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What Can I Take Instead Of Metformin

What Medications Can Be Used As A Substitute For Metformin

What Medications Can Be Used As A Substitute For Metformin

Metformin is a prescription medication used for treatment of type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetes. Other medications may be considered if metformin does not adequately treat your type 2 diabetes. Types Types of medications for treating type 2 diabetes include dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 inhibitors such as Onglyza and Januvia, glucagon-like peptide 1 agonists such as Byetta, meglitinides such as Prandin and Starlix, sulfonylureas such as Glucotrol, Amaryl and Glynase, thiazolidinediones such as Avandia and Actos and alpha-glucosidase inhibitors such as Precose and Glyset. Function DPP-4 inhibitors, GLP-1 agonists, meglitinides and sulfonylureas increase insulin production, thiazolidinediones increases the effectiveness of insulin without increasing insulin production and alpha-glucosidase inhibitors blocks certain stomach enzymes that make the body more sensitive to insulin. Administration Byetta is available only as an injectable. The other types of medications are taken orally. Side Effects Sulfonylureas and thiazolidediones may cause weight gain. DPP-4 inhibitors increase risk of respiratory infections. Consult your pharmacist or physician for a more comprehensive list of side effects for each particular medication. Lactic Acidosis Metformin may cause lactic acidosis, which is a condition caused by excessive buildup of lactic acid in the body. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include weakness, drowsiness, decreased heart rate, cold feeling, muscle pain, shortness of breath, stomach pain, lightheadedness and fainting. Other types of type 2 diabetes medications are not associated with development of lactic acidosis. Diabetic Ketoacidosis Metformin is contraindicated in cases of diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition caused by a shortage of insulin in the body. DDP-4 inhibitors, GL Continue reading >>

8 Natural Alternatives To Actos And Metformin

8 Natural Alternatives To Actos And Metformin

If you suffer from Type 2 diabetes, there is a good chance that you’ve had a discussion with your doctor about the prescription drug Metformin. It is often initiated at the diagnosis of diabetes and helps to reduce blood sugars in an effective way. The problem however with this solution is its inability to work for everyone. Additionally, many users of Metformin may find the side effects of this drug extremely bothersome. The first thing to remember is that the development of Type 1 diabetes is not your fault, no matter what your medical providers might have you believe. Diabetes is caused by your body’s inability to process, driving up your blood sugars. However, Type 2 diabetes (adult onset) can be avoided many times and even reversed with the right diet, exercise program and proper natural herbs and vitamins. Dealing with High Blood Sugar Levels Maintaining your blood sugar levels into acceptable ranges is critically necessary to maintain your quality of life, which means your routines are going to be changing no matter what you do. High blood sugars can cause nerve and kidney damage, so it is important to act now. Whether you want to avoid prescription medication, or suffer with current side effects, many natural alternatives exist for Metformin. These options may be able to effectively treat your diabetes and help you feel back in control again 8 Natural Alternatives to Metformin 1. Lifestyle Changes: For many that suffer with Type 2 diabetes, basic lifestyle changes are often the primary thing that is necessary for treatment of their disease. For many people, this means an increased level of exercise and an improvement in their overall nutrition. The goal of these lifestyle changes is to get on an effective weight loss plan that is combined with higher levels Continue reading >>

After Metformin, Are Newer Drugs Better For Type 2 Diabetes?

After Metformin, Are Newer Drugs Better For Type 2 Diabetes?

After Metformin, Are Newer Drugs Better for Type 2 Diabetes? Use of a sulfonylurea as second-line therapy after metformin for type 2 diabetes is just as effective as a newer agent but far less costly, a new study based on claims data finds. The results were published online February 26 in Diabetes Care by Yuanhui Zhang, a PhD candidate at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, and colleagues. "In light of an incomplete understanding of the pros and cons of second-line medications and the high cost associated with newer medications, the decision to use newer medications should be weighed against the additional cost burden to patients and/or the health system," study coauthor Brian Denton, PhD, of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, told Medscape Medical News. However, the use of retrospective data means that the study is subject to both ascertainment and physician-choice bias, said Alan J. Garber, MD, PhD, of Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, when asked to comment for Medscape Medical News. Moreover, noted Dr. Garber, the study doesn't adequately account for the adverse effects of sulfonylurea-induced hypoglycemia. "Patients value things differently. If you had a hypoglycemic episode and you don't like that, you're willing to pay a lot more of your discretionary income to avoid having another one." The researchers explain that there are currently 11 classes of approved glucose-lowering medications. Metformin has a long-standing evidence base for efficacy and safety, is inexpensive, and is regarded by most as the primary first-line treatment for type 2 diabetes. When metformin fails to achieve or maintain glycemic goals, another agent needs to be added. However, there is no consensus or sufficient evidence supporting the use of one second-line agent over Continue reading >>

Stopping Metformin: When Is It Ok?

