ozempic are both potentially hazardous to the developing fetus. Ozempic should be discontinued at least two months before becoming pregnant.

How Do They Work?


Ozempic is a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, which works in a complex and unique way to reduce blood sugar levels.

Ozempic, a GLP-1 receptor agonist, stimulates the pancreas to release insulin in response to elevated blood sugar levels in the body. This lowers the amount of sugar released into the bloodstream.

Ozempic can reduce heart rate, drop blood pressure, and enhance blood flow to promote healthier arteries and blood vessels. Ozempic is also known to help with weight loss due to an increase in hormones that make you feel full and less hungry.

Metformin is a novel oral antidiabetic that differs from existing blood sugar-lowering medications. Metformin belongs to a distinct class of drugs known as biguanides. It reduces the liver’s sugar synthesis and the intestines’ sugar absorption while increasing the body’s sensitivity to producing more insulin when necessary.

Side Effects and Precautions

Ozempic and metformin have numerous similar side effects. The most common negative effects that patients may experience when taking these two drugs include:


  • Nausea or vomiting. 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort 
  • Indigestion, or dyspepsia

Ozempic can have major negative effects if not used properly. Serious adverse effects include:

  • Pancreatic inflammation 
  • Diabetic Eye Disease (Retinopathy) 
  • Severe low blood sugar levels if combined with insulin therapy
  • Acute Kidney Injury 
  • Hypersensitivity


Metformin is a relatively safe medicine, but it might cause major difficulties if you have underlying health problems or don’t obtain enough nutrients in your diet.

Many people feel that eating healthier meals means eating solely salads or vegetables and severely reducing their diet compared to before their diabetes diagnosis. However, this can cause vitamin and mineral deficits.

Long-term metformin use may raise the risk of vitamin B12 insufficiency. As a result, eating a nutrient-dense diet and having regular blood work done to monitor vitamin B12 levels is critical while on metformin medication. You might also speak with your doctor about taking a multivitamin or supplement.

Ozempic Versus Metformin for Weight Loss

Ozempic is a popular weight loss and management drug. The FDA has approved Ozempic’s active ingredient, semaglutide, under the brand name Wegovy, for weight loss in obese people.

Metformin has been linked to mild to moderate weight loss, however it is not recommended for this use. Metformin has also been linked to stomach-related adverse effects, such as diarrhea, which can impact appetite and food intake.

Tell your doctor if you get severe nausea, diarrhea, or stomach pain while taking metformin.


Both metformin and ozempic are useful medications for lowering blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. While metformin has typically been the first-line therapy option, Ozempic is becoming more popular among other patient categories, such as those with obesity.

After a diabetes diagnosis, your healthcare professional may recommend metformin as the initial step toward meeting your blood sugar goals. Over time, you may require additional anti-diabetic medications, such as Ozempic.

Other criteria, like cost, side effects, and other medical concerns, can help you determine which treatment is best for you.

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