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Is Metformin Used For Anything Other Than Diabetes?

Diabetes Drug Metformin Proves Useful For Other Problems

Diabetes Drug Metformin Proves Useful For Other Problems

Early research suggests the decades-old diabetes drug metformin can slow cancer, reduce heart disease and perhaps limit the ravages of Alzheimer's. A new study shows it can extend lifespan in mice. Could metformin, the most widely used diabetes drug in the world, be useful for fighting a number of health problems? Early research suggests the decades-old drug can slow cancer, reduce heart disease and maybe even limit the ravages of Alzheimer's. Now, a new study in mice finds that it can extend life by a number of weeks — the human equivalent of 3-4 years. It's far too soon for healthy people to consider taking the drug, researchers say, but the findings are provocative, and suggest science is getting closer to a day when it may be possible to pop a pill to live healthier longer. Diseases of aging, like cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia are all linked along a biological pathway, researchers say. Eating less food appears to trigger that cascade, significantly extending life in animals, probably by slowing down metabolism. Metformin is the third drug shown in early research to affect the same pathway, along with rapamycin, a powerful medication used to prevent rejection of transplanted organs; and resveratrol, a compound found in red wine. "It's clear that we are edging toward developing a pharmaceutical intervention that is going to be able to delay or postpone aging," said Rafael de Cabo, a biogerontologist at the National Institute of Aging, who conducted the new mouse study, published today in Nature Communications. "For how much and how long I have no idea." Brian Kennedy, CEO of The Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, Calif., said he envisions a day when, instead of giving people drugs after they get sick, healthy people will be able to Continue reading >>

Metformin (glucophage) And Weight Loss

Metformin (glucophage) And Weight Loss

Tweet Metformin, a generic diabetes treatment usually sold under the brand name Glucophage, may help people with diabetes to lose weight by lowering their appetites. Insulin makes people overweight by acting on the brain to cause hunger, making the liver manufacture fat and fill fat cells in the stomach. Avoiding obesity is a matter of avoiding foods high in blood sugar, and taking medication that prevents blood sugar levels from climbing too high. Glucophage function The function of diabetes drug Glucophage is to reduce the release levels of sugar from your liver. This stops blood glucose levels from rising too high, and means that the body does not have to produce as much insulin. Therefore, the patient is not as hungry. Type 2 diabetes drug Metformin (Glucophage) may be used successfully as a medication for type 2 diabetes. Lowers insulin levels It lowers insulin levels, helps to prevent diabetes complications, and helps people with diabetes to lose weight. Losing weight whilst taking Metformin (Glucophage) means also eating a healthy diet. Eating lots of foods that boost blood sugar levels will counteract the effects of Metformin. Most doctors prescribe 500mg of Metformin (Glucophage) before eating. Tweet Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) due to the body: Being ineffective at using the insulin it has produced; also known as insulin resistance and/or Being unable to produce enough insulin Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body being unable to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar). This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time may damage the organs of the body. From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes something that is food for ordinary people can become a s Continue reading >>

Can Metformin Help With Weight Loss?

Can Metformin Help With Weight Loss?

Metformin is a drug prescribed to manage blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. You may have heard that metformin can also help you lose weight. But is it true? The answer is a resounding maybe. Here’s what you should know about what metformin can do for weight loss, as well as why your doctor may prescribe it for you. According to research, metformin can help some people lose weight. However, it’s not clear why metformin may cause weight loss. One theory is that it may prompt you to eat less by reducing your appetite. It may also change the way your body uses and stores fat. Although studies have shown that metformin may help with weight loss, the drug is not a quick-fix solution. According to one long-term study, the weight loss from metformin tends to occur gradually over one to two years. The amount of weight lost also varies from person to person. In the study, the average amount of weight lost after two or more years was four to seven pounds. Taking the drug without following other healthy habits may not lead to weight loss. Individuals who follow a healthy diet and exercise while taking metformin tend to lose the most weight. This may be because metformin is thought to boost how many calories you burn during exercise. If you don’t exercise, you likely won’t have this benefit. In addition, any weight loss you have may only last as long as you take the medication. That means if you stop taking metformin, there’s a good chance you will return to your original weight. And even while you’re still taking the drug, you may slowly gain back any weight you’ve lost. In other words, metformin may not be the magic diet pill some people have been waiting for. It has been shown to reduce weight in some, but not others. One of the benefits of metformin Continue reading >>