Stopping Metformin: When Is It Ok?

The most common medication worldwide for treating diabetes is metformin (Glumetza, Riomet, Glucophage, Fortamet). It can help control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. It’s available in tablet form or a clear liquid you take by mouth before meals. Metformin doesn’t treat the underlying cause of diabetes. It treats the symptoms of diabetes by lowering blood sugar. It also increases the use of glucose in peripheral muscles and the liver. Metformin also helps with other things in addition to improving blood sugar. These include: lowering lipids, resulting in a decrease in blood triglyceride levels decreasing “bad” cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) increasing “good” cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) If you’re taking metformin for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, it may be possible to stop. Instead, you may be able to manage your condition by making certain lifestyle changes, like losing weight and getting more exercise. Read on to learn more about metformin and whether or not it’s possible to stop taking it. However, before you stop taking metformin consult your doctor to ensure this is the right step to take in managing your diabetes. Before you start taking metformin, your doctor will want to discuss your medical history. You won’t be able to take this medication if you have a history of any of the following: alcohol abuse liver disease kidney issues certain heart problems If you are currently taking metformin, you may have encountered some side effects. If you’ve just started treatment with this drug, it’s important to know some of the side effects you may encounter. Most common side effects The most common side effects are digestive issues and may include: diarrhea vomiting nausea heartburn abdominal cramps Continue reading >>

Three New Treatment Options For Type 2 Diabetes Recommended By Nice

Three New Treatment Options For Type 2 Diabetes Recommended By Nice

The drugs will help to control blood sugar in those patients who cannot take more commonly prescribed medicines meaning their condition remains stable for longer. An estimated 31,000 people may be eligible for the three recommended treatments: canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Forxiga) and empagliflozin (Jardiance). The three drugs can all be used on their own if a person can’t use metformin, sulfonylurea or pioglitazone, and diet and exercise alone isn’t controlling their blood glucose levels. In the UK, almost 3.5 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes and it’s estimated that about 90% of adults with the condition have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes causes elevated blood sugar levels which damages blood vessels leading to increased risk of heart attack, stroke and limb amputation. Sugar levels rise because their body doesn’t produce enough insulin – the hormone which controls the amount of glucose in blood – or their body doesn’t use insulin effectively. Professor Carole Longson, director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said: “Type 2 diabetes is long-term condition that has a serious impact on people who live with it, and the treatments given should be tailored for the individual. “For many people whose blood glucose levels aren’t controlled by diet and exercise alone, metformin is the first drug treatment that they’ll be offered. But some people may experience nausea and diarrhoea, and they may not be able to take it if they have kidney damage. For people who can’t take a sulfonylurea or pioglitazone, then the three drugs recommended in this guidance can be considered. This is as an alternative to the separate group of drugs called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors. “The committee agreed th Continue reading >>

Metformin

Metformin

Metformin may rarely cause a serious, life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis. Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take metformin. Also, tell your doctor if you are over 65 years old and if you have ever had a heart attack; stroke; diabetic ketoacidosis (blood sugar that is high enough to cause severe symptoms and requires emergency medical treatment); a coma; or heart or liver disease. Taking certain other medications with metformin may increase the risk of lactic acidosis. Tell your doctor if you are taking acetazolamide (Diamox), dichlorphenamide (Keveyis), methazolamide, topiramate (Topamax, in Qsymia), or zonisamide (Zonegran). Tell your doctor if you have recently had any of the following conditions, or if you develop them during treatment: serious infection; severe diarrhea, vomiting, or fever; or if you drink much less fluid than usual for any reason. You may have to stop taking metformin until you recover. If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, or any major medical procedure, tell the doctor that you are taking metformin. Also, tell your doctor if you plan to have any x-ray procedure in which dye is injected, especially if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol or have or have had liver disease or heart failure. You may need to stop taking metformin before the procedure and wait 48 hours to restart treatment. Your doctor will tell you exactly when you should stop taking metformin and when you should start taking it again. If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop taking metformin and call your doctor immediately: extreme tiredness, weakness, or discomfort; nausea; vomiting; stomach pain; decreased appetite; deep and rapid breathing or shortness of breath; dizzi Continue reading >>

Berberine For Diabetes – Is It A Natural Alternative To Metformin?

Berberine For Diabetes – Is It A Natural Alternative To Metformin?

