Why Doctors Don't Prescribe Metformin

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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, Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. PurpleButterfies

    Conflicting stories about taking metformin - will it help my weight and PCOS?

    My gyno prescribed metformin 500 mg 2 x day for PCOS. He said it was an anti-diabetic but that it is also taken for PCOS. I have had a hard time managing my weight and he thought that it would help. Well I just saw a gastroenterologist for some other issues, and he said I was on a lot of medication, which I agreed, but I take them all because I need to. He asked if I had diabetes because I take metformin, and I said No, that I take it for PCOS and that I was maybe pre-diabetic because I haven't been managing my weight well. He said metformin the purpose of metformin was to utilize sugar by turning it into fat, so it was not going to help me loose weight, it would do the opposite. This thoroughly confused me. I said I was under the impression that it was to keep your sugar leveled... we started to get into a disagreement so I just said ok. Well I am really upset. I have been on it for several months. At first it made me really sick but not so much anymore. But I haven't lost any weight. I am just really confused now. Can anyone offer me their advice, experience, or opinion... it would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. LA

    The following explain in detail what your gyn is hoping to accomplish:
    Metformin, sold under the trade name Glucophage, is used to treat diabetes, but several studies show that it also helps non-diabetics to lose weight by reducing hunger (1).


  3. PU PurpleButterfies

    Thank you for all the helpful information LaurieShay. Can you please tell me the article you were referencing this information from... I would like to print it out for my gastro. I printed straight from here for me to reference what you were saying, but I'd like the article as well. Thank you so much. I think I've looked at pcossupport.org before and will check it out again. Thanks again.

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