About Metformin

About Metformin

Metformin is a medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes and sometimes polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Type 2 diabetes is an illness where the body doesn't make enough insulin, or the insulin that it makes doesn't work properly. This can cause high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). PCOS is a condition that affects how the ovaries work. Metformin lowers your blood sugar levels by improving the way your body handles insulin. It's usually prescribed for diabetes when diet and exercise alone have not been enough to control your blood sugar levels. For women with PCOS, metformin stimulates ovulation even if they don't have diabetes. It does this by lowering insulin and blood sugar levels. Metformin is available on prescription as tablets and as a liquid that you drink. Key facts Metformin works by reducing the amount of sugar your liver releases into your blood. It also makes your body respond better to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that controls the level of sugar in your blood. It's best to take metformin with a meal to reduce the side effects. The most common side effects are feeling sick, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach ache and going off your food. Metformin does not cause weight gain (unlike some other diabetes medicines). Metformin may also be called by the brand names Bolamyn, Diagemet, Glucient, Glucophage, and Metabet. Who can and can't take metformin Metformin can be taken by adults. It can also be taken by children from 10 years of age on the advice of a doctor. Metformin isn't suitable for some people. Tell your doctor before starting the medicine if you: have had an allergic reaction to metformin or other medicines in the past have uncontrolled diabetes have liver or kidney problems have a severe infection are being treated for heart failure or you have recentl Continue reading >>

An Old-line Diabetes Drug May Have New Uses Against Diseases Of Aging

An Old-line Diabetes Drug May Have New Uses Against Diseases Of Aging

Just over a year ago, Catherine Price decided to start taking one of the cheapest, safest, oldest, most widely prescribed drugs for Type 2 diabetes. So much metformin is taken in the United States — some 72 million prescriptions were written for it in 2013 — that a recent study found higher trace levels of it (presumably from the urine of people taking it) in Lake Michigan than of any other drug, including caffeine. But Price, a science and medical reporter in Oakland, Calif., doesn’t have Type 2 diabetes. She has Type 1, the far less common form of the disease, which requires lifelong treatment with insulin, to compensate for her body’s failure to produce enough of the hormone. However, she had read studies indicating that metformin combined with insulin might help Type 1 diabetics, too. Moreover, the drug was being studied in clinical trials as a way to lower the risk of cancer, heart disease and dementia — not just for diabetics, but for everyone. For Price, there was yet another possible benefit — as a treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome, an endocrine disorder that doctors thought might explain the difficulty she and her husband had had conceiving. Sure enough, a month and a half after she had started taking metformin pills and even as she was enjoying the benefits of better blood-sugar control, Price became pregnant, eventually giving birth to a girl. “I’m still taking metformin along with my insulin,” said Price, 36, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 14 years ago. “I remember eating Mexican food one night, which can be a potential disaster for people with diabetes because of the carbs, but I noticed I needed only two-thirds to a half of the insulin I normally needed.” Synthesized in the 1920s, metformin was first approved for treatme Continue reading >>

What Health Problems Besides Diabetes May Be Treated With Metformin?

What Health Problems Besides Diabetes May Be Treated With Metformin?

Insulin resistance is one of the key factors leading to diabetes, but it is increasingly recognized as an important issue in other settings as well. Insulin resistance itself increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, and most physicians now consider pre-diabetes to be a serious condition, not only because of the likely progression to diabetes but also because heart disease risk is higher in people with blood sugars in the pre-diabetic range than in those with normal blood sugar levels. Many physicians and diabetes researchers think it's appropriate to treat people with pre-diabetes with metformin, and some even advocate the use of metformin in a person with abdominal obesity, even if he or she has normal blood sugar levels. In addition, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is often treated with metformin. PCOS is a metabolic disorder that affects women of childbearing age. The symptoms include irregular periods and infertility, as well as excessive facial and body hair, acne, and hair loss from the scalp. PCOS is a complex disorder and not fully understood, but a major part of its cause appears to be insulin resistance. A high percentage of women with PCOS are also overweight. Metformin treatment sometimes helps with weight loss, often corrects irregular menstrual periods, and definitely improves fertility. In fact, because PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility, metformin, a medication thought of as a diabetes drug, is also one of the most widely used infertility treatments. It's important to emphasize that all uses of metformin other than the treatment of diabetes are "off label." That is, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved metformin for use in these areas, but it is often of benefit and physicians frequently prescribe it for these p Continue reading >>

