5 Metformin Side Effects That You Should Watch Out For
ICYMI: Medications are weird and kind of complicated. Sometimes, after a drug is created to treat one problem, we discover it can actually be used to treat other conditions as well#science! Thats the case with metformin, a medication that was initially developed to treat Type 2 diabetes . Over the years, studies (and real-life stories) have shown that taking metformin can lead to weight loss , even in people who arent diabetic. Metformin is an insulin sensitizer, which means it helps the insulin, a hormone made by your pancreas, in your body work better, explains Valentina Rodriguez , M.D., an endocrinologist at NYU Langone Health. Insulin is the hormone that regulates how the body uses and stores glucose and fat, and it's how many of your body's cells convert the glucose in your blood into energy. Steady insulin levels can help to keep blood sugar stable, which prevents hunger and carbs cravings that come with spikes and subsequent drops in blood sugar. Keep in mind, though, that its not a guaranteed weight-loss solution. The weight loss that is seen is really variable, says Rodriguez. Some patients might lose a couple pounds, and some people might actually lose 15 to 20 pounds. As with any drug, there are reactions that can vary from person to personso if you and your doctor decide this is a medication that might help you, here are the side effects you should be aware of. Metformin is most notorious for causing a wide array of stomach issues. It varies from person to person, but up to 40 to 50 percent of people who use classic metformin can develop diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and/or gassiness, says Rodriguez. Why metformin leads to GI distress is unclear, but because this medication is metabolized by the liver, people who are heavy alcohol drinkers or who already hav Continue reading >>
Description And Brand Names
Drug information provided by: Micromedex US Brand Name Fortamet Glucophage Glucophage XR Glumetza Riomet Descriptions Metformin is used to treat high blood sugar levels that are caused by a type of diabetes mellitus or sugar diabetes called type 2 diabetes. With this type of diabetes, insulin produced by the pancreas is not able to get sugar into the cells of the body where it can work properly. Using metformin alone, with a type of oral antidiabetic medicine called a sulfonylurea, or with insulin, will help to lower blood sugar when it is too high and help restore the way you use food to make energy. Many people can control type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise. Following a specially planned diet and exercise will always be important when you have diabetes, even when you are taking medicines. To work properly, the amount of metformin you take must be balanced against the amount and type of food you eat and the amount of exercise you do. If you change your diet or exercise, you will want to test your blood sugar to find out if it is too low. Your doctor will teach you what to do if this happens. Metformin does not help patients does not help patients who have insulin-dependent or type 1 diabetes because they cannot produce insulin from their pancreas gland. Their blood glucose is best controlled by insulin injections. This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription. This product is available in the following dosage forms: Tablet Tablet, Extended Release Solution Copyright © 2017 Truven Health Analytics Inc. All rights reserved. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. Continue reading >>
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What Is Metformin?
Commonly Used Brand Name(s)Fortamet, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Riomet Therapeutic ClassificationsHypoglycemic QUICK LINKS Oral route (Tablet;Tablet, Extended Release;Solution) Death, hypothermia, hypotension, and resistant bradyarrhythmias have been reported due to metformin-associated lactic acidosis. Onset may be subtle and include nonspecific symptoms such as malaise, myalgia, respiratory distress, somnolence, and abdominal distress; laboratory abnormalities include low pH, increased anion gap and elevated blood lactate. The risk of lactic acidosis increases with renal or hepatic impairment, aged 65 years or older, having a radiological study with contrast, surgery, or other procedures, hypoxic states, and excessive alcohol intake. If lactic acidosis is suspected, metformin hydrochloride should be discontinued, supportive measures started in a hospital setting. Prompt hemodialysis is recommended . Save up to 85% on Metformin Find big savings at pharmacies near you with GoodRx discount coupons Average Retail Price: $27.12 Lowest GoodRx Price $4.00 View All Prices Metformin is used to treat high blood sugar levels that are caused by a type of diabetes mellitus or sugar diabetes called type 2 diabetes. With this type of diabetes, insulin produced by the pancreas is not able to get sugar into the cells of the body where it can work properly. Using metformin alone, with a type of oral antidiabetic medicine called a sulfonylurea, or with insulin, will help to lower blood sugar when it is too high and help restore the way you use food to make energy. Many people can control type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise. Following a specially planned diet and exercise will always be important when you have diabetes, even when you are taking medicines. To work properly, t Continue reading >>
Metformin Side Effects
Generic Name: metformin (met FOR min) Brand Names: Fortamet, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Riomet What is metformin? Metformin is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels. Metformin is used together with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metformin is sometimes used together with insulin or other medications, but it is not for treating type 1 diabetes. Important information You should not use metformin if you have severe kidney disease or diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment). If you need to have any type of x-ray or CT scan using a dye that is injected into your veins, you will need to temporarily stop taking metformin. This medicine may cause a serious condition called lactic acidosis. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms such as: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, slow or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired. Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to metformin: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Some people develop lactic acidosis while taking this medicine. Early symptoms may get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms such as: muscle pain or weakness; numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs; trouble breathing; feeling dizzy, light-headed, tired, or very weak; stomach pain, nausea with vomiting; or slow or uneven heart rate. Common metformin side effects may include: low blood sugar; nausea, upset stomach; or diarrhea. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doc Continue reading >>
Metformin, Oral Tablet
