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What Is Bad About Metformin

The Pros And Cons Of Metformin For Diabetes

The Pros And Cons Of Metformin For Diabetes

Metformin is #7 on the doctors’ hit parade of top 10 prescription drugs. Each year the number of prescriptions increases substantially. Last year there were 87 million metformin prescriptions dispensed in U.S. pharmacies. That does not count combo products that include metformin in their formulation such as Glucovance, Invokamet, Janumet, Kombiglyze XR, Metaglip and Synjardy, to name just a few. Metformin is clearly the #1 drug for diabetes and because the number of people with diabetes keeps going up, prescriptions for metformin are skyrocketing. That’s why readers of our syndicated newspaper column and visitors to this website are so desperate to learn more about metformin for diabetes. How To Know If Metformin for Diabetes Is Right for You: Here is a typical letter from a reader: Q. I crossed the line a month ago from normal blood sugar to type 2 diabetes and was put on metformin. I hate taking drugs. What can you tell me about metformin? Thank the Old Wives: A. Metformin is one of the oldest and most well-studied diabetes medicines. It probably comes as a shock to most prescribers to learn that their favorite diabetes drug is available thanks to the old wives. Practitioners of folk medicine discovered that French lilac (Galega officinalis) helped control the symptoms of a condition associated with “sweet urine.” An article in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (Oct. 15, 2001) noted: “In medieval times, a prescription of Galega officinalis was said to relieve the intense urination accompanying the disease that came to have the name of diabetes mellitus [now known as type 2 diabetes].” The botanist and physician Nicholas Culpeper detailed the health benefits of French lilac in 1656. He described the ability of the plant to lower blood sugar and control Continue reading >>

Metformin: The Good, The Bad, The Benefits

Metformin: The Good, The Bad, The Benefits

If you’ve read anything at all about type 2 diabetes, you probably know that the primary treatment is a carb-controlled diet plus healthy moving. Beyond this cornerstone, medications are often needed to keep the A1C (or average 3 month glucose level) under control. There are at least 7 different classes of oral drugs to treat diabetes, plus injectables, plus insulin. How does your doctor know which one to choose? Is metformin really better than any of the other options? Yes, this drug is clearly the front-runner when we’re talking about oral diabetes medication and which one to use first. The Good How does metformin work and why is it recommended? Going back to the basics of understanding diabetes, it is a condition where there is either not enough insulin made by the pancreas, or the body can’t use the insulin that is produced (known as insulin resistance). Because of insulin resistance, the liver thinks that there isn’t enough glucose in the cells, so it produces more to overcome the resistance. Metfomin then comes in to tell the liver to chill out and stop making so much glucose. When that happens, the overall result is a lower blood sugar level. But wait…that’s not all! Many drugs have a secondary action, and this is the case for metformin. It is also able to improve the way the muscles utilize insulin. This is known as improving insulin sensitivity. With these two actions combined, metformin (at full dose) can decrease an A1C level up to 2% over a 3 month period. That all sounds good, so what’s the downside? The Bad Metformin is famous for causing stomach upset, diarrhea, nausea and bloating. These side effects can be miserable and will make you hate metformin. The good news is, most people develop tolerance to the gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and t Continue reading >>

Diabetes Drug Could Be Dangerous: Study

Diabetes Drug Could Be Dangerous: Study

Posted: May 15, 2002 3:35 PM ET | Last Updated: May 15, 2002 A number of patients with diabetes are being given a drug that could kill them, according to researchers in North Carolina. A study on metformin, also sold as Glucophage and Novo-Metformin, says nearly one in four patients could experience dangerous side effects. The study is published in the most current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Metformin helps the body use insulin and is one of the most common drugs used to treat Type II diabetes, sometimes linked to obesity and called "adult-onset" or "non-insulin dependent" diabetes. There are at least 1.2 million Canadians with diabetes according to Health Canada. More than 90 per cent are Type II. Metformin can cause a side-effect called lactic acidosis, a buildup of lactic acid in the blood that is fatal in half of all cases. The label says it shouldn't be used by patients with kidney disease or by those taking heart medication. A study of metformin patients by the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill found a quarter met that criteria. Fortunately, none of the patients developed lactic acidosis. "It is difficult to determine whether clinicians are aware they are prescribing metformin against a black-box warning," wrote the researchers. "Black-box" refers to the highlighted cautionary information on labels of drugs that have serious side effects. The Canadian Medical Association's guide to prescription drugs lists special precautions for metformin. Metformin is not recommended if you: Common reactions are loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting and a metallic taste in the mouth. Lead researcher Cheryl Horlen says several recent European studies have found similar rates of inappropriate use. Recent studies by Harvard Medical School a Continue reading >>

