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What Is Lactic Acidosis And Metformin?

6 Pearls About Metformin And Lactic Acidosis

6 Pearls About Metformin And Lactic Acidosis

Metformin accumulation: Lactic acidosis and high plasmatic metformin levels in a retrospective case series of 66 patients on chronic therapy. Vecchio S et al. Clin Toxicol 2014 Feb;52:129-135. Metformin is frequently used alone or in combination to treat type 2 diabetes. It lowers blood glucose by decreasing hepatic gluconeogenesis, predominantly by inhibiting mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I. The drug is eliminated mainly by the kidneys, and acute or chronic renal insufficiency may allow accumulation of the drug with increasing levels. A small percentage of patients on metformin develop severe lactic acidosis. There has been an ongoing controversy as whether this acidosis is metformin-associated or metformin-induced. This paper, from the Pavia Poison Control Centre in Northern Italy, helps shed light on this question. The authors retrospectively reviewed patients admitted to their toxicology unit over a 5-year period. Eligible patients were on chronic metformin therapy at the time of admission, had lactic acidosis (pH < 7.35, arterial lactate > 5 mmol/L), and elevated metformin levels (plasma metformin > 4 mcg/ml). Cases of acute overdose were excluded. The study objective was to correlate the metformin levels with measured pH, lactate levels, renal function, and mortality rate. Sixty-six eligible patients were identified. All patients presented with acute renal failure and severe lactic acidosis (mean pH 6.91, mean lactate 14.36 mmol/L). About half the patients had a pre-existing contraindication to metformin therapy, predominantly renal failure and/or heart disease. Approximately 75% presented after several days of a mild gastrointestinal prodrome with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; this may either have represented the initial manifestations of metformin po Continue reading >>

Glyburide And Metformin (oral Route)

Glyburide And Metformin (oral Route)

Precautions Drug information provided by: Micromedex It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects. Under certain conditions, too much metformin can cause lactic acidosis. The symptoms of lactic acidosis are severe and quick to appear. They usually occur when other health problems not related to the medicine are present and very severe, such as a heart attack or kidney failure. The symptoms of lactic acidosis include abdominal or stomach discomfort; decreased appetite; diarrhea; fast, shallow breathing; a general feeling of discomfort; muscle pain or cramping; and unusual sleepiness, tiredness, or weakness. If you have any symptoms of lactic acidosis, get emergency medical help right away. It is very important to carefully follow any instructions from your health care team about: Alcohol—Drinking alcohol may cause severe low blood sugar. Discuss this with your health care team. Other medicines—Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This especially includes nonprescription medicines such as aspirin, and medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems. Counseling—Other family members need to learn how to prevent side effects or help with side effects if they occur. Also, patients with diabetes may need special counseling about diabetes medicine dosing changes that might occur because of lifestyle changes, such as changes in exercise and diet. Furthermore, counseling on contraception and pregnancy may be needed because of the problems that can occur in patients with diabetes during pregnancy. Travel—Keep your recent prescription and your medical history with yo Continue reading >>

Is Metformin Associated With Lactic Acidosis?

Is Metformin Associated With Lactic Acidosis?

Is Metformin Associated With Lactic Acidosis? The use of metformin in patients with renal impairment is associated with an increased risk for lactic acidosis. Why is this and what is the mechanism? Are sulfonylureas associated with lactic acidosis? Adjunct Faculty, Albany College of Pharmacy, Albany, New York; Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, VA Medical Center, Bath, New York Metformin is one of most commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Metformin exerts its activity by increasing peripheral glucose uptake and utilization, and decreasing hepatic gluconeogenesis. By decreasing pyruvate dehydrogenase activity and mitochondrial reducing agent transport, metformin enhances anaerobic metabolism and increased production of tricarboxylic acid cycle precursors. Inhibition of pyruvate dehydrogenase subsequently decreases the channeling of these precursors into aerobic metabolism and causes increased metabolism of pyruvate to lactate and ultimately lactic acid production.[ 1 ] In a patient with normal renal function, the excess lactic acid is simply cleared through the kidneys. However, in a patient with renal impairment, both metformin and lactic acid are cleared less effectively and may result in further accumulation of both.[ 1 ] The complication of lactic acidosis is serious and potentially fatal. Increased risk for lactic acidosis associated with metformin is controversial. A Cochrane Systematic Review of over 200 trials evaluated the incidence of lactic acidosis among patients prescribed metformin vs non-metformin antidiabetes medications. Of 100,000 people, the incidence of lactic acidosis was 5.1 cases in the metformin group and 5.8 cases in the non-metformin group. The authors concluded that metformin is not associated with an incre Continue reading >>

