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The latest updates on prescription drugs and ways to save from the GoodRx medical team

New Metformin Generic Now in Pharmacies

by The GoodRx Pharmacist on March 30, 2016 at 3:16 pm

Diabetes—specifically type 2 or adult onset diabetes—is a growing epidemic in the United States, in part to the increase in obesity over the past 10 years.

However, there are several medications that (with healthy diet and excercise) can help keep your blood sugar under control. Glumetza is the newest option to have a generic version approved, which should mean lower prices and more options for you in the near future.

When will generic Glumetza be in pharmacies?

Generic Glumetza (metformin ER) tablets are now available—you can fill your prescription at your regular pharmacy.

How is generic Glumetza (metformin ER) available?

Generic Glumetza is a tablet, available in 500 mg and 1000 mg strengths.

Do I have more than one generic option for Glumetza?

No. Lupin Pharmaceuticals is currently the only pharmaceutical company allowed to make the generic of Glumetza. They have been granted exclusivity for 6 months or 180 days. After that, you may start to see other companies creating their own generic versions (which should help bring prices down even further).

Are there any similar alternatives to Glumetza?

Yes! Extended-release metformin is actually available in three brand-name drugs, all of which now have generic alternatives: Glumetza, Fortamet, and Glucophage XR.

Since the generic for Glucophage XR has been in pharmacies for quite some time, it may be significantly less expensive, especially if you’re paying out of pocket.

Is there a reason why my doctor might still prescribe me Glumetza instead?

Maybe—each version of metformin ER is different in the way it releases the medication into the body. For more information on the differences between Glumetza and Fortamet see our previous article.

What are the most common side effects of generic Glumetza (Metformin HCl ER) tablets?

Same as for Glumetza and other extended-release metformin medications, the most common side effects include low blood sugar, diarrhea, nausea, upset stomach, and stomach pain.

What if I want to keep taking brand-name Glumetza?

If you don’t want to switch to the generic, make sure your doctor writes BRAND MEDICALLY NECESSARY on your next prescription. This means the pharmacy is not permitted to substitute with the generic.

However, keep this in mind: now that the generic is available, your insurance company may not be willing to cover the cost of brand-name Glumetza. I recommend calling your prescription insurance plan to find out your potential cost, and to see if it’s covered at all before wasting a trip to the pharmacy.

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