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Get metformin for weight loss online

In a large clinical trial, people taking metformin lost at least 5% of their body weight in 1 year. If your initial weight is 250 pounds, that’s a weight loss of 12.5 pounds. 

Is a metformin weight loss prescription right for you? Find an online weight loss specialist on Klarity and find out. If they recommend metformin, get a prescription online in as little as 24 hours.

Find a provider
A single large Metformin pill rests prominently among smaller white pills, perhaps symbolizing its significance in managing conditions like weight loss.

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Sheelu Bhatnagar

A bottle of Metformin pills lies open with the contents spilled, indicating the medication's role in medical treatments.

What is metformin weight loss?

Metformin is a medication primarily to treat type 2 diabetes. It’s sold as generic metformin and brand-name medications Glucophage, Glumetza ER (extended-release), and Riomet (a liquid). 

Metformin medications are U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved as an antidiabetic agent — aka to help people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels when combined with diet and exercise. People taking it sometimes also lose weight. And it’s used off-label (for something it’s not FDA-approved for) for weight loss. It’s used off-label for other things too and is being studied to treat cancer, aging, and more. 


Unlike popular weight loss medication injections, metformin is a pill or liquid taken by mouth. It can also be taken with other type 2 diabetes and weight loss medications, like Ozempic or Zepbound.

How does metformin for weight loss work?

Metformin works for type 2 diabetes and may affect weight by increasing insulin sensitivity, decreasing the amount of sugar your liver makes, and changing how much sugar your intestines absorb. The result is lower blood sugar levels after you eat and when you’re not eating. When you’re more sensitive to insulin, you feel hungrier. You also store more — and burn less — fat. When your insulin and blood sugar are at optimal levels, your body burns fat instead of storing it and you feel less hungry. 

Metformin may also affect hormones that impact hunger and reduce your appetite. It may even change the composition of your gut microbiome as part of how it works for weight loss.

Note that the FDA hasn’t approved metformin for weight loss because research findings on its effect on weight aren’t consistent. It’s sometimes used off-label for managing gestational diabetes (during pregnancy) weight gain issues caused by antipsychotic medications, preventing type 2 diabetes, and treating and preventing polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

A woman shows her much larger old jeans compared to her current slim figure, highlighting the effective weight loss she achieved, potentially through Metformin.

Who can take metformin?

Metformin is FDA-approved for people over 10 who have type 2 diabetes and need help lowering their blood sugar levels. If you take it, you should also exercise and eat a healthy diet.

If your healthcare provider thinks you’ll benefit from metformin for other needs, such as weight loss, they can prescribe it off-label.


Talk to a provider about metformin
A woman relaxed on her couch engages in an online healthcare consultation through her smartphone, discussing how to obtain a Metformin prescription.

How to get a metformin prescription online

Taking metformin starts with getting a prescription. You can get a prescription from a trained, licensed healthcare provider, such as a physician assistant (PA), medical doctor (MD), or ​​nurse practitioner (NP).

Find a board-certified, licensed provider to discuss a medical weight loss program that may include medication, such as metformin, on Klarity. 

If you and your provider decide metformin weight loss is right for you, your provider can send your metformin prescription to any online or local pharmacy or you can take or send it in yourself.

How to use metformin and metformin dosages

Metformin comes as a pill you take by mouth in both immediate- and extended-release (ER) formulas and as a liquid. Immediate-release tablets come in 500-, 625-, 850-, and 1000-milligram pills. The extended-release tablets come as a 500-, 750-, or 1000-milligram pill. The 500-milligram (5-milliliter) liquid comes in 4-ounce (118 milliliter) and 16-ounce (473-milliliter) bottles.

There’s no specific dose for metformin for weight loss or type 2 diabetes. You’ll most likely start at 500 milligrams twice a day or 850 milligrams once a day with meals. Your provider may have you increase your dose by 500 milligrams every 2 weeks up to a maximum dosage of 2550 milligrams. If you take more than 2000 milligrams, your provider may suggest taking it across 3 doses a day.

Dosing for children starts at 250 milligrams a day and increases 500 milligrams twice a day after a week up to a maximum dose of 850 milligrams twice a day, depending on age.

A woman measures her waistline in front of a mirror, evaluating the results of her weight loss journey with Metformin.
A woman sits on her couch looking thoughtful, possibly concerned about the side effects and warnings associated with Metformin.