Metformin oral tablet is available as both a generic and brand-name drug. Brand names: Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Fortamet, and Glumetza. Metformin is also available as an oral solution but only in the brand-name drug Riomet. Metformin is used to treat high blood sugar levels caused by type 2 diabetes. FDA warning: Lactic acidosis warning This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects. Lactic acidosis is a rare but serious side effect of this drug. In this condition, lactic acid builds up in your blood. This is a medical emergency that requires treatment in the hospital. Lactic acidosis is fatal in about half of people who develop it. You should stop taking this drug and call your doctor right away or go to the emergency room if you have signs of lactic acidosis. Symptoms include tiredness, weakness, unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, unusual sleepiness, stomach pains, nausea (or vomiting), dizziness (or lightheadedness), and slow or irregular heart rate. Alcohol use warning: You shouldn’t drink alcohol while taking this drug. Alcohol can affect your blood sugar levels unpredictably and increase your risk of lactic acidosis. Kidney problems warning: If you have moderate to severe kidney problems, you have a higher risk of lactic acidosis. You shouldn’t take this drug. Liver problems warning: Liver disease is a risk factor for lactic acidosis. You shouldn’t take this drug if you have liver problems. Metformin oral tablet is a prescription drug that’s available as the brand name drugs Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Fortamet, and Glumetza. Glucophage is an immediate-release tablet. All of the other brands are extended-r Continue reading >>
The Origins Of Metformin
Goat's rue, French lilac, Italian fitch, and professor weed are all names for the same plant: Galega officinalis. This perennial herb, 3 feet tall and with purple, blue, or white flowers, was used in folk medicine to treat diabetes starting in the Middle Ages, maybe earlier. Though it gave rise to metformin, one of the most popular diabetes medications in the world, G. officinalis is now widely considered poisonous. In the early 20th century, researchers isolated a compound from G. officinalis called guanidine, which could lower blood glucose levels in animals but was also toxic. Chemists found that they could make the compound more tolerable by bonding two guanidines together, forming a biguanide. Metformin is one such biguanide, first synthesized in 1929 and then clinically developed in the late 1950s by the French physician Jean Sterne, who gave it its first trade name, Glucophage ("glucose eater"). Two other biguanides—phenformin and buformin—were also produced around this time but later withdrawn because they became associated with lactic acidosis. This condition results from a buildup of lactic acid in the blood, lowering its pH to unhealthy levels. It can be particularly dangerous for people with diabetes. Metformin seemed guilty by association, and the damage done to its reputation meant that metformin took time to catch on, even though it was later shown to trigger lactic acidosis only in rare cases. Over the next few decades, studies about metformin's safety and efficacy trickled in, but it wasn't until the landmark United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (1977 to 1997) that metformin gained the renown that it enjoys today. In the study, overweight and obese people with type 2 diabetes on metformin lived longer and had fewer heart attacks than those wit Continue reading >>
What Is Metformin?
We take a closer look at this popular diabetes drug. A drug prescription can come with a lot of questions. With our “Know Your Drugs” series, we provide you with a snapshot of the different diabetes drugs on the market, and links to additional information. Metformin is currently the most popular drug prescribed for those with Type 2 diabetes. It is considered a generally safe and effective drug for lowering blood sugar levels, and it’s one of the first diabetes medications prescribed after diagnosis. According to a report in Diabetes Forecast, it was a three-foot tall flowering plant named galega officinalis, or “goat’s rue”, that paved the way for metformin’s discovery in the early 20th century. There is a compound found within the plant that lowers blood sugar. By itself, the compound, called guanidine, can be toxic, but when two guanidine compounds are combined, they became a useful tool for blood sugar control. sponsor Through the vagaries of fate and of the drug development process, metformin languished after its discovery, and wasn’t clinically refined until the late 1950’s in France. It also didn’t gain FDA approval until 1994. Metformin is able to help control blood sugar levels by signaling that the liver should produce less glucose; it also makes cells more receptive to insulin absorption. Strange as it may sound, researchers are still trying to determine how exactly the drug does this. For example, whereas before it was believed that metformin worked in the circulatory system, researchers recently discovered it most likely works in the stomach. As researchers explore more about how metformin works, they are discovering some beneficial side effects to the drug. Studies have shown that metformin may cut the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer Continue reading >>
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 >>
Metformin, marketed under the trade name Glucophage among others, is the first-line medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, particularly in people who are overweight. It is also used in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome. Limited evidence suggests metformin may prevent the cardiovascular disease and cancer complications of diabetes. It is not associated with weight gain. It is taken by mouth. Metformin is generally well tolerated. Common side effects include diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain. It has a low risk of causing low blood sugar. High blood lactic acid level is a concern if the medication is prescribed inappropriately and in overly large doses. It should not be used in those with significant liver disease or kidney problems. While no clear harm comes from use during pregnancy, insulin is generally preferred for gestational diabetes. Metformin is in the biguanide class. It works by decreasing glucose production by the liver and increasing the insulin sensitivity of body tissues. Metformin was discovered in 1922. French physician Jean Sterne began study in humans in the 1950s. It was introduced as a medication in France in 1957 and the United States in 1995. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Metformin is believed to be the most widely used medication for diabetes which is taken by mouth. It is available as a generic medication. The wholesale price in the developed world is between 0.21 and 5.55 USD per month as of 2014. In the United States, it costs 5 to 25 USD per month. Medical uses Metformin is primarily used for type 2 diabetes, but is increasingly be Continue reading >>
What Is Metformin?
