Why Can't You Take Metformin Before A Colonoscopy

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General Pre-op For People With Diabetes

Your Care Instructions Just because you have diabetes doesn't mean you can't have surgery if you need it. Surgery is safer now than ever before. But if you have diabetes, you may need to take extra care. Before your surgery, you may need to check your blood sugar more often. Your doctor may have you do this for at least 24 hours before and for 72 hours after your surgery. If you take insulin or other medicine for diabetes, your doctor will give you exact instructions about how to take them. It may not be the same as how you usually take them. Following is what many doctors advise. But each person is different. If you don't get instructions about your medicines, ask your doctor what to do. And make sure to ask about anything you don't understand. If you take metformin, you may need to stop taking it 48 hours before surgery. And you may need to wait another 48 hours to start taking it again. If you take diabetes medicines other than insulin, you may need to stop taking them on the morning of the surgery. If you take short-acting insulin, you may need to stop taking it on the morning of the surgery. If you take long-acting insulin, you may need to take only half of your usual dose on Continue reading >>

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  1. Double-Helix, BSN

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

  2. Silverdragon102

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

  3. CP2013

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

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