Side Effects Of Metformin Are More Serious Than You Think

Side Effects Of Metformin Are More Serious Than You Think

The Side Effects of Metformin can range from not so serious, to deadly, are the risks of Metformin and Glucophage side effects worth it? This page will give you information that might be able to help you decide that for yourself. Also known as Glucophage, this is an antidiabetic medicine most often used in those with Type 2 Diabetes who are also overweight. It’s also used extensively in women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a condition known as PCOS, which is often accompanied by higher blood sugar readings which often benefit from the blood sugar lowering effects of Metformin. While at first glance it seems that Side Effects of Metformin are rare, a closer look and a little math show that there are some serious problems that can occur when taking this drug, and others that can and should be prevented easily, but are usually not due to a medical community that simply does not use nutritional supplements in the prevention of even well-known, easily preventable Glucophage side effects. Vitamin B12 Deficiency Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid Deficiency are well-known and well-studied side effects of Metformin. Despite the fact that there have been many studies confirming this problem over and over again in the medical literature, just like the Side Effects of Nitrous Oxide, few doctors warn their patients of this or recommend that they take simple, cheap over the counter Vitamin B12 Supplements in order to avoid this potentially devastating nutritional deficiency. In addition, the long term use of the ‘antacid’ drugs known as H2 receptor antagonist or proton pump inhibitors like Famotidine or Omeprazole, some of the most widely prescribed drugs, can increase this risk, as is mentioned in the Omeprazole Side Effects page. The Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms range anywhere Continue reading >>

What Are The Long-term Effects Of Metformin?

What Are The Long-term Effects Of Metformin?

Metformin is a prescription drug that is used to help control blood glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is commonly sold under the brand names Glucophage and Fortamet and is available in regular and slow-release tablets. Metformin works by acting on the liver and intestines to decrease secretion and absorption of glucose into the blood. It also increases the insulin sensitivity of muscles and tissues of the body so that they take up glucose more readily. MayoClinic.com underlines that as with any medication, metformin can cause unwanted side effects that may be common or more serious. Video of the Day Patients taking metformin, particularly women may experience general malaise, fatigue, and occasional achiness. Malaise may be caused by other effects of metformin on the liver, kidneys, stomach and intestines, as noted by Drugs.com. Vitamin B12 Malabsorption Vitamin B12 malabsorption may also occur in some patients on metformin treatment. MayoClinic.com explains that a chemical in the stomach called intrinsic factor is required for the body to absorb vitamin B12. Metformin can interfere with this chemical, causing decreased absorption of the vitamin. Over the long term, a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause significant health risks as this essential vitamin is important for synthesis of DNA, red blood cell production and other biochemical functions in the body. Decreased vitamin B12 in the blood can lead to megoblastic anemia in which the bone marrow cannot adequately manufacture red blood cells. Though this type of anemia is not common, it can occur from long-term use of metformin, causing decreased vitamin B12 levels. Long-term metformin use can cause liver or kidney problems in some individuals, according to MayoClinic.com, because the medicati Continue reading >>

Metformin Side Effects

Metformin Side Effects

shakiness dizziness or lightheadedness sweating nervousness or irritability sudden changes in behavior or mood headache numbness or tingling around the mouth weakness pale skin hunger clumsy or jerky movements If hypoglycemia is left untreated, severe symptoms may develop: confusion seizures loss of consciousness Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms of hyperglycemia or high blood sugar: extreme thirst frequent urination extreme hunger weakness blurred vision If high blood sugar is not treated, a serious, life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis could develop. Call your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms: dry mouth nausea and vomiting shortness of breath breath that smells fruity decreased consciousness Metformin may cause other side effects: diarrhea bloating stomach pain gas constipation unpleasant metallic taste in mouth heartburn headache sneezing cough runny nose flushing of the skin nail changes muscle pain Some side effects can be serious: chest pain rash Continue reading >>

