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How To Prevent Lactic Acidosis When Taking Metformin

Metformin-associated Lactic Acidosis

Metformin-associated Lactic Acidosis

OVERVIEW metformin use is associated with lactic acidosis, but it remians controversial as a disease entity MECHANISM the mechanism of lactic acidosis is uncertain Metabolic effects of metformin include: decreased gluconeogenesis increased peripheral glucose uptake decreased fatty acid oxidation CLINICAL FEATURES presence of risk factors abdominal pain nausea and vomiting fatigue myalgias altered mental status myocardial insufficiency multi-organ failure RISK FACTORS advanced age high dose renal failure (metformin is excreted unchanged in the urine) hypoxia active alcohol intake sepsis dehydration shock acidosis INVESTIGATIONS high anion gap metabolic acidosis (HAGMA) high lactate MANAGEMENT rule out other causes of lactic acidosis (sepsis, cardiogenic shock, hypoperfusion, ischaemic bowel) withdrawal of metformin RRT RRT remove metformin and correct acidosis best performed early due to large volume of distribution of metformin use hemodialysis use HCO3 buffer CONTROVERSY Some argue that metformin itself does not cause lactic acidosis, that it is actually due to the underlying conditions such as renal failure and diabetes mellitus. However, there are definite cases of lactic acidosis from acute metformin overdose with no other underlying risk factors. References and Links Journal articles Orban JC, Fontaine E, Ichai C. Metformin overdose: time to move on. Crit Care. 2012 Oct 25;16(5):164. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23110819; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3682282. Salpeter SR, Greyber E, Pasternak GA, Salpeter EE. Risk of fatal and nonfatal lactic acidosis with metformin use in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Apr 14;(4):CD002967. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD002967.pub4. Review. PubMed PMID: 20393934. FOAM and web resources Continue reading >>

Lactic Acidosis Induced By Metformin: Incidence, Management And Prevention.

Lactic Acidosis Induced By Metformin: Incidence, Management And Prevention.

Abstract Lactic acidosis associated with metformin treatment is a rare but important adverse event, and unravelling the problem is critical. First, this potential event still influences treatment strategies in type 2 diabetes mellitus, particularly in the many patients at risk of kidney failure, in those presenting contraindications to metformin and in the elderly. Second, the relationship between metformin and lactic acidosis is complex, since use of the drug may be causal, co-responsible or coincidental. The present review is divided into three parts, dealing with the incidence, management and prevention of lactic acidosis occurring during metformin treatment. In terms of incidence, the objective of this article is to counter the conventional view of the link between metformin and lactic acidosis, according to which metformin-associated lactic acidosis is rare but is still associated with a high rate of mortality. In fact, the direct metformin-related mortality is close to zero and metformin may even be protective in cases of very severe lactic acidosis unrelated to the drug. Metformin has also inherited a negative class effect, since the early biguanide, phenformin, was associated with more frequent and sometimes fatal lactic acidosis. In the second part of this review, the objective is to identify the most efficient patient management methods based on our knowledge of how metformin acts on glucose/lactate metabolism and how lactic acidosis may occur (at the organ and cellular levels) during metformin treatment. The liver appears to be a key organ for both the antidiabetic effect of metformin and the development of lactic acidosis; the latter is attributed to mitochondrial impairment and subsequent adenosine triphosphate depletion, acceleration of the glycolytic flux Continue reading >>

