Metformin is an effective drug that helps treat diabetes. It is also the most common medication for type 2 diabetes in North America and Europe that doctor prescribes. The drug helps lower blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin production, stopping glucose release from the liver, and decreasing the absorption of glucose from food. Metformin does not cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or weight gain like other medications do. This is so because it has a very low risk of these side effects.
What is Metformin?
Metformin is a drug that has been in use for over 50 years. It was first created to help with the treatment of tuberculosis. In 1955, research showed that it is effective in lowering blood sugar levels and thus became widely used as an anti-diabetic agent. Metformin can be taken orally or injected intravenously when necessary.
Today, metformin is one of the most commonly used drugs to treat type-II diabetes. It reduces glucose production in the liver and increases insulin sensitivity thereby bringing blood sugar levels down. A new formulation called Glucophage XR has been developed that can be taken only once a day with or without food making it easier for patients to take the drug.
Metformin is not without side effects (such as nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal bloating) but in general, it has been found to be safe for use by most people. It can even reduce blood pressure levels in some patients. Metformin treatment may result in a lower pregnancy weight gain during gestation compared with another antidiabetic drug.
Given the impact of diabetes on human health and its global prevalence, metformin is a cost-effective first-line agent for treatment in most patients with type-II diabetes mellitus. However, patient selection will remain important as some people may not respond to it or have side effects that outweigh the benefits they derive from this drug.
Metformin is an effective treatment for type-II diabetes. It reduces glucose production in the liver and increases insulin sensitivity thereby bringing blood sugar levels down. A new formulation called Glucophage XR has been developed that can be taken only once a day with or without food making it easier for patients to take the drug.
Usage of Metformin
Metformin is used with a proper diet and exercise program and possibly with other medications to control high blood sugar. It is used in patients with type 2 diabetes. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Metformin works by helping to restore your body’s proper response to the insulin you naturally produce. It also decreases the amount of sugar that your liver makes and that your stomach/intestines absorb.
- Read the leaflet from your pharmacist about metformin. If you have any questions, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
- Take this medicine by mouth. It has to be taken with food. Drink lots of water when you take it unless your doctor tells you to do something else.
- The amount of medicine you take is based on how good it is for you and the response to treatment. It also depends on how many other medicines you are taking. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use, including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products. To reduce or avoid side effects, your doctor tells you to start the medication at a low dose and increase it. To be healthy, follow your doctor’s instructions.
- Take this medication regularly at the same time each day. This will help you get the most effectiveness.
- If you are already taking another type of diabetes medicine (like chlorpropamide), make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions for stopping or continuing the old drug and starting metformin.
- Check your blood sugar regularly. Bring the results to your doctor when you go. You can tell your doctor if you measure high or low blood sugar. Your treatment might need to change.
Side Effects of Metformin
There are many side effects of Metformin, which are:
- Constipation, diarrhea, and nausea.
- Weight loss or gain.
- Lactic acidosis.
- Numbness or tingling in hands and feet, muscle pain, and weakness.
- Difficulty breathing when exercising even if you don’t have lung problems before taking metformin.
- If you experience any of these side effects contact your doctor immediately!
- Metformin is a drug used to treat type II diabetes. It is used to reduce the blood sugar levels in diabetics who are non-insulin dependant. Metformin can also help with weight loss, decreasing insulin resistance, and lowering cholesterol levels.
- Metformin works by helping your body respond better to its own natural insulin. It does this by allowing muscles and other tissues in your body to take up sugar from the blood (Mayo Clinic). Metformin has been used as a diabetes treatment since 1957 and is available with or without food.
- When you first start taking metformin, it may cause stomach problems like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite which usually go away over time. If you continue to have these side effects after a few weeks, talk with your doctor about changing the dose or medication schedule (Mayo Clinic).
- Metformin is contraindicated in patients who are pregnant and those that have kidney problems because it could cause lactic acidosis which can be fatal if left untreated.
- If you are experiencing any of the side effects listed in this article contact your doctor immediately. If you have liver or kidney problems, talk to your doctor about whether metformin is right for you (Mayo Clinic).
- Metformin can benefit people who suffer from type II diabetes and decrease their risk factors including weight gain, insulin resistance, and cholesterol levels.
Interactions with other drugs can lead to adverse reactions.
Metformin has the potential to interact with propranolol. This drug is used for high blood pressure, heart disease, and migraines. Beta-blockers are prescribed when people have high blood sugar. This happens because beta-blockers slow down the body’s production of hormones that cause this. If you are taking both of these medications together, be sure to monitor your sugar levels closely.