MORE Metformin is a prescription drug used primarily in the treatment of Type II diabetes. It can be used on its own or combined with other medications. In the United States, it is sold under the brand names Fortamet, Glucophage, Glumetza and Riomet. "Metformin is very often prescribed as the first step in a diabetic's regime," said Ken Sternfeld, a New York-based pharmacist. How it works "When you're diabetic you lose the ability to use the insulin you need to offset the food," Sternfeld explained. "If you eat a carb or sugar that can't be metabolized or offset by the insulin you produce, your sugar levels will be higher. Metformin and drugs in that category will help your body better metabolize that food so that insulin levels will be able to stay more in line." Metformin aims to decrease glucose production in the liver, consequently lowering the levels of glucose in the bloodstream. It also changes the way that your blood cells react to insulin. "It makes them more sensitive to insulin," said Dr. Stephen Neabore, a primary care doctor at the Barnard Medical Center in Washington, D.C. "It makes the same amount of insulin work better. It transports the insulin to the cells in a more effective way." Metformin may have a preventive health role, as well. New research presented at the American Diabetes Association 2017 Scientific Sessions showed that long-term use of metformin is particularly useful in preventing the onset of type II diabetes in women who have suffered from gestational diabetes. Because metformin changes the way the body uses insulin, it is not used to treat Type I diabetes, a condition in which the body does not produce insulin at all. Metformin & PCOS Metformin is sometimes prescribed to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), according to Neabore. "I Continue reading >>
A popular oral drug for treating Type 2 diabetes. Metformin (brand name Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Riomet) is a member of a class of drugs called biguanides that helps lower blood glucose levels by improving the way the body handles insulin — namely, by preventing the liver from making excess glucose and by making muscle and fat cells more sensitive to available insulin. Metformin not only lowers blood glucose levels, which in the long term reduces the risk of diabetic complications, but it also lowers blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and does not cause weight gain the way insulin and some other oral blood-glucose-lowering drugs do. Overweight, high cholesterol, and high triglyceride levels all increase the risk of developing heart disease, the leading cause of death in people with Type 2 diabetes. Another advantage of metformin is that it does not cause hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) when it is the only diabetes medicine taken. Metformin is typically taken two to three times a day, with meals. The extended-release formula (Glucophage XR) is taken once a day, with the evening meal. The most common side effects of metformin are nausea and diarrhea, which usually go away over time. A more serious side effect is a rare but potentially fatal condition called lactic acidosis, in which dangerously high levels of lactic acid build up in the bloodstream. Lactic acidosis is most likely to occur in people with kidney disease, liver disease, or congestive heart failure, or in those who drink alcohol regularly. (If you have more than four alcoholic drinks a week, metformin may not be the best medicine for you.) Unfortunately, many doctors ignore these contraindications (conditions that make a particular treatment inadvisable) and prescribe metformin to people Continue reading >>
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 >>
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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 >>
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 >>
The most frequently prescribed medication for type 2 diabetes. Metformin does not cause weight gain, and is usually the first choice of medication to treat type 2 diabetes. Biguanide (Metformin) Metformin’s main site of action is at the liver to reduce the excessive sugar release seen in type 2 diabetes. Metformin does not cause weight gain, and is usually the first choice of medication to treat type 2 diabetes. However, if you have kidney or liver problems, heart failure, or are very sick, metformin cannot be used. The main side effects of metformin are diarrhea and stomach upset or cramping. It is important to take metformin with food to reduce stomach-related side effects. A very rare side effect (less than 1 person per 100,000 patients taking metformin) is lactic acidosis (a build-up of lactic acid in your blood). Lactic acidosis is very dangerous, and usually fatal. Generally, the people who develop this rare side effect are the ones who shouldn’t have been taking metformin in the first place (people with kidney problems or heart failure, or alcoholism). Metformin is also called a euglycemic, which means it may restore the blood sugar to normal or non-diabetic levels. If you are treated with metformin alone, you should not experience low blood sugars. And if you are treated with metformin and other blood sugar normalizing (“euglycemic”) agents (such as thiazolidinediones, starch blockers, or incretins) you also should not have low blood sugars. However, hypoglycemia or low blood sugars may develop when you take metformin together with insulin releasing pills and insulin, because they raise insulin levels and increase the risk of developing lows. In short, metformin decreases glucose production by the liver The most common side effects are: Diarrhea and stom Continue reading >>