Does Metformin Cause Weight Loss? What To Know Before You Take It

Does Metformin Cause Weight Loss? What To Know Before You Take It

If you’re managing type 2 diabetes with metformin (Glucophage), you might be well acquainted with unwanted side effects of this drug — namely, upset stomach, diarrhea, muscle aches, and sleepiness. These can be a figurative and literal pain, but you might welcome one side effect of metformin with open arms, particularly if you’ve struggled to lose weight. Metformin isn’t a weight loss drug, but researchers have found a link between the drug and weight loss. In fact, a long-term study published in April 2012 in the journal Diabetes Care that was conducted by the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) concluded that the drug could serve as a treatment for excess body weight, although more studies are needed. What Is Metformin and How Does It Work? “[Metformin] has been considered a first-line medication in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and it mainly acts by lowering the amount of glucose released by the liver,” says Minisha Sood, MD, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “It also helps a hormone called insulin to work better by helping muscles use glucose in a more efficient manner. When insulin works better (and insulin sensitivity improves), a person’s insulin levels are lower than they would be otherwise.” There’s no cure for type 2 diabetes, but the right combination of medication and healthy lifestyle can stabilize blood sugar levels, which, of course, is the end goal of any diabetes treatment. As the medication helps your body properly metabolize food and restores your ability to respond to insulin, you’ll not only feel better, you can potentially avoid complications of high blood sugar, such as heart disease, kidney damage, nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), and eye damage (retinopathy). Why Does Metformin Cause Weight Lo Continue reading >>

The Multiple Benefits Of Metformin

The Multiple Benefits Of Metformin

Metformin (brand name "Glucophage") has been used in the treatment of type II diabetes for the past 40 years.1 This drug counteracts many of the underlying factors that result in the manifestation of this insidious disease. Metformin also produces helpful side benefits that can protect against the lethal complications of type II diabetes. Frequently prescribed anti-diabetic drugs fail to address the fundamental causes of type II diabetes and can induce serious side effects. Type II diabetes affects between 16 to 19 million Americans. About 75% of type II diabetics will die from a cardiovascular-related disease. Conventional doctors often prescribe drugs for the purpose of lowering blood sugar levels. These drugs do not adequately address the multiple underlying pathologies associated with the type II diabetic state. Type II diabetes is characterized by cellular insulin resistence. The result is excess accumulation of glucose in the bloodstream as cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. Type II diabetes is characterized by cellular insulin resistence. The result is excess accumulation of glucose in the bloodstream because cells become resistant to the effects of insulin and fail to take up glucose As the type II diabetic condition progresses, many people gain weight and develop more fat cells.2 Treating type II diabetes with insulin-enhancing therapy increases the risk of cardiovascular complications, induces weight gain, and fails to correct the underlying cause of the disease. Many type II diabetics produce too much insulin in a futile attempt to drive glucose into insulin-resistant cells. When doctors prescribe insulin-enhancing drugs to these type II diabetics, a temporarily reduction of serum glucose may occur, but the long-term effects of this excess insu Continue reading >>

Glucophage (metformin) And Diabetes

Glucophage (metformin) And Diabetes

Tweet Glucophage and Metformin are often mentioned in relation to diabetes treatment. But what exactly is Glucophage and how does Glucophage help control type 2 diabetes? The following guide to Glucophage should help you to understand more about this medication, its side effects and its value. What is Glucophage? Glucophage tablets (and Glucophage SR tablets) each have an active ingredient called Metformin hydrochloride. Metformin is widely used to aid in the control of blood glucose levels amongst people with type 2 diabetes. How does Glucophage help people with type 2 diabetes? Amongst people with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas fails to produce sufficient levels of insulin. Furthermore, the cells in the body may be resistant to any insulin that is present. Normally, insulin would instruct cells to remove sugar from the blood, but in people with diabetes blood sugar levels can climb too high. As we said before, Glucophage contains the ingredient Metformin. Metformin (Metformin hydrochloride) is a type of medicine known as a biguanide. This works to lower the amount of sugar in the blood of people with diabetes. It does this by lowering the amount of sugar produced in the liver, and also increasing the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin. The cells are therefore more able to remove sugar from the blood. Metformin also slows the absorption of sugars from the intestines. Metformin lowers blood sugar levels between and after meals. Who is Glucophage prescribed to? Glucophage is usually prescribed as a treatment for people with type 2 diabetes who are overweight or obese. When diet and exercise fail to adequately control blood glucose levels, Glucophage is prescribed. Sometimes, this medicine is used in conjunction with other anti-diabetic medication. How often do people Continue reading >>