The drug can interact with oral diabetes drugs. It can also interact with insulin and sulfonylureas such as glyburide. If you are already taking Metformin and start taking another medication, your doctor will want to watch you for signs of low blood sugar.
While the drug may interact with alcohol and cause a false positive result during the testing for ethyl glucuronide (EtG) in urine samples, this interaction only occurs if you drink a lot of alcohol while taking the medication. This would be unlikely if you drink alcohol only occasionally and do not take Metformin. But your doctor may ask you to stop drinking for the time that you are taking Metformin. This is so because it can affect the accurate results of EtG testing.
Side Effects Along with Interactions
Metformin can have side effects. People who start taking this medication sometimes report headaches, dizziness, or nausea. This is a side effect of the medication. If you get really sick and the symptoms don’t go away after a few days of treatment, call your doctor. If you have mild symptoms, then do not worry. But if you have more serious ones, then see a doctor right away.
You should try eating small meals throughout the day and take your medication after you eat. If you start to feel like your appetite is decreasing or if you feel sick, it is because of the drug. If you have a stomach ache and it does not go away, call your doctor. They can tell you what to do. You can take medicine or change your treatment plan.
In some cases, Metformin can cause a condition called lactic acidosis. When the body produces too much lactic acid and it builds up in your tissues and bloodstream, it can happen.
This can cause serious and life-threatening problems.
If you have some of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- suddenly feeling weak or tired;
- trouble breathing;
- unusual sleepiness – especially if it is combined with cool skin temperature in the arms and legs as well as drowsiness. You may feel like you have the flu.
- It is important to watch out for these symptoms while you are taking Metformin.
- If you have any of the conditions listed below, then it may be best not to take this medication:
- kidney disease;
- liver disease;
- low blood pressure or dehydration (this occurs when there is too little fluid in your body).
Some Less Common Side Effects
You should not drink alcohol while you are taking this drug. It can cause lactic acidosis and other problems that could be harmful to your health. If you have any of the conditions below, talk to your doctor before drinking:
- lung disease;
- respiratory failure;
- tiredness or weakness ;
- low oxygen levels in the blood;
- heart failure.
Remember, you should not drink more than one glass of alcohol per day even if your doctor says it is ok to do so. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your physician before taking this drug because Metformin passes through breast milk and harms a baby.
It is important to take this medication exactly as your doctor says you should. If you are having trouble remembering when to take it, set an alarm on your phone or another device that will remind you. You may want to carry the pill bottle with you. This way, if there is ever any confusion about what and when to take the medication, you can double-check.
Be sure to tell your doctor about all the other medications that you are taking before you start Metformin therapy because certain drugs could cause problems when combined with this medication. If you have recently stopped smoking tobacco products or chewing tobacco, be sure to let your physician know so they can monitor how well your body is adjusting.
Overdose of Metformin
Overdose of Metformin can cause lactic acidosis, which can be fatal.
When taking Metformin you will need to test your blood sugar levels and make sure they are within the normal range. However, this drug does not cure diabetes; it simply treats the symptoms keeping them in check while also helping weight loss if necessary. If left untreated for too long, diabetes can cause heart disease and high blood pressure.
If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic it is very important to consult a doctor before taking this drug. One can use Metformin along with other drugs for type II diabetes such as insulin if needed after consulting your physician. If the doctor has diagnosed the patient with kidney problems then renal dosage adjustments may be necessary.
The patient will need to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly to make sure they are in the normal range, otherwise, Metformin can cause diabetic ketoacidosis which is a very dangerous condition that needs immediate medical attention.
Metformin helps with weight loss and also keeps your body in balance.
Metformin is an effective treatment for Type II Diabetes, but it will only work if the patient has high blood sugar levels and not low ones. If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic it is important to consult your doctor before taking this drug as Metformin can interact with other drugs that a person may be on.
Metformin is safe for most people, but it can cause some side effects that a doctor needs to monitor. If left untreated diabetes can lead to heart disease and high blood pressure. Metformin helps minimize these symptoms while also helping with weight loss if necessary. This drug only works on Type II Diabetes, not type I so you cannot use it to cure the disease. Metformin helps control symptoms in a way that keeps them in check while also doing its best to help weight loss if necessary.
Metformin is an oral diabetes medication that people with type 2 diabetes take after consulting the doctor. Although it does not cause weight loss, it can reduce the risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by up to 30%. It works by reducing insulin resistance so glucose enters cells more easily for energy production. Metformin may be as effective as lifestyle intervention programs at preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes. Metformin also improves blood sugar control in obese adults without pre-diabetes who are overweight (BMI 25 kg/m2). However, they do not have any other health problems like high cholesterol or hypertension. By making your body more sensitive to insulin, metformin can also help with weight loss. It reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
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