Metformin side effects and warnings

If you have side effects from metformin, you’ll most likely have diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. You may also have gas, weakness, indigestion, stomach discomfort, and/or a headache. 

More serious side effects are possible, but less common, and can include lactic acidosis (where your blood becomes too acidic), vitamin B–12 deficiency, allergic reactions, and kidney problems. 

Be sure to talk to your provider and/or pharmacist about potential side effects and any you have.

What does metformin cost?

Generic metformin tablets are fairly inexpensive. The retail price for 30 immediate-release tablets is about $28 according to drugs.com and with its discount. Extended-release tablets are only slightly more at $18 a month for 30 tablets The generic liquid is $145 for 118 milliliters or $552 for 473 milliliters.

Brand-name versions are more expensive. Glucophage costs up to $70 for 60 immediate-release tablets. 30 tablets of Glumetza ER cost up to $1,588 with the GoodRx discount. Riomet (an oral solution) costs about $184 for 118 milliliters or $709 for 473 milliliters.

How does metformin weight loss compare to other medications?

Compared to the 5% weight loss people have with metformin, people lose more on other drugs. Up to 10% on Ozempic — another medication for type 2 diabetes that helps people lose weight, up to 13.9% on Mounjaro, and up 20.9% on Zepbound.  


So metformin isn’t the most effective weight loss drug overall. But, if you can’t take other weight loss or antidiabetic medications, it’s a solid option. Your insurance company may also want you to take it for blood sugar control before approving another antidiabetic medication due to cost. 

Only you and your healthcare provider can decide which medication is right for you and your needs.
Learn more about Metformin vs Ozempic for weight loss.

A contemplative woman with braided hair, posed against a pink background, considers the differences between Metformin and other weight loss medications.

On Klarity, you’re in good company

Read through stories from real patients who received treatment from healthcare providers on Klarity.

How it works

  1. Choose the right provider for you

    Providers on Klarity are licensed, board-certified, and offer a personalized approach to your unique weight-loss needs. See detailed profiles for each provider and find an approach that’s best for you. (Costs for treatment options may vary.)

  2. Have your initial patient visit

    Your journey to losing weight starts with an initial consultation. Your provider will go over your goals and medical history to recommend a weight loss program that’s right for you and may or may not include prescription medication.

  3. Work with your provider on your progress 

    Your initial consultation is just the beginning. You and your provider will follow up to make sure you’re doing okay and that you’re reaching your goals. You stay on track with easy medication refills and ongoing support from your provider.

  4. Get constant support from Klarity

    If you have questions or need assistance, the Klarity Patient Support team is here to help. Along with your provider, they’re committed to making sure you have the best care and support throughout your weight loss journey.

Why choose a provider on Klarity?


Choose from a growing list of licensed, board-certified providers.


Have an appointment in as little as 24 hours.


No insurance needed —
get reimbursed from insurance or use your FSA or HSA.

FAQs about metformin

How can you get a metformin prescription without having diabetes?

To get a prescription for metformin with or without diabetes, you need to see a licensed provider. If they think you’ll benefit from metformin without a diabetes diagnosis, they can prescribe it for you. Common off-label uses of metformin that aren’t FDA-approved include obesity, weight gain from taking an antipsychotic medication, preventing type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, and polycystic ovary syndrome.

If you do get a prescription, your insurance company may want prior authorization, which they may deny if they don’t think your taking it is medically necessary. If they deny your authorization, you may have to pay full price for metformin.

Where can you buy metformin without a prescription?

Metformin is a prescription medication. Be wary of any store — online or brick and mortar — that offers metformin without a prescription. Use a licensed, certified pharmacy that requires a prescription for your healthcare provider instead.

How quickly will you lose weight on metformin?

Some people will notice that they’re less hungry in as little as a week. In clinical trials, people taking metformin typically started seeing weight loss in 4 weeks. Most weight loss happens in the first 6 to 12 months.

Should I get metformin from a compounding pharmacy?

If you and your provider agree that getting compounded metformin is right for you and you use a licensed, reputable compounding pharmacy, choosing a compounding pharmacy is a safe option. Note though that compounded medications aren’t the same as FDA-approved medications and may contain different ingredients. Always talk to your provider about choosing a compounded medication.

What are the signs that metformin is working for weight loss?

Feeling less hungry, less thirsty, and urinating less are signs that metformin is working for you. After about 4 weeks, having lost a small amount of weight or having not gained weight is a  good sign it’s working.