Non-diabetic Weight Loss With Metformin

Non-diabetic Weight Loss With Metformin

Metformin is a medication that normally is used in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes mellitus. This medication is in the antihyperglyemic drug class, meaning that it counteracts glucose in the blood. While the Food and Drug Administration has not approved metformin for weight loss in the United States, some physicians are starting to utilize this medication in an off-label manner to decrease weight in overweight or obese patients. Several studies are underway analyzing the use of metformin for weight-loss, and more studies are needed before FDA approval. Video of the Day Decreased Hepatic Glucose Production Metformin decreases the amount of sugar that is created by the liver, according to findings from the Glaser Obesity Study, conducted by the Glaser Pediatric Research Network. If you haven't eaten in some period of time and your blood sugar becomes too low, your liver can compensate by creating and releasing sugar into the blood. Insulin is then secreted to compensate, and stores this sugar as fat in adipose tissue. When metformin decreases the amount of sugar released by the liver, the pancreas does not have to release extra insulin, thus reducing fat production and storage. Metformin may cause mild gastrointestinal side effects including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, according to Drugs.com. It is proposed that one possible mechanism of action for the weight-reducing benefit of metformin is simply that because of these mild gastrointestinal side effects people do not feel like eating, notes the Glaser research. If you have excessive or prolonged gastrointestinal upsets while taking metformin, contact your physician as he may need to change your medication. Metformin creates increased insulin sensitivity by assisting the body in using the blood sugar already present. Continue reading >>

The Many Benefits Of Metformin | Empoweryourhealth.org

The Many Benefits Of Metformin | Empoweryourhealth.org

Metformin (also known by the brand names Glucophage®, Glucophae XR®, Glumetza®, Fortamet® and Riomet®) is one of the most popular drugs available for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, a form of diabetes in which the body is unable to use insulin efficiently, often leading to less insulin production over time. Introduced in the United Kingdom in 1958, Canada in 1972 and the United States in 1995, metformin is now believed to be the most widely prescribed antidiabetic drug in the world. Originating in a common plant native to the eastern part of the U.S. called French lilac or goat’s plant, metformin has been used to treat many conditions, including tuberculosis, rheumatism and bladder problems. Seminole Indians are said to have used the root, which contains the natural insecticide rotenone, to stun fish for easy harvesting. Other reported uses have included pouring a brew made from the roots on garden plants to kill insects. And at one time, this plant was fed to goats as it was thought to improve milk production, thus the name goat’s rue. What researchers have learned in the past several years is that metformin has many other positive benefits beyond controlling blood glucose levels with very low risk of causing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). One major effect of metformin is a decrease in the production and release of glucose from the liver. When used in combination with antidiabetic drug sulfonylurea or insulin, metformin also can help minimize the weight gain frequently associated with these medications. It can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower blood fat levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. And when taken by individuals treated intensively with sulphonylureas, a class of oral medications that control blood sugar levels in patients Continue reading >>

Non-diabetic Uses Of Metformin

Non-diabetic Uses Of Metformin

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration oversees the safety and effectiveness of drugs prescribed by American doctors, it does not regulate the practice of medicine. So, many medications are used “off-label,” meaning your doctor may prescribe a drug for purposes that have not yet been approved by the FDA. About 1/5 of the prescriptions for common medications are written for an off-label use, according to a 2012 review in “Mayo Clinic Proceedings.” Metformin (Glucophage), a drug licensed to treat type 2 diabetes, has a number of off-label uses. How Metformin Works Metformin is unlike other medications used to treat type 2 diabetes. Although all of its actions are not completely understood, metformin’s main mode of action is to decrease glucose production in your liver. In addition, metformin increases your cells’ sensitivity to the insulin released from your pancreas, which increases your body’s ability to metabolize glucose. Together, these actions reduce your blood glucose level without driving it too low. These same properties make the drug potentially useful in a number of situations. Drug-Induced Weight Gain Atypical antipsychotic medications, such as olanzapine (Zyprexa), are prescribed for managing schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other conditions. But in many people, these medications cause significant weight gain, which is believed to stem from drug-induced appetite stimulation and insulin resistance. A March 2011 analysis in the “British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology” showed people who gain weight as a result of taking olanzapine may lose some of that weight by also taking metformin. This has important implications for people whose psychiatric conditions cannot be controlled without atypical antipsychotics. Metformin may not be ap Continue reading >>