How To Avoid Lactic Acidosis

How To Avoid Lactic Acidosis

Drink espresso before workouts and eat white rice after exercise to avoid lactic acidosis. Paula Quinene is an Expert/Talent, Writer and Content Evaluator for Demand Media, with more than 1,500 articles published primarily in health, fitness and nutrition. She has been an avid weight trainer and runner since 1988. She has worked in the fitness industry since 1990. She graduated with a Bachelor's in exercise science from the University of Oregon and continues to train clients as an ACSM-Certified Health Fitness Specialist. Fill up on caffeine and plenty of carbohydrates to avoid lactic acidosis or the increase in acidity inside your muscle cells. High-intensity training adaptations also help you avoid lactic acidosis at the same levels of intensity. When you exercise at high intensities, your muscle cells use primarily glucose and glycogen to fuel your exercise. The byproduct of using glucose and glycogen without oxygen, or anaerobic metabolism, is lactic acid. This raises the concentration of hydrogen molecules inside your cells, increasing the acidity. If you eat and exercise properly to reduce the effects of glucose metabolism, you can avoid lactic acidosis. Engage in a regular program of high-intensity interval training or high-intensity resistance training to avoid lactic acidosis at sub-maximal levels of exercise intensities. This means your body will adapt to your exercise training such that you avoid lactic acidosis at the same level of intensity after six to eight weeks of training, according to the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Eat fast-digesting carbohydrates with some protein immediately after every exercise session to replenish the glycogen in your muscles. Eat white rice with two eggs, a baked potato with cheese, graham crackers with pean 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 >>

Lactic Acidosis

Lactic Acidosis

The buildup of lactic acid in the bloodstream. This medical emergency most commonly results from oxygen deprivation in the body’s tissues, impaired liver function, respiratory failure, or cardiovascular disease. It can also be caused by a class of oral diabetes drugs called biguanides, which includes metformin (brand name Glucophage). Another biguanide called phenformin was pulled from the market in the United States in 1977 because of an unacceptably high rate of lactic acidosis associated with its use. Concerns about lactic acidosis also delayed the introduction of metformin to the U.S. market until 1995, despite the fact that it had been widely used for years in other countries. There have been reports of lactic acidosis occurring in people taking metformin, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimates that lactic acidosis occurs in 5 out of every 100,000 people who use metformin for any length of time. However, this risk is much lower than it was in people taking phenformin, and it is not clear whether the episodes of lactic acidosis associated with metformin have actually been due to metformin use. In fact, the lactic acidosis could have been explained by the person’s diabetes and related medical conditions. Nonetheless, diabetes experts recommend that metformin not be used in people with congestive heart failure, kidney disease, or liver disease. They also recommend that it be discontinued (at least temporarily) in people undergoing certain medical imaging tests called contrast studies. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include feeling very weak or tired or having unusual muscle pain or unusual stomach discomfort. Continue reading >>

Maladaptive: Do We Avoid Metformin Unnecessarily?

Maladaptive: Do We Avoid Metformin Unnecessarily?

MALAdaptive: Do We Avoid Metformin Unnecessarily? From the Departments of Family Medicine and Clinical Pharmacy, West Virginia University, Charleston. Corresponding author: Chris M. Terpening, PhD, PharmD, BCACP Departments of Family Medicine and Clinical Pharmacy, West Virginia University, 3110 MacCorkle Ave SE, Charleston, WV 25304 (E-mail: cterpening{at}hsc.wvu.edu). Convention holds that the use of metformin is contraindicated in many patients secondary to concerns about lactic acidosis. However, current evidence suggests that metformin-associated lactic acidosis is at most idiosyncratic. Awareness of the current evidence should permit broader use of this valuable medication. Treatment of type 2 diabetes is one of the most common challenges encountered by the family physician. The percentage of people diagnosed with diabetes in the United States has risen from <1% in the 1950s to 7% in 2010. 1 In response to this increase, the pharmaceutical industry has developed a wide array of treatment options, with 29 individual agents, not including combinations, currently approved and marketed in the United States to help control blood glucose levels. Of all these agents, the one drug that has come to be recognized by multiple organizations as the preferred agent for initial treatment of diabetic patients is metformin. 2 , 3 Metformin is a biguanide that exerts its blood glucoselowering effects through reducing insulin resistance, in particular in the liver, where it inhibits gluconeogenesis. Its efficacy at reducing hemoglobin A1c is unsurpassed among oral antidiabetic agents, and there is a very low incidence of hypoglycemia if it is used as a monotherapy. Metformin reduces microvascular disease to a extent similar to other antidiabetic treatments. 4 , 5 Moreover, there is Continue reading >>