Incidence of insulin resistance, obesity, and other metabolic diseases have reached massive proportions in our culture. The current popular glucose-lowering drug treatment, Metformin comes with some potential serious side effects. However, there is a natural Metformin alternative that can help the body efficiently process sugar, thereby being safer than pharmaceutical interventions. It’s known as Berberine. What is Berberine and Where Does it Come From? Berberine is a plant photochemical that’s found in several different plants, including goldenseal, European barberry, phellodendron, goldthread, Oregon grape, and tree turmeric. It possesses powerful anti-diabetic properties, as well as being anti-bacterial and immune system enhancing. As well as diabetes it can be used as a treatment for a number of other health problems including hyperlipidemia, heart disease, and cancer. It can regulate blood glucose, increase insulin sensitivity as well as metabolizing fats (burning fat). Berberine has been widely studied, with nearly 1000 studies published on it in the last 5 years alone. There is a body of evidence supporting it’s efficacy in lowering blood-glucose and increasing insulin sensitivity for both humans and animals. However, Berberine is not a new discovery. For thousands of years the Chinese and Ayurvedic communities has been aware of the amazing benefits of Berberine. The blood-sugar lowering effects have been documented in China and India for hundreds of years. Although it was primarily used for treating inflammation, infections, and diarrhea, as diabetes was not as common then as it is now (1). A Natural Substitute For Metformin? However, as the incidence of diabetes has grown, the recent studies have focused on it’s ability to treat the condition. The studi Continue reading >>

Glycosidase Inhibitors For Pcos Treatment

Glycosidase Inhibitors For Pcos Treatment

Alternatives to glucophage for treating insulin resistance in PCOS Byetta For women with polycystic ovary syndrome – PCOS, insulin resistance is a common finding. In addition, many of these women do not respond to Clomid (Clomiphene Serophene)(Clomid resistance). For these reasons, many women are now treated with a diabetes medication known as glucophage (metformin) which works, in part, to reduce insulin resistance and improves the chances for ovulating spontaneously or with Clomid. However, many women will have side effects from glucophage such as bloating, cramping, diarrhea, flatulence and nausea. The most serious complication of glucophage is lactic acidosis which is a rare but potentially life threatening condition. Byetta: (Exenatide for injection) Byetta belongs to a class of medications known as incretin mimetics. Incretins are naturally occurring hormones secreted from the intestines in response to food intake. In the pancreas, incretin hormones act to increase insulin secretion in response to rising sugar levels in the blood. This helps to ensure an appropriate insulin response following ingestion of a meal. The incretin hormone which scientists have studies the most is called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Byetta works by mimicking the effects of GLP-1. Studies show it increases insulin sensitivity. Byetta is approved by the FDA for the treatment of diabetes – not PCOS yet. Two advantages of Byetta that have been shown in clinical studies include better control of blood sugar levels in diabetics and weight loss. Since Byetta improves insulin resistance, some scientists feel that PCOS patients may benefit from taking Byetta. In a study of 60 overweight women with PCOS, Byetta improved the likelihood of women having regular menstrual cycles. The combinat Continue reading >>

Drug Treatment Of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus In Patients For Whom Metformin Is Contraindicated

Drug Treatment Of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus In Patients For Whom Metformin Is Contraindicated

Go to: Metformin has long been considered the initial drug therapy choice in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The most widely recognized clinical guidelines and consensus recommendations endorse its use when monotherapy is initially preferred to treat hyperglycemia.1–4 However, treatment with metformin is not suitable for all patients diagnosed with T2DM. Patients may initially receive metformin but not be able to tolerate common side effects, mainly its gastrointestinal adverse effects. Likewise, some practitioners may be cautious in using metformin in patients at risk for but who do not necessarily currently have specific contraindications to its use. While the specific contraindications to use of metformin have changed to an extent over the last decade, significant renal impairment or conditions that could acutely alter renal function remain a consistent theme in delineating who should not receive the medication. Some of the common sources and specific contraindications to the use of metformin based on renal function are provided in Table 1. Inconsistencies between these sources remain. Current guidelines/consensus recommendations for specific therapies to initiate in patients who cannot tolerate or have a contraindication to metformin use provide some insight on the issue but also conflict with each other. The American Diabetes Association/European Association for the Study of Diabetes recommend a sulfonylurea, meglitinide, pioglitazone, or dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitor when metformin cannot be used.3 They also recommend using a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist if weight loss is warranted. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists state GLP-1 agonists, DPP-4 inhibitors, and alpha-glucosidase inhibitors are acceptable Continue reading >>

