Metformin is a generic prescription drug. It’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat type 2 diabetes in adults and certain children.

Drug details

Here are some details about metformin:

  • Drug class: biguanide
  • Drug forms: extended-release (ER) oral tablets and immediate-release oral tablets
  • Brand-name versions: Fortamet (ER tablets), Glumetza (ER tablets), Riomet (oral liquid solution)

Read on to learn about metformin and cost, as well as how to save money on prescriptions.

As with all medications, the cost of metformin can vary. Factors that may affect the price you’ll pay include your treatment plan, your insurance coverage, and the pharmacy you use.

To find out how much metformin costs out of pocket, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider. (Out-of-pocket costs refer to expenses that you’re responsible for paying.)

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about cost and metformin.

Do the different forms and strengths of metformin have different prices?

Yes, the different forms and strengths of metformin can have different prices.

Metformin comes as tablets that are taken orally (by mouth). These are available as extended-release (ER) or immediate-release (IR) tablets. ER tablets have a “time release” mechanism. This means that the drug is released slowly into your body over time. IR tablets release the drug into your body right away. ER tablets tend to cost more than IR tablets.

Each form of metformin comes in different strengths, in milligrams (mg):

ER tablets500 mg and 1,000 mg
IR tablets500 mg, 850 mg, and 1,000 mg

If you have questions about the price of different forms and strengths of metformin, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

What’s the cost of metformin without insurance?

The cost of metformin without health insurance is likely to be different than the cost with insurance. Other factors can also affect the price of metformin with or without insurance. To find out the exact cost of metformin without health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Metformin is a generic drug, which is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. The generic is considered as safe and effective as the original drug. And generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

Metformin oral tablets are available in two brand-name forms. These are called Fortamet and Glumetza. Both of these brand-name drugs are available as extended-release tablets. Metformin oral liquid solution isn’t available in a generic form, however. Metformin liquid is only available in a brand-name form called Riomet.

To find out how the costs of Fortamet and Glumetza compare with the cost of metformin, talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or insurance provider. And if your doctor has prescribed metformin and you’re interested in using a brand-name version instead, talk with your doctor. They may have a preference for one version or the other. You’ll also need to check with your insurance provider, as it may only cover one or the other.

If you need financial support to pay for metformin, consider looking into websites that offer cost resources and information. Two such organizations are:

These sites can provide details on drug assistance programs, ways to make the most of your insurance coverage, and links to savings cards and other services. In some cases, you may be able to get metformin for free.

Below are a few ways that can help you reduce the long-term costs of metformin.

Getting a 3-month supply

You may be able to get a 90-day supply of metformin. If approved by your insurance company, getting a 90-day supply of the drug could reduce your number of trips to the pharmacy and help lower the cost. If you’re interested in this option, check with your doctor or insurance provider.

Using a mail-order pharmacy

Metformin may be available through a mail-order pharmacy. Using this type of service may help lower the drug’s cost and allow you to receive your medication without leaving home. Some Medicare plans may help cover the cost of mail-order medications. You may also be able to get a 90-day supply of the drug via mail order.

If you don’t have health insurance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest online pharmacy options that could work for you.

Now that you’ve learned about cost and metformin, you may still have some questions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist, who can provide personalized guidance on cost issues related to you and metformin. But if you have health insurance, you’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to learn the actual cost you would pay for metformin.

Here are some other resources you may find helpful:

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.