Mala: Metformin-associated Lactic Acidosis

Mala: Metformin-associated Lactic Acidosis

By Charles W. O’Connell, MD Introduction Metformin is a first-line agent for type 2 diabetes mellitus often used as monotherapy or in combination with oral diabetic medications. It is a member of the biguanide class and its main intended effect is expressed by the inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis. In addition, metformin increases insulin sensitivity, enhances peripheral glucose utilization and decreases glucose uptake in the gastrointestinal tract. Phenformin, a previously used biguanide, as withdrawn from the market in the 1970’s due its association with numerous cases of lactic acidosis. Metformin is currently used extensively in the management of diabetes and is the most commonly prescribed biguanide worldwide. The therapeutic dosage of metformin ranges from 850 mg to a maximum of 3000 mg daily and is typically divided into twice daily dosing. It is primarily used in the treatment of diabetes but has been used in other conditions associated with insulin resistance such as polycystic ovarian syndrome. MALA is a rare but well reported event that occurs with both therapeutic use and overdose states. Case presentation A 22-year-old female presents to the Emergency Department after being found alongside a suicide note by her family. She was thought to have taken an unknown, but large amount of her husband’s metformin. She arrives at the ED nearly 10 hours after ingestion. She was agitated, but conversant. She reports having nausea and vague feelings of being unwell and is very distraught over the state of her critically ill husband. She has some self-inflicted superficial lacerations over her left anterior forearm. Her vital assigns upon arrival were: T 98.9 degrees Fahrenheit, HR initially 140 bpm which improved to 110 bpm soon after arrival, BP 100/50, RR 22, Continue reading >>

Metformin-induced Lactic Acidosis: No One Left Behind

Metformin-induced Lactic Acidosis: No One Left Behind

Abstract Metformin is a safe drug when correctly used in properly selected patients. In real life, however, associated lactic acidosis has been repeatedly, although rarely, reported. The term metformin-induced lactic acidosis refers to cases that cannot be explained by any major risk factor other than drug accumulation, usually due to renal failure. Treatment consists of vital function support and drug removal, mainly achieved by renal replacement therapy. Despite dramatic clinical presentation, the prognosis of metformin-induced lactic acidosis is usually surprisingly good. In the previous issue of Critical Care, Friesecke and colleagues demonstrate that the survival rate of patients with severe lactic acidosis due to metformin accumulation can be strikingly higher than expected based on the initial clinical evaluation [1]. Metformin is nowadays the first-line drug of choice for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes [2]. This drug is the sixth most frequently prescribed in the USA (> 50 million prescriptions in 2009) and is taken by almost 1.5% of the Italian population [3, 4]. Metformin is a safe drug when correctly used in properly selected patients. In particular, no cases of lactic acidosis (a relatively common side effect of other biguanide compounds) were reported in 347 trials with 70,490 patient-years of metformin use [5]. Real life can differ from research settings, however, and lactic acidosis has been repeatedly, although rarely, observed in patients treated with metformin. The number of inquiries to the Swedish Poison Information Centre for metformin intoxication has increased 10 times during the past decade, with 25 cases of severe lactic acidosis reported in 2007 and 2008 [6]. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, metform 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 And Fatal Lactic Acidosis

Metformin And Fatal Lactic Acidosis

Publications Published: July 1998 Information on this subject has been updated. Read the most recent information. Dr P Pillans,former Medical Assessor, Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM), Dunedin Metformin is a useful anti-hyperglycaemic agent but significant mortality is associated with drug-induced lactic acidosis. Significant renal and hepatic disease, alcoholism and conditions associated with hypoxia (eg. cardiac and pulmonary disease, surgery) are contraindications to the use of metformin. Other risk factors for metformin-induced lactic acidosis are sepsis, dehydration, high dosages and increasing age. Metformin remains a major reported cause of drug-associated mortality in New Zealand. Of the 12 cases of lactic acidosis associated with metformin reported to CARM since 1977, 2 occurred in the last year and 8 cases had a fatal outcome. Metformin useful but small risk of potentially fatal lactic acidosis Metformin is a useful therapeutic agent for obese non-insulin dependent diabetics and those whose glycaemia cannot be controlled by sulphonylurea monotherapy. Lactic acidosis is an uncommon but potentially fatal adverse effect. The reported frequency of lactic acidosis is 0.06 per 1000 patient-years, mostly in patients with predisposing factors.1 Examples of metformin-induced lactic acidosis cases reported to CARM include: A 69-year-old man, with renal and cardiac disease, was prescribed metformin due to failing glycaemic control on glibenclamide monotherapy. He was well for six weeks, then developed lactic acidosis and died within 3 days. Post-surgical lactic acidosis caused the death of a 70-year-old man whose metformin was not withdrawn at the time of surgery. A 56-year-old woman, with no predisposing disease, died from lactic acidosis following major Continue reading >>