Common Diabetes Drug Metformin Could Cause Thyroid And Heart Problems, Experts Warn

Common Diabetes Drug Metformin Could Cause Thyroid And Heart Problems, Experts Warn

A drug widely prescribed to those with diabetes could cause thyroid, heart and a host of other health problems, a study has warned. Metformin is commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes. It lowers blood sugar levels by reducing glucose production in the liver. But new research, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found the drug is linked to having an underactive thyroid. And the increased risk of producing low levels of the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), can lead to complications, scientists have warned. The condition can cause heart disease, goitre - a lump in the throat caused by a swollen thyroid - pregnancy problems and a life-threatening condition called myxoedema coma. Both men and women can have an underactive thyroid, though the condition is more common in women. In the UK, it affects 15 in every 1,000 women and one in 1,000 men. The condition can also develop in children. The amount of metformin an individual needs to control blood sugar levels is worked out by a person's doctor or diabetes team. However, some previous research has raised concerns that the drug may lower thyroid-stimulating hormone levels. The study, published in Canadian Medical Association Journal, examined data on 74,300 patients who received metformin and sulfonylurea, another common diabetes drug, over a 25-year study period. Of these people, 5,689 were being treated for an underactive thyroid, and 59,937 had normal thyroid function. In the group with an underactive thyroid, there were 495 incidences of low thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) (119.7 per 1000) per year compared with 322 in the normal group (4.5 per 1000). In patients with a treated underactive thyroid, metformin was associated with a 55 per cent increased risk of low TSH levels compared with treatment wit Continue reading >>

Side Effects Of Metformin: What You Should Know

Side Effects Of Metformin: What You Should Know

Metformin is a prescription drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. It belongs to a class of medications called biguanides. People with type 2 diabetes have blood sugar (glucose) levels that rise higher than normal. Metformin doesn’t cure diabetes. Instead, it helps lower your blood sugar levels to a safe range. Metformin needs to be taken long-term. This may make you wonder what side effects it can cause. Metformin can cause mild and serious side effects, which are the same in men and women. Here’s what you need to know about these side effects and when you should call your doctor. Find out: Can metformin be used to treat type 1 diabetes? » Metformin causes some common side effects. These can occur when you first start taking metformin, but usually go away over time. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or cause a problem for you. The more common side effects of metformin include: heartburn stomach pain nausea or vomiting bloating gas diarrhea constipation weight loss headache unpleasant metallic taste in mouth Lactic acidosis The most serious side effect metformin can cause is lactic acidosis. In fact, metformin has a boxed warning about this risk. A boxed warning is the most severe warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Lactic acidosis is a rare but serious problem that can occur due to a buildup of metformin in your body. It’s a medical emergency that must be treated right away in the hospital. See Precautions for factors that raise your risk of lactic acidosis. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms of lactic acidosis. If you have trouble breathing, call 911 right away or go to the nearest emergency room. extreme tiredness weakness decreased appetite nausea vomiting trouble breathing dizziness lighthea Continue reading >>