Lactic Acidosis: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

Lactic Acidosis: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

Lactic acidosis occurs when the body produces too much lactic acid and cannot metabolize it quickly enough. The condition can be a medical emergency. The onset of lactic acidosis might be rapid and occur within minutes or hours, or gradual, happening over a period of days. The best way to treat lactic acidosis is to find out what has caused it. Untreated lactic acidosis can result in severe and life-threatening complications. In some instances, these can escalate rapidly. It is not necessarily a medical emergency when caused by over-exercising. The prognosis for lactic acidosis will depend on its underlying cause. A blood test is used to diagnose the condition. Lactic acidosis symptoms that may indicate a medical emergency include a rapid heart rate and disorientaiton. Typically, symptoms of lactic acidosis do not stand out as distinct on their own but can be indicative of a variety of health issues. However, some symptoms known to occur in lactic acidosis indicate a medical emergency. Lactic acidosis can occur in people whose kidneys are unable to get rid of excess acid. Even when not related to just a kidney condition, some people's bodies make too much lactic acid and are unable to balance it out. Diabetes increases the risk of developing lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis may develop in people with type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus , especially if their diabetes is not well controlled. There have been reports of lactic acidosis in people who take metformin, which is a standard non-insulin medication for treating type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, the incidence is low, with equal to or less than 10 cases per 100,000 patient-years of using the drug, according to a 2014 report in the journal Metabolism. The incidence of lactic acidosis is higher in people with diabetes who 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 >>

Diabetes And Metformin Faqs

Diabetes And Metformin Faqs

Tweet Although one of the most common drugs for type 2 diabetics, Metformin can still confuse diabetic patients. This set of FAQs are intended for information purposes, and should not replace or supersede the advice of a doctor or qualified medical professional. If you have a question about diabetes and Metformin that is not covered here, please ask the community in the Diabetes forum. Should all type 2 diabetics take Meformin? One side effect of taking Metformin is lactic acidosis, and for this reason some diabetics should not take Metformin unless specifically advised to do so by their GP or diabetes healthcare team. For this reason, diabetics with kidney problems, liver problems, and heart problems are often advised to avoid Metformin. Similarly, diabetics that are dehydrated, drink alcohol a lot, or are going to have an x-ray or surgery. For some pregnant diabetics, Metformin may not be the best choice, but in all instances this should be discussed with your doctor. Can young diabetics take Metformin? Metformin has been proven in clinical trials to lower glucose levels amongst children between 10-16 years of age suffering from type 2 diabetes. Research is less conclusive about children under 10 and children taking Metformin alongside other treatments, but your diabetes health care team should be able to elaborate on this. How much Metformin should I take? This will depend entirely on your condition, and your doctor will be able to tell you how much Metformin to take, when you should take it, and how you should take it. Usually, diabetics start out on a low dose of Metformin, and this is slowly increased until blood sugar responds. Doctors often put diabetics on combination courses with other medication, including insulin. If I take Metformin, can I stop my diet and Continue reading >>

Does Metformin Increase The Risk Of Fatal Or Nonfatal Lactic Acidosis?

Does Metformin Increase The Risk Of Fatal Or Nonfatal Lactic Acidosis?

WILLIAM E. CAYLEY, JR., MD, MDiv, University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine, Eau Claire, Wisconsin Am Fam Physician. 2010 Nov 1;82(9):1068-1070. Clinical Scenario A 70-year-old woman with type 2 diabetes mellitus who is in otherwise good health is experiencing gradually increasing glucose levels. Her physician considers starting her on an oral diabetes agent, but is concerned that her age may put her at risk for adverse effects if she is treated with metformin (Glucophage). Clinical Question Does metformin increase the risk of fatal or nonfatal lactic acidosis? Evidence-Based Answer In patients without standard contraindications to metformin therapy, metformin does not increase the risk of lactic acidosis.1 (Strength of Recommendation = B, based on inconsistent or limited-quality patient-oriented evidence) Practice Pointers The first-line treatments recommended for type 2 diabetes are lifestyle changes and metformin, which is a biguanide antihyperglycemic agent.2 Demonstrated benefits of metformin include lower cardiovascular mortality than other oral diabetes medications3 and a reduced risk of death or myocardial infarction in overweight patients with type 2 diabetes.4 However, because an earlier biguanide, phenformin, was removed from the market after being linked to several cases of lactic acidosis, there have been concerns that metformin may predispose patients to lactic acidosis as well. In light of this, metformin is considered contraindicated in patients with chronic renal insufficiency, pulmonary disease, or hypoxic conditions; abnormal hepatic function; peripheral vascular disease; and in those older than 65 years. The use of metformin in patients with heart failure continues to be controversial.1 The authors of this Cochrane review found no cases o Continue reading >>