Lactic Acidosis: What You Need To Know

Lactic Acidosis: What You Need To Know

Lactic acidosis is a form of metabolic acidosis that begins in the kidneys. People with lactic acidosis have kidneys that are unable to remove excess acid from their body. If lactic acid builds up in the body more quickly than it can be removed, acidity levels in bodily fluids — such as blood — spike. This buildup of acid causes an imbalance in the body’s pH level, which should always be slightly alkaline instead of acidic. There are a few different types of acidosis. Lactic acid buildup occurs when there’s not enough oxygen in the muscles to break down glucose and glycogen. This is called anaerobic metabolism. There are two types of lactic acid: L-lactate and D-lactate. Most forms of lactic acidosis are caused by too much L-lactate. Lactic acidosis has many causes and can often be treated. But if left untreated, it may be life-threatening. The symptoms of lactic acidosis are typical of many health issues. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately. Your doctor can help determine the root cause. Several symptoms of lactic acidosis represent a medical emergency: fruity-smelling breath (a possible indication of a serious complication of diabetes, called ketoacidosis) confusion jaundice (yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes) trouble breathing or shallow, rapid breathing If you know or suspect that you have lactic acidosis and have any of these symptoms, call 911 or go to an emergency room right away. Other lactic acidosis symptoms include: exhaustion or extreme fatigue muscle cramps or pain body weakness overall feelings of physical discomfort abdominal pain or discomfort diarrhea decrease in appetite headache rapid heart rate Lactic acidosis has a wide range of underlying causes, including carbon monoxide poisoni Continue reading >>

Review Metformin-associated Lactic Acidosis: Current Perspectives On Causes And Risk

Review Metformin-associated Lactic Acidosis: Current Perspectives On Causes And Risk

Abstract Although metformin has become a drug of choice for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus, some patients may not receive it owing to the risk of lactic acidosis. Metformin, along with other drugs in the biguanide class, increases plasma lactate levels in a plasma concentration-dependent manner by inhibiting mitochondrial respiration predominantly in the liver. Elevated plasma metformin concentrations (as occur in individuals with renal impairment) and a secondary event or condition that further disrupts lactate production or clearance (e.g., cirrhosis, sepsis, or hypoperfusion), are typically necessary to cause metformin-associated lactic acidosis (MALA). As these secondary events may be unpredictable and the mortality rate for MALA approaches 50%, metformin has been contraindicated in moderate and severe renal impairment since its FDA approval in patients with normal renal function or mild renal insufficiency to minimize the potential for toxic metformin levels and MALA. However, the reported incidence of lactic acidosis in clinical practice has proved to be very low (< 10 cases per 100,000 patient-years). Several groups have suggested that current renal function cutoffs for metformin are too conservative, thus depriving a substantial number of type 2 diabetes patients from the potential benefit of metformin therapy. On the other hand, the success of metformin as the first-line diabetes therapy may be a direct consequence of conservative labeling, the absence of which could have led to excess patient risk and eventual withdrawal from the market, as happened with earlier biguanide therapies. An investigational delayed-release metformin currently under development could potentially provide a treatment option for patients with renal impairment pending the resu Continue reading >>