Beyond Diabetes, Metformin May Prove To Be A Wonder Drug

Beyond Diabetes, Metformin May Prove To Be A Wonder Drug

, "Should metformin be the first-line therapy choice in type 2 diabetes treatment?" In the past 2 decades, metformin has become a mainstay of type 2 diabetes management and is now the recommended first-line drug for treating the disease in the United States and worldwide. Available in the United States since 1995, metformin is an attractive therapy for clinicians and patients alike. Studies have found the agent to be safe and effective, and at about $4 for a 1-month supply of the generic, that option is affordable at a time when many prescription drugs are being priced out of reach for some patients. Metformin is the first drug of choice, by all standards, Oluwaranti Akiyode, PharmD, RPh, BCPS, CDE, professor and clinical pharmacist at Howard University School of Pharmacy, told Endocrine Today. Its a rarity that all experts agree on something. It is time-tested, proven, has good efficacy, a good safety profile and its cheap. Metformin has been around long before it came to the United States. Thats why I find it amazing that we only have one drug in that class. New research is suggesting that metformin may hold promise in treating or preventing a whole host of conditions in patients with and without type 2 diabetes. Studies show metformin may be cardioprotective in patients with diabetes and beneficial in the presence of stable congestive heart failure. The agent also may help to increase pregnancy rate in polycystic ovary syndrome, provide breast and prostate cancer benefits, and offer neuroprotection that may reduce dementia and stroke risk, Akiyode said. Nir Barzilai, MD, is exploring whether metformin can target and delay aging, to decrease the incidence of age-related diseases in general, rather than merely decrease the incidence of diabetes. Photo courtesy of Albe Continue reading >>

Metformin, The Anti-aging Miracle Drug

Metformin, The Anti-aging Miracle Drug

Metformin, The Anti-Aging Miracle Drug Diabetes Drugs Take A BAD RAP This article is part two of a series, for part one, click here. You probably think of Diabetes Drugs as all lumped together as “Bad Drugs”. For many years , I certainly did. Perhaps it was the Avandia story that gave Diabetes Drugs a Bad Rap and made us think poorly of ALL Diabetes Drugs. Upper Left Image: Photo of French Lilac Plant , the plant origin of Metformin, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Avandia, the “BAD Drug” for Diabetes Take the case of Avandia, approved in 1999, it quickly became the world’s best selling diabetes drug. However, 8 years later, the New England Journal reported that Avandia causes increased heart attack rates, and sales were suspended in Europe.(1A) In November 2011, GlaxoSmithKline admitted they withheld safety data on Avandia and agreed to pay the US government 3 billion in civil and criminal penalties related to illegal marketing. The Avandia case gave all diabetes drugs a “Bad Rap”. The reality is that there is one diabetes drug that has stood the test of time, and is in fact a “Good Drug”. This is Metformin. Perhaps the plant origin of the drug makes it a “good drug”. Metformin, the “Good Drug” Is There Anyone Who Should not Take It ? At the May 2012 Orlando A4M Meeting, Terry Grossman, M.D. from Golden Colorado gave an excellent presentation on Metformin. Credit and thanks goes to Terry Grossman MD for sharing his talk at the meeting with all of us. Much of this article comes from Grossman’s PowerPoint slides. Dr Terry Grossman is co-author of the Ray Kurzweil book, Fantastic Voyage. Upper Left Image : Photo of Terry Grossman MD, courtesy of Terry Grossman MD. Metformin by Terry Grossman MD- Metformin Discovery and Approval Discovered in the Continue reading >>

Effect Of Metformin On Different Non-diabetes Related Conditions, A Special Focus On Malignant Conditions: Review Of Literature

Effect Of Metformin On Different Non-diabetes Related Conditions, A Special Focus On Malignant Conditions: Review Of Literature

Go to: Metformin is one of the most commonly used diabetes treating agents [1]. It has proved to be very effective, with a wide spectrum of efficacy, safety, as well as being an agent that works at different spots in diabetes pathogenesis paradigm [1]. Metformin is now being used for over 60 years in many parts of the world. During these six decades, plenty of data showed beneficial effects of metformin apart from diabetes. Many diabetes associated conditions, like polycystic ovary disease and fatty liver disease, showed remarkable improvement upon using metformin [2, 3]. Data showed a protective effect of metformin in reducing cardiovascular complications, not only in diabetes patients but even those with a prediabetes state on the long term [4-6]. Moreover, metformin showed a beneficial effect in some studies in reducing the prevalence of different malignant conditions, and it helped in treating some of them when concomitantly used with other agents. From an endocrine perspective, some studies pointed towards the effect of the metformin on the thyroid function test, even in euthyroid patients. Nonetheless, metformin reduced the size of the thyroid nodule in some small papers in the literature. In this review, we shall highlight the systemic effects of metformin. We will focus mainly on the non-diabetes-related effects. Reviewed literature included randomized controlled trials, observational trials, and review articles. We have reviewed papers with the primary objective of assessing the non-diabetes related health issues. We have classified the results according to the area of metformin effect. These areas included the effect on inflammation modulation, weight reduction, and thyroid diseases and so on. In the cancer section, since it is the most studied area with metfo Continue reading >>

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