If you’re using it for type 2 diabetes, it will also help lower your blood sugar levels, which you’ll see when you test your blood glucose.

Does insurance cover metformin?

Many insurance plans cover metformin. The best way to find out if your plan does is to call its customer service department and ask. Some insurance companies will ask for a prior authorization (PA) to prove metformin is medically necessary for you. That’s essentially a process where your provider submits paperwork and your insurance company or a third-party reviewer decides whether you need it based on your provider’s submission. If your insurance company doesn’t approve your PA, they won’t cover it for you. You can appeal a prior authorization denial

Is metformin stronger than Mounjaro for weight loss?

No. In clinical trials, people taking Mounjaro (tirzepatide) have lost more weight than in trials for metformin. On Mounjaro, trial participants generally lose up to 13.9% body weight in 104 weeks compared to 5% on metformin after a year. 

Which is better, Ozempic or metformin for weight loss?

Semaglutide in Ozempic helps people lose more than metformin. Ozempic was so successful at helping people lose weight that Novo Nordisk, who makes Ozempic, got a stronger version of it, called Wegovy, FDA-approved specifically for weight loss.

In clinical trials, people taking 2 milligrams of Ozempic per week for type 2 diabetes lost at least 5% and sometimes more than 10% of their body weight in 40 weeks. That’s potentially twice as much, and faster, compared to people who lost 5% on metformin after a year. 

Learn more about Metformin vs Ozempic for weight loss and which is better.

Sources

accessdata.fda.gov, RIOMET® (metformin hydrochloride oral solution), https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2010/021591s005lbl.pdf

American Diabetes Association, Obesity and weight management for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes, Dec. 2023, https://diabetesjournals.org/care/article/47/Supplement_1/S145/153942/8-Obesity-and-Weight-Management-for-the-Prevention

Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, Should I consider metformin therapy for weight loss in patients with obesity but without diabetes?, Sep. 2023, https://www.ccjm.org/content/90/9/545

DailyMed, Metformin hydrochloride tablet, Apr. 2021, https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/fda/fdaDrugXsl.cfm?setid=8cd5555c-f6b2-28d8-e053-2a95a90a5f1e&type=display

DailyMed, Metformin hydrochloride tablet, extended release, Jun. 2020, https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/fda/fdaDrugXsl.cfm?setid=d01b63e6-70e5-4679-b377-1e0fb78a87b5&type=display

drugs.com, Metformin price guide, https://www.drugs.com/price-guide/metformi

knowdiabetes.org, Understanding your body’s appetite drive, https://www.knowdiabetes.org.uk/know-more/type-2-diabetes/type-2-remission/understanding-your-bodys-appetite-drive/

National Library of Medicine, Metformin, Calette Corcoran; Tibb F. Jacobs., Aug. 2023, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK518983/

PubMed, Effectiveness of metformin on weight loss in non-diabetic individuals with obesity, C. Seifarth, B. Schehler, HJ Schneider, Jan. 2013, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23147210/

Pub Med, Metformin: Mechanisms in Human Obesity and Weight Loss, Armen Yerevanian, Alexander A. Soukas, MD, PhD, Kim/ 2019 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520185/
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Metformin Information, Mar. 2016, https://www.fda.gov/drugs/postmarket-drug-safety-information-patients-and-providers/metformin-information

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Everyone’s weight loss journey is unique and results will vary. Always seek the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health.

How we reviewed this article: This article goes through rigorous fact-checking by a team of medical reviewers. Reviewers are trained medical professionals who ensure each article contains the most up-to-date information, and that medical details have been correctly interpreted by the author.

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All professional services are provided by independent private practices via the Klarity technology platform. Klarity Health, Inc. does not provide any medical services.
Fax:
(855) 975-3008

PO Box 5098 Redwood City, CA 94063

100 Broadway Street, Redwood City CA, 94063

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All professional services are provided by independent private practices via the Klarity technology platform. Klarity Health, Inc. does not provide any medical services.
If you’re having an emergency or in emotional distress, here are some resources for immediate help: Emergency: Call 911. National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 988. Crisis Text Line: Text Home to 741-741
Fax:
(855) 975-3008

PO Box 5098 Redwood City, CA 94063

100 Broadway Street, Redwood City CA, 94063

If you’re having an emergency or in emotional distress, here are some resources for immediate help: Emergency: Call 911. National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 988. Crisis Text Line: Text Home to 741-741
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