Metformin Side Effects — Good, Bad, And Neutral

Metformin Side Effects — Good, Bad, And Neutral

Metformin’s job is to lower your blood glucose. But like all complex and imperfectly understood drugs, it has some side effects. STOMACH IRRITATION, DIARRHEA When starting metformin, around a third of people suffer some degree of stomach irritation, which usually resolves quickly. Only 3% to 10% of people in clinical trials experience symptoms severe enough that they stop taking the drug. Higher doses tend to cause more irritation, at least when comparing 500 milligrams (mg) to higher doses. Little difference is seen between doses of 1,000 mg and 2,500 mg. Causes. Not fully established. The leading theory is that metformin slows the rate of bile salt reabsorption in the intestines, which in turn could disturb the activity of bacteria in the colon. Solution. Start low and go slow. When starting metformin, most people do well with starting with 500 mg at night or with dinner, and staying at this dose for a full week. At that point, a second 500-mg pill can be added in the morning. After another week, a third pill can be added to the evening dose. After one more week, a fourth pill can be added to the morning dose, so that by the end of the month, the full daily dose of 2,000 mg is being taken. People who experience chronic irritation on a full dose may still benefit from a partial dose of metformin, and people with chronic irritation who started on a full dose can sometimes eliminate this irritation by cutting back and slowly building back up to a full dose. Alternate solution. Switch to the extended-release (XR) version of metformin, which is tolerated better by most people. CARDIOVASCULAR PROTECTION The UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) revealed that taking metformin reduces the risk of heart attack by 39% compared with other blood-glucose-lowering drugs. For this Continue reading >>

New Evidence Underlines Dangers Of Metformin For Type 2 Diabetes

New Evidence Underlines Dangers Of Metformin For Type 2 Diabetes

This diabetes drug is a dangerous dud Diabetic men, hide your hearts. That’s the urgent message from a recent study that tested metformin, the patent drug that millions of doctors turn to first when treating type 2 diabetes. Using PET scans, researchers determined that metformin caused men’s hearts to burn more fat and less sugar. And that’s exactly what a diabetic DOESN’T need. It puts a specific kind of stress on the heart muscle that can lead to heart failure. As one researcher put it, metformin worsened men’s heart metabolism, making the heart look “even more like a diabetic heart.” For women, results were the exact opposite. Metformin lowered fat metabolism and increased sugar uptake. Now, this appears to be good news for women. In fact, the press release from Washington University in St. Louis (where the study was conducted) practically GLOWS with reverence for metformin. It mentions again and again the “positive effects” of the drug. Unfortunately, all that gushing means that women will be more comfortable taking metformin. But they shouldn’t be. Not at all. In fact, they should do what men will do when they read about this study — they should put metformin behind them immediately. In the current issue of Nutrition & Healing (March 2014), Dr. Wright takes a long hard look at the history of metformin. And it gets pretty ugly. As you may know, the list of potential side effects is daunting. They include a variety of unpleasant digestive problems, hormone disruption (particularly the thyroid stimulating hormone), dizziness, and sinus infections. One of the most disturbing side effects is the depletion of two critical nutrients: vitamin B12 and folate. In one study, metformin users took B12 supplements and STILL couldn’t overcome the deficienc Continue reading >>

For Type 2 Diabetics, The Bad News Gets Worse

For Type 2 Diabetics, The Bad News Gets Worse

Last November we commented on a rather startling development in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. A widely-used family of drugs called sulfonylureas (Avandia and Glipizide, for 2 examples) was found to increase heart attacks, strokes and death by about 20 percent, when compared to patients who took metformin (another widely-used diabetes drug) alone. If you haven t thrown your pills away yet, this may be a good time to ask your doctor about switching diabetes medication! A new study presented at this year s annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Barcelona, Spain, once again shows that patients taking sulfonylureas as first line treatment for type 2 diabetes had a higher mortality rate than those receiving metformin alone. But this time, the all-cause death rate for sulfonylurea patients was quite a bit worse. Specifically, the outcomes of over 76,000 patients who were prescribed metformin monotherapy were compared to more than 15,000 sulfonylureas users. The all-cause death rate for patients taking sulfonylureas was 58 percent(!) higher than for those taking metformin alone. Lead author, Professor Craig Currie of Cardiff University in the UK concluded: Mortality was significantly increased in patients prescribed sulfonylureas as first-line, glucose lowering monotherapy, compared with metformin monotherapy. Whilst residual confounding and confounding by indication may remain, this study indicates that treatment with first-line monotherapy with sulfonylureas should be reconsidered. Dr. Bloom says, This kind of thing happens from time to time. Fortunately, it is rare, but no drug is without risk, and occasionally one slips through. It can take years of post-marketing surveillance and tens of thousands of users to see something that is not p Continue reading >>

