Metformin is an oral diabetes medication that helps control blood sugar levels and is used in conjunction with diet and exercise. To improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus .
Metformin is sometimes used in conjunction with insulin or other medications, but it is not used to treat type 1 diabetes .
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Important Information About Metformin:
You should not use metformin if you have severe kidney disease or diabetic ketoacidosis (contact your doctor for treatment). If you need some sort 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 can cause a serious condition called lactic acidosis. Get emergency medical help if you have mild symptoms, such as: muscle pain or weakness, feeling numb or cold in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain , nausea with vomiting, slow or irregular heart rhythm, dizziness, or feeling light-headed. weakness or tired.
Metformin side effects:
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to metformin : hives; breathing difficulty; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat.
Some people develop lactic acidosis while taking this medicine. The first symptoms can get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. Get emergency medical help if you have mild symptoms, such as:
- Muscle pain or weakness;
- Feeling numb or cold in your arms and legs;
- Breathing problems;
- Feeling dizzy, tired or very weak
- Stomach pain , Nausea with vomiting; or
- Slow or irregular heart rate.
- Common metformin side effects can include:
- Low blood sugar;
- Nausea , stomach pain;
- diarrhea _
Precautions Before Taking Metformin:
You should not use metformin if you are allergic to it, or if you have
- severe kidney disease;
- Metabolic or diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment).
If you need some sort of x-ray or CT scan using a dye that is injected into your veins, you will need to temporarily stop taking metformin.
To make sure this medication is safe for you, tell your doctor if you’ve ever had:
- Kidney disease (your kidney function may need to be checked before taking this medicine);
- High levels of ketones in the blood or urine;
- Heart disease , congestive heart failure ;
- Liver disease;
- If you also use insulin, or other oral diabetes medications.
Some people who take metformin develop a serious condition called lactic acidosis. This may be more likely if you have liver or kidney disease, congestive heart failure , surgery, a heart attack or stroke, a serious infection, if you are age 65 or older, if you are dehydrated, or if you drink a lot of alcohol. Talk to your doctor about your risk.
Follow your doctor’s instructions on using this medication if you are pregnant. Blood sugar control is very important during pregnancy, and your dose needs may be different during each trimester of pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while taking metformin .
It is not known whether metformin passes into breast milk or whether it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine. Metformin should not be given to children under 10 years of age. Some forms of metformin are not approved for use by anyone under the age of 18.
How Should I Take Metformin?
Take metformin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all instructions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Do not use this medication in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Take metformin with a meal unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Some brands of this medication are taken only once a day with the evening meal. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
Do not crush, chew or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow the tablet whole. Measure the liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose measuring device, ask your pharmacist.
Some forms of metformin pills are made with a shell that is not absorbed or melted in the body. Part of the tablet’s shell may show up in your stool. This is a normal side effect and will not make the medication any less effective. Your blood sugar will need to be checked frequently, and you may need other blood tests at your doctor’s office.
Usual adult dose for type 2 diabetes:
- Starting dose: 500 mg orally twice daily or 850 mg orally once daily.
- Dose titration: Increase by 500 mg in weekly increments or 850 mg every 2 weeks as tolerated.
- Maintenance dose: 2000 mg daily in divided doses.
- Maximum dose: 2550 mg/day.
- Starting dose: 500 to 1000 mg orally once daily.
- Dose titration: Increase in weekly increments of 500 mg as tolerated.
- Maintenance dose: 2000 mg daily.
- Maximum dose: 2,500 mg daily.
MORE INFORMATION: Metformin, if not contraindicated, is the preferred initial pharmacologic agent for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Take in divided doses 2 to 3 times a day with meals; Titrate slowly to minimize gastrointestinal side effects. In general, significant responses are not seen at doses less than 1500 mg/day.
Extended Release: Take with the evening meal; if glycemic control is not achieved with 2000 mg once daily, 1000 mg of extended-release product twice daily may be considered; If glycemic control is still not achieved, you can switch to the immediate-release product.
Usage: To improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus as an adjunct to diet and exercise.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Type 2 Diabetes:
- 10 years or more:
- In addition, immediate release:
- Starting dose: 500 mg orally twice daily
- In addition, dose titration: Increase in weekly increments of 500 mg as tolerated
- Maintenance dose: 2000 mg per day
- Also, maximum dose: 2000 mg per day
Note: Take in divided doses 2 to 3 times a day with meals. Titrate slowly to minimize gastrointestinal side effects. In addition, the safety and efficacy of extended-release tablets have not been established in pediatric patients under 18 years of age.
Usage: To improve glycemic control in children with type 2 diabetes mellitus as an adjunct to diet and exercise.
What Happens if I Miss a Metformin Dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember (don’t forget to take the medicine with food). Also, skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.
What Happens If I Overdose Metformin?
Seek emergency medical attention. Also, an overdose of metformin can cause lactic acidosis, which can be fatal.
What Should I Avoid While Taking Metformin?
Avoid drinking alcohol. It lowers blood sugar and may increase the risk of lactic acidosis while taking metformin .
What Other Drugs Will Affect Metformin?
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Also, some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which can increase side effects or make the drugs less effective.
Other medications can interact with metformin , including prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal products. Also, tell your doctor about all your current medications and any medications you start or stop using.
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Remember, keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children, never share your medications with others, and use metformin only for the indication prescribed. Also, always consult your physician to ensure that the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.