Why Can't You Take Metformin Before A Colonoscopy

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While Fasting, When Do I Take My Meds?

How do I manage diabetes when fasting for a blood test or a colonoscopy? I had to skip my colonoscopy last year because of low blood sugar. And now I have to have a cholesterol test. What do I do? Continue reading >>

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  1. Double-Helix, BSN

    Metformin should be held on the day of surgery for a couple of reasons: 1. There is concern with decreased renal function in the peri-operative period. This is actually the primary reason for stopping the medication. 2. The patient is not eating food. Yes, stress might raise insulin levels, but the patient may not be feeling enough stress to raise the blood sugar significantly. Remember that Metformin works over an extended period of time- about 12 hours. The risk of hypoglycemia when continuing Metformin while NPO is much greater than the risk of hyperglycemia from the stress response. The medication can be resumed after the surgery, when the patient is eating a normal diet again. In diabetic patients, the best way to control post-operative blood glucose when they are still NPO is with insulin.
    Here's one link that explains this. You can also type "Metformin before surgery" into Google and you'll get several other links that answer your question.

  2. Silverdragon102

    Also to mention before certain tests not just surgery is Metformin held
    eg Giving IV iodine contrast and also ?radiopaque

  3. CP2013

    Sorry to hijack this post, but a family member just had a surgery for varicose veins in his leg, where the veins were removed from the groin to the ankle in both legs I believe.
    They told him to take half of his regular metformin dose, as he does not use insulin.
    What would the rationale be for this then? Is it because they were planning on d/c approximately 4 hours post op? They sent him home the same day, and resumed eating and taking daily metformin.
    Diabetes is interesting for sure, it seems like while there are similarities among diabetics, they still are very much individuals! Always nice to be reminded of that. Thanks!

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