Metformin Makes Headline News

Metformin Makes Headline News

Metformin is the first-line drug of choice in the treatment of type II diabetes. It was first approved in Europe in 1958.1 Americans had to wait until 1994 to legally obtain metformin.1 The holdup in approving metformin goes beyond the FDA. It is an indictment of a political/legal system that will forever cause needless suffering and death unless substantively changed. When Life Extension® informed Americans about drugs like metformin in the 1980s, the FDA did everything in its power to incarcerate me and shut down our Foundation.2 FDA propaganda at the time was that consumers needed to be "protected" against "unproven" therapies. As history has since proven, the result of the FDA's embargo has been unparalleled human carnage. So called "consumer protection" translated into ailing Americans being denied access to therapies that the FDA now claims are essential to saving lives. Today's major problem is not drugs available in other countries that Americans can't access. Instead, it is a political/legal system that suffocates medical innovation. Headline news stories earlier this year touted the anti-cancer effects of metformin, data that Foundation members were alerted to long ago.3 The problem is that it is illegal for metformin manufacturers to promote this drug to cancer patients or oncologists. It's also illegal to promote metformin to healthy people who want to reduce their risk of cancer, diabetes, vascular occlusion, and obesity. This fatal departure from reality continues unabated, as our dysfunctional political/legal system denies information about metformin that could spare countless numbers of lives. Type II diabetics suffer sharply higher rates of cancer4-7and vascular disease.8-11 The anti-diabetic drug metformin has been shown in numerous scientific studies Continue reading >>

Metformin Side Effects

Metformin Side Effects

For the Consumer Applies to metformin: oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release Along with its needed effects, metformin may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention. Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking metformin: More common Abdominal or stomach discomfort cough or hoarseness decreased appetite diarrhea fast or shallow breathing fever or chills general feeling of discomfort lower back or side pain muscle pain or cramping painful or difficult urination sleepiness Less common Anxiety blurred vision chest discomfort cold sweats coma confusion cool, pale skin depression difficult or labored breathing dizziness fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse feeling of warmth headache increased hunger increased sweating nausea nervousness nightmares redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest seizures shakiness shortness of breath slurred speech tightness in the chest unusual tiredness or weakness Rare Behavior change similar to being drunk difficulty with concentrating drowsiness lack or loss of strength restless sleep unusual sleepiness Some side effects of metformin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them: More common Acid or sour stomach belching bloated excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines full feeling heartburn indiges Continue reading >>

Diabetes Medication Metformin: Why Patients Stop Taking It

Diabetes Medication Metformin: Why Patients Stop Taking It

Gretchen Becker, author of The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed , has been taking metformin for more than 20 years after receiving a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in 1996. I never had any problems with metformin until I took a pill that I thought was the extended-release version, but it wasnt, Becker told Healthline. Beckers doctor had accidentally prescribed the regular form of metformin. I had very loose bowels for several months until I figured out what the problem was, Becker said. After getting the proper prescription, it took several months for Beckers digestive system to recover. Corinna Cornejo, who received a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in 2009, told Healthline that her digestive woes didnt start until shed been taking metformin for more than a year. At first, I thought it was a response to dairy, but my doctor eventually switched my prescription to the extended-release version, Cornejo recalled. That has helped, but the side effect has not gone away completely. For some people, however, metformins unpleasant side effect of loose stools provides a much-needed balance to the side effects that can result from other diabetes drugs theyre taking. GLP-1 drugs, like Victoza or Byetta, can cause constipation, explained Robinson. Taking metformin with a GLP-1 drug means they actually complement each other, balancing out those side effects. And for some, metformin simply isnt the right drug. No matter what you do, some patients just dont tolerate the side effects well, said Robinson. Although there are many diabetes drugs on the market today, doctors will likely push metformin first. There has never been as many diabetes treatment options available as there are now, explained Robinson. But doctors look at cost, and metformin is th Continue reading >>

Metformin Hcl

Metformin Hcl

Uses 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. How to use Metformin HCL Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking metformin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 1-3 times a day with meals. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). To reduce your risk of side effects (such as upset stomach), your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same times each day. If you are already taking another diabetes drug (such as chlorpropamide), follow your doctor's directions carefully for stopping/continuing the old drug and starting metformin. Check your blood sugar regularly a Continue reading >>

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