Metformin Associated Lactic Acidosis

Metformin Associated Lactic Acidosis

Emma Fitzgerald, specialist trainee year 2 in anaesthetics 1 , Stephen Mathieu, specialist registrar in anaesthetics and intensive care medicine 1 , Andrew Ball, consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine 1 1Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 2JY Correspondence to: E Fitzgerald zcharm6{at}hotmail.com Dehydration in patients taking metformin can lead to metformin associated lactic acidosis, a potentially fatal condition Metformin, a dimethylbiguanide, is a widely used oral antihyperglycaemic drug used in the long term treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. More recently it has also been used to improve fertility and weight reduction in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. Many large studies have shown that intensive glucose control with metformin in overweight patients with type 2 diabetes is associated with risk reductions of 32% (P=0.002) for any diabetes related end point, 42% (P=0.017) for diabetes related death, and 36% (P=0.011) for all cause mortality compared with diet alone. 1 Furthermore, metformin reduces microvascular end points, and its degree of glycaemic control is similar to that sulphonylureas and insulin. Metformin is considered to be first line treatment in overweight patients with type 2 diabetes whose blood glucose is inadequately controlled by lifestyle interventions alone and should be considered as a first line glucose lowering treatment in non-overweight patients with type 2 diabetes because of its other beneficial effects. 2 It may also be useful in overweight patients with type 1 diabetes. A potential complication of metformin is the development of type B (non-hypoxic) lactic acidosis. Although metformin associated lactic acidosis is a rare condition, with an estimated prevalence of one to five cases per 100 000 popu Continue reading >>

A Side Effect You Should Know About

A Side Effect You Should Know About

The glucose-lowering medication metformin (Glucophage) could cause lactic acidosis if your kidneys and liver are not working efficiently. Lactic acidosis is when high levels build up in the blood of a substance called lactic acid — a chemical that is normally produced by your body in small amounts and removed by your liver and kidneys. The risk of lactic acidosis goes up if you: have heart failure or a lung ailment have kidney or liver problems drink alcohol heavily In these cases, you might not be able to take metformin. If you don't have one of these problems, you are at a very low risk for developing lactic acidosis from metformin. You should, however, contact your doctor immediately if you suddenly develop any of these symptoms of lactic acidosis: diarrhea fast and shallow breathing muscle pain or cramping weakness tiredness or unusual sleepiness You should also let your doctor know if you get the flu or any illness that results in severe vomiting, diarrhea, and/or fever, or if your intake of fluids becomes significantly reduced. Severe dehydration can affect your kidney or liver function and increase your risk of lactic acidosis from metformin. Continue reading >>

Metformin Associated Lactic Acidosis

Metformin Associated Lactic Acidosis

Emma Fitzgerald, specialist trainee year 2 in anaesthetics 1, Stephen Mathieu, specialist registrar in anaesthetics and intensive care medicine1, Andrew Ball, consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine1 1Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 2JY Correspondence to: E Fitzgerald zcharm6{at}hotmail.com Dehydration in patients taking metformin can lead to metformin associated lactic acidosis, a potentially fatal condition Metformin, a dimethylbiguanide, is a widely used oral antihyperglycaemic drug used in the long term treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. More recently it has also been used to improve fertility and weight reduction in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. Many large studies have shown that intensive glucose control with metformin in overweight patients with type 2 diabetes is associated with risk reductions of 32% (P=0.002) for any diabetes related end point, 42% (P=0.017) for diabetes related death, and 36% (P=0.011) for all cause mortality compared with diet alone.1 Furthermore, metformin reduces microvascular end points, and its degree of glycaemic control is similar to that sulphonylureas and insulin. Metformin is considered to be first line treatment in overweight patients with type 2 diabetes whose blood glucose is inadequately controlled by lifestyle interventions alone and should be considered as a first line glucose lowering treatment in non-overweight patients with type 2 diabetes because of its other beneficial effects.2 It may also be useful in overweight patients with type 1 diabetes. A potential complication of metformin is the development of type B (non-hypoxic) lactic acidosis. Although metformin associated lactic acidosis is a rare condition, with an estimated prevalence of one to five cases per 100 000 population Continue reading >>

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