I was on metformin and still am for over 20 years. Are you taking the extended release form or regular? If it's extended release it will say metformin ER regular is just metformin. What milligram are you taking? I can't take the ER form nor can I take 1000mg of the regular per dose. Different forms of metformin have different ingredients. So you might try another form of it. If that doesn't work, maybe you could try glyburide? You don't want to go on insulin until you've tried many other oral meds first. Glyburide has been around for many many many years as it was the first medication I was put on. So it's tried and tested long ago. I have the same fear of "new" medications with all the recalls.
Talk to your dr. you'll find the right medication or mix of medications sometimes it just takes a few tries. Be patient, but please don't let your numbers stay up. I'm only 40 and have had so many complications from having numbers in the range you're in now.
I started out on oral meds but because I didn't take GREAT care of my numbers I'm not on insulin. My insulin production pretty much is nonexistent now.
Hope I've given you some info to take to your dr. with and I hope you find the med or meds that work for you. Every medication will have some sort of side effect (even insulin which causes weight gain) you just gotta find ones you can live with. Best of luck. Diabetes is a hard beast to control but it can be done.