Herbal Alternatives To Metformin

Herbal Alternatives To Metformin

Metformin (Glucophage, Glumetza, Fortamet) is typically prescribed to counteract the effects of insulin resistance -- the body's sluggish response to the blood-sugar-lowering hormone insulin. Insulin resistance can lead to high blood sugars and may eventually progress to prediabetes or type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Metformin improves insulin sensitivity of the body tissues and reduces liver glucose production, both of which help lower blood sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association recommends metformin as a first-choice medicine to treat T2DM. It is also sometimes used in combination with exercise and weight loss in people with prediabetes. Some evidence suggests that a few herbs might mimic some of the effects of metformin. However, no herb is a proven alternative to metformin. Video of the Day Goat’s rue, or Galega officinalis, is an age-old remedy. In times past, it was used for assorted ailments, including diabetes. Metformin is a man-made chemical that's closely related to a substance found in goat’s rue. Animal studies from the 1970s and 1980s established that substances in goat's rue have blood-sugar-lowering effects. Some of these chemicals can be toxic, however, so human studies are lacking. A recent animal study was published in April 2008 in the "British Journal of Pharmacology." Researchers found that mice fed galegine -- a chemical found in goat's rue -- ate less, lost weight and had reduced blood sugar levels, compared to mice that weren't fed the chemical. Goat's rue is not approved for diabetes treatment by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or Germany's Commission E, a scientific advisory board that reviews and approves herbal medicines. Commission E noted significant health risks with goat's rue and the availability of more effective diabetes tr Continue reading >>

Cinnamon And Other Herbal Remedies

Cinnamon And Other Herbal Remedies

Can herbs and spices replace some or all diabetes medicines? For some people they can, but you have to be really careful with these and any other alternative treatments. Here are some herbal approaches to managing diabetes and some things to consider if you want to try them. Last fall, Amy Campbell wrote eight blog entries about different herbs and spices and their health benefits. Definitely check these pieces out. But there are many other herbs used around the world to treat and prevent diabetes. Almost all categories of diabetes drug have herbal analogs. Any discussion of herbs for diabetes has to start with cinnamon. Cinnamon is thought to possibly act as an insulin sensitizer, like metformin (brand name Glucophage and others) and the thiazolidinedione drugs (such as Actos). A Pakistani study of 60 adults with Type 2 in Diabetes Care showed an average glucose level drop of 18% to 29% in those who took cinnamon, and better cholesterol levels compared to placebo (inactive treatment). Even though there is generally no money to study herbs, people started to get excited and some small follow-up studies were done. One, also published in Diabetes Care, was done in Oklahoma City. Forty-three adults with Type 2 were split into two groups, and no significant differences were found between cinnamon and placebo groups. That’s why studies can be so confusing. A lot depends on who is being studied. Quite probably, the Pakistani subjects may have been more sensitive to cinnamon, or had different diets, or some other difference from the Americans. Over the next few years, other cinnamon studies were reported; some indicating significant benefits, some not. But if you look at the comments section of this Diabetes Self-Management blog entry, you can see that many readers have foun Continue reading >>

One Of The Most Effective Diabetes Drugs

One Of The Most Effective Diabetes Drugs

You may recall that I recently wrote a series on various medicines and how they can affect your diabetes (see "The Ups and Downs of Meds and Diabetes [Part 1]" as well as Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5). One kind reader, who happens to be a nurse, asked me to devote a post to metformin with regard to its effects on kidneys and special considerations to keep in mind with this drug. I wrote about metformin back in December 2006 (was it that long ago?) and its link to vitamin B12 deficiency (see “Metformin and Risk For Vitamin B12 Deficiency”). But there are other important facts to know about this very popular diabetes drug. Raise your hand if you take metformin. OK, obviously I can’t see you, but I’ll wager that many of you reading this are on this medication. Metformin is the generic name for Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Fortamet, and Riomet. It also comes combined with other diabetes medications, including glyburide (in Glucovance), glipizide (in Metaglip), rosiglitazone (in Avandamet), pioglitazone (in Actoplus Met), sitagliptin (in Janumet), and repaglinide (in PrandiMet). I’ve read that approximately 35 million prescriptions were written for metformin in 2006, making this one of the top 10 best selling generic drugs. And you may not be aware that the American Diabetes Association, in its 2006 practice guidelines for health-care professionals, recommended metformin over sulfonylureas as the first drug of choice for people with Type 2 diabetes. This really isn’t surprising. Metformin has a long track record for being safe and causing relatively few serious side effects—plus, it also works! Chances are, if you have Type 2 diabetes and need to start on medication, your health-care provider will recommend you take metformin. How It Works Just a Continue reading >>