The Nephrologist's Role In Metformin-induced Lactic Acidosis

The Nephrologist's Role In Metformin-induced Lactic Acidosis

Nefrologia (English Version) 2011;31:587-90 | doi: 10.3265/Nefrologia.pre2011.Jun.10955 The nephrologist's role in metformin-induced lactic acidosis Papel del nefrlogo en la acidosis lctica grave por metformina a Secci??n de Nefrolog??a, Hospital Universitario de Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Spain, b Secci??n de Nefrolog??a, Hospital Universitario de Guadalajara, c Secci??n de Nefrolog??a, Hospital Universitario de Guadalajara. Departamento de Medicina. Universidad de Alcal??, Tab. 1. Clinical and analytical data, and treatment received by patients La metformina es un frmaco ampliamente utilizado en sujetos con diabetes mellitus y su eficacia para descender la glucemia y la hemoglobinaA1C(HbA1C) es notable. Sin embargo, en algunos pacientes, sobre todo en los que presentancomorbilidades, puede provocar una acidosis lctica grave que origina una elevada morbimortalidad. El tratamiento de esta complicacin se basa en la utilizacin de medidas de soporte y, en los casos ms graves, en procedimientos de depuracin extrarrenal, como la hemodilisis o la hemodiafiltracin continua. Metformin is an antihyperglycemic agent commonly used in diabetic patients. It is very effective and is able to reduce the plasma glucose and HbA1C. However, in some patients, specially those with comorbidities, metformin can provoke severe lactic acidosis with high morbimortality. Treatment of the lactic acidosis induced by metformin is based on the use of supportive general measures; in severe cases, procedures of extrarrenal purification like hemodialysis or continuous hemodiafiltration have been successfully used. Metformin is the main biguanide, widely used in diabetes mellitus treatment.1 It is a glycaemia-lowering agent that promotes glucose entering the tissues and reduces hepatic gluconeogenesis an 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-induced Lactic Acidosis: No One Left Behind

Metformin-induced Lactic Acidosis: No One Left Behind

Metformin-induced lactic acidosis: no one left behind 1Centro Nazionale di Informazione Tossicologica - Centro Antiveleni, IRCCS Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, Via S. Maugeri 10, 27100 Pavia, Italy 2Dipartimento di Anestesiologia, Terapia Intensiva e Scienze Dermatologiche, Universit degli Studi di Milano, Via F.sco Sforza 35, 20122 Milano, Italy This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. 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 s Continue reading >>

Metformin-associated Lactic Acidosis

Metformin-associated Lactic Acidosis

Summarized from Friesecke S, Abel P, Roser M. Outcome of severe lactic acidosis associated with metformin accumulation. Critical Care 2010; 14: R226-210 Metformin is an oral hypoglycemic drug that has long been employed in the treatment of type 2 diabetes; it is particularly widely prescribed for those diabetics who are obese. Very rarely, metformin use results in severe lactic acidosis, most often occurring in patients with reduced renal function. Although a very rare adverse effect, metformin-associated lactic acidosis (MALA) is significant because it has a high (30-50 %) mortality rate. Lactic acidosis (unrelated to metformin) is a relatively common occurrence among the critically ill and usually arises as a result of tissue hypoxia consequent on the inadequate perfusion associated with clinical shock. The list of severe acute illnesses/conditions that can result in lactic acidosis is long and includes severe sepsis (septic shock), severe trauma (hemorrhagic shock), anaphylactic shock, cardiac arrest and acute liver failure. In all of these cases prognosis is predicted by the severity of the lactic acidosis; the higher the peak serum lactate and the lower the blood pH falls, the greater is the risk of not surviving these acute illnesses. Although metformin is a very rare cause of lactic acidosis, it is almost invariably very severe. Curiously, however, as a recently published study has confirmed, the severity of MALA does not seem to predict outcome. This study is a retrospective analysis of all patients (n=197) admitted to one German medical intensive care unit during a 5-year period (2004-2008) with lactic acidosis (defined as serum lactate > 5 mmol/L and blood pH < 7.35). Of the 197 patients, 10 had suffered MALA and 187 had suffered lactic acidosis of other orig 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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

Risk Of Fatal And Nonfatal Lactic Acidosis With Metformin Use In Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Risk Of Fatal And Nonfatal Lactic Acidosis With Metformin Use In Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Metformin, a medication used to lower glucose levels in patients with diabetes mellitus, has long been thought to increase the risk for a metabolic disorder known as lactic acidosis. This review summarised data from all known comparative and observational studies lasting at least one month, and found no cases of fatal or nonfatal lactic acidosis in 70,490 patient-years of metformin use, or in 55,451 patient-years for those not on metformin. Average lactate levels measured during metformin treatment were no different than for placebo or for other medications used to treat diabetes. In summary, there is no evidence at present that metformin is associated with an increased risk for lactic acidosis when prescribed under the study conditions. There is no evidence from prospective comparative trials or from observational cohort studies that metformin is associated with an increased risk of lactic acidosis, or with increased levels of lactate, compared to other anti-hyperglycemic treatments. Continue reading >>

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