Metformin For Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes have many different drugs on the market that help to
control their blood sugar levels. Metformin (Glucophage)
is a very popular oral medication for Type 2 diabetes and
pre-diabetes. Metformin controls high blood sugar levels, which helps
to prevent nerve damage, kidney damage, blindness, circulatory
problems, and sexual function problems (including incontinence).
Metformin reduces the amount of glucose your liver releases
Because of this action, Metformin does not cause low blood glucose (hypoglycemia).
may slightly reduce cholesterol, and triglycerides. On the
plus side, Metformin may cause a little weight loss. Metformin
belongs to a family of Type 2 diabetes oral medication called Biguanides.
Normally, Metformin is taken as the only Type 2 oral medication.
However, Metformin is also sold as a combination
This combination combines the reduced glucose release with the effect
of the other drup. The FDA has approved 3 types of combination pills.
The other drug in the pill may cause low blood sugar:
Metformin – Stimulates pancreas to release insulin. May cause low blood
- Glyburide+ Metformin –
Stimulates the pancreas to release insulin. May cause low blood sugar.
Metformin – increases insulin sensitivity in cells. May cause low blood
sugar as well as water retention and weight gain.
What to know if you are new to
If you have just started taking Metformin (or are getting ready to
start taking Metformin), then you should be aware of the following
- Metformin is generally taken twice a day. Try to take it at the
same time each day – with breakfast and your evening meal.
- Be sure to drink plenty of fluids while on this medication.
- You may increase the dosage as side effects decrease. Initial
effects generally include stomach issues, but they quickly go away.
- If you experience effects of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar
first test your blood, then contact your doctor immediately. If you are
taking a combination pill, the other drug may be the cause.
- You should take this medication each day to feel the effects.
generally takes up to two weeks for Metformin to begin working.
What to keep in mind when taking Metformin as part of a
taking Metformin in combination with other drugs that increase the
release of insulin or increase the cells’ sensitivity to insulin , it
is important to always have a source of glucose available. Many
individuals on combination pills need to carry glucose tablets with them so that they can quickly
increase their blood sugar levels.
- Metformin users should also
be sure to get regular exercise and eat
a balanced diet, which includes regular meals, so that they can
maintain a more even blood sugar level throughout the day.
Metformin Side Effects
are a few side effects of Metformin that you should be aware of,
acidosis: Rarely occurs in diabetics with
poor liver or kidney function. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include:
fatigue, chills, cold skin, muscle pain, difficulty breathing,
irregular heartbeat. Lactic acidosis can be fatal in some cases.
- Nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea, metallic taste in the mouth (these
symptoms generally only occur in the first few weeks of taking
- Fast heartbeat
- Cold hands and feet
- Change in appetite, often decreased appetite
- Blurred vision
Contact your doctor immediately if
you have any negative side effects associated with Metformin use.