Alternatives To Metformin

Alternatives To Metformin

What Are the Alternatives to Metformin? Metformin (Glucophage®) is a prescription medication used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. A long-acting form, metformin ER (Glucophage XR®), is also available. For most people, metformin is effective in treating their diabetes, and most people tolerate it well. However, as with all medicines, side effects can occur. In other cases, the medicine may not completely control a person's diabetes. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to metformin. Some of the metformin alternatives include: Lifestyle Changes for Type 2 Diabetes Many lifestyle changes have been shown to be very effective for controlling type 2 diabetes (especially early type 2 diabetes). These lifestyle changes include weight loss, becoming more physically active (see Diabetes and Exercise), and changes in diet (see Diabetic Diet). In fact, these changes are important for all people with type 2 diabetes, including people taking diabetes medications. For many people, lifestyle changes alone may not be enough to adequately control type 2 diabetes. For these people, medications (including oral and injectable medications) may be necessary. Fortunately, there are many different types of oral medications available to treat type 2 diabetes, including: Sulfonylureas Sulfonylureas are medications that force the pancreas to produce more insulin. Because of this, they are very effective, but are also more likely to cause dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). These medications include: Meglitinides Meglitinides are similar to sulfonylureas, in that they force the pancreas to produce more insulin. However, they are short-acting and are less likely to cause dangerously low blood sugar. They are usually taken before every meal. Meglitinides include: Thiazolidinedio Continue reading >>

The Surprising Truth About Metformin

The Surprising Truth About Metformin

The “natural” blood-sugar remedy that had been sidelined for far too long What I’m about to tell you may be shocking. And it’s sure to ruffle the feathers of many of the “natural know-it-alls.” But the science is clear, so I’m not afraid to say it: If you have unmanaged Type II diabetes, you should consider the drug metformin as a first line of treatment. And you won’t get the full story anywhere else, since the natural health industry wouldn’t be caught dead recommending a drug. So, please allow me to do the honors here… Think of it as your emergency “get out of jail free card” Diabetes is deadly. High blood sugar coursing through your body destroys your eyes, kidneys, heart, brain, and more. So the sooner you bring it down the better. (Just like high blood pressure, for which I also recommend tried and true medications as a first-line treatment for unmanaged hypertension.) And in this case, the science is clear—the drug metformin has been proven safe and effective for most people. And since it’s now a generic drug, it’s highly cost effective, too. Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying diet and exercise isn’t important. In fact, they’re the best means for preventing and even reversing Type II diabetes entirely. Something metformin can’t do. And there are certainly dietary supplements that can help with maintaining healthy blood sugar (like berberine). But Type II diabetes doesn’t develop overnight. And let’s face it, changing the habits and consequences that got us there in the first place isn’t an overnight task either. So if you need additional help, this is one rare instance where you shouldn’t be afraid to look at a mainstream therapy. And when an option this effective comes along to help kick-start your efforts saf Continue reading >>

Can This Herb Completely Replace Drugs For Type-2 Diabetics?

Can This Herb Completely Replace Drugs For Type-2 Diabetics?

A few weeks ago, I received this email from a diabetic patient of mine. He's been working hard to control his blood sugar. He said, "Hi Frank, I have some very good news that I'm excited to tell you. I've been following your program closely and was a little discouraged. Although my A1c levels [average blood sugar levels] have been dropping, my fasting blood sugar has not. It was still at 123. About two to three weeks ago, I began taking berberine (500 mg, three times daily) and my fasting blood sugar dropped into the 90s. I'm stoked! Sincerely, Rich." So the question I had to answer for myself is, "Why did Rich fail to respond well to my usual program, and then do so well on berberine?" Berberine is a phytochemical (plant chemical) found in many different plants. When used in herbal medicine, the usual sources are barberry, goldenseal, or Oregon grape. It's the main alkaloid of Coptis chinensis, which Asian folk medicine uses to treat diabetes. You also may hear people refer to Coptis chinensis as Chinese Goldthread, Huang-Lian, and Huang-LienIt. Berberine has a lot of uses. It can treat heart disease, immune disorders, digestive problems, eye infections, and other infections. I had never heard of it being all that effective in diabetes. So as soon as Rich sent me that message, I looked into it. I found several well-written scientific articles describing an effect of berberine that I could hardly believe. It seems that you can use it as a substitute for insulin. One study, published just last year looked at the effect of berberine on how well muscle cells take in sugar. As you probably already know, except when we are actively exercising, sugar cannot get into muscle cells unless insulin is present to escort it in. That's why the blood sugar goes up when patients either Continue reading >>

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