We regularly hear about the benefits and uses of Metformin . Here we tell you all the details.

Metformin – What is it

Metformin is the first-line drug for treating type 2 diabetes, especially in overweight people. It is also used in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome. Limited evidence suggests that metformin can prevent cardiovascular disease and the cancerous complications of diabetes. It is not associated with weight gain. It is taken orally.

Metformin is generally well tolerated. Common side effects include diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain. You have a low risk of causing low blood sugar. High lactic acid level in the blood is a concern if the drug is prescribed inappropriately and in excessively large doses. It should not be used in people with severe liver disease or kidney problems. While no clear harm is seen from use during pregnancy, insulin is generally preferred for gestational diabetes. Metformin is in the biguanide class. It works by decreasing glucose production in the liver and increasing the insulin sensitivity of the body’s tissues.

Metformin – Discovery

Metformin was discovered in 1922. French physician Jean Sterne began studying humans in the 1950s. It was introduced as a medicine in France in 1957 and in the United States in 1995. It is on the World Organization’s Essential Medicines List Of the health. Metformin is believed to be the most widely used diabetes medicine taken by mouth. It is available as a generic drug. The wholesale price in the developed world is between $ 0.21 and $ 5.55 per month as of 2014. In the United States, it costs $ 5 to $ 25 per month.

Metformin – Uses

Metformin is used with a proper diet and exercise program. It is used in patients with type 2 diabetes. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and problems with sexual function. Proper diabetes control can also lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Metformin works by helping to restore your body’s proper response to the insulin it naturally produces. It also decreases the amount of sugar your liver makes and is absorbed by your stomach / intestines.

Metformin – How to use

Read the Patient Information Leaflet, if available from your pharmacist, before you start taking metformin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take it by mouth 1 to 3 times a day. Dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you are taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, and herbal products). To reduce the risk of side effects (such as an upset stomach), your doctor may direct you to start treatment with a low dose and gradually increase the dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

Remember to use it at the same time every day. Check your blood sugar level regularly as directed by your doctor. Keep a record of the results and share them with your doctor. Tell your doctor if your blood sugar measurements are too high or too low. Your dose / treatment may need to be changed.

Metformin – Side Effects

May cause nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, weakness, or a metallic taste in the mouth. If any of these effects persist or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist immediately. If stomach symptoms return later (after taking the same dose for several days or weeks), tell your doctor immediately. Stomach symptoms that occur after the first few days of your treatment may be signs of lactic acidosis.

Metformin does not usually cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Low blood sugar may occur if this drug is prescribed together with other diabetes medications. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether the dose of your other diabetes medicine (s) needs to be lowered.

Symptoms of low blood sugar include sudden sweating, shaking, racing heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands / feet. It is a good habit to carry glucose tablets or gel to treat low blood sugar. If you don’t have these reliable forms of glucose, quickly raise your blood sugar by consuming a quick source of sugar, such as table sugar, honey, or candy, or by drinking fruit juices or non-diet sodas. Tell your doctor about the reaction right away. Low blood sugar is more likely if you drink large amounts of alcohol, exercise unusually hard, or don’t consume enough calories from food. To help prevent hypoglycemia, eat meals on a regular schedule and don’t skip meals.

Symptoms that may appear include thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, hot flashes, rapid breathing, and a fruity breath odor. If these symptoms occur, inform your doctor immediately. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medications.

Stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor right away if this very serious side effect occurs: lactic acidosis (see Warning section).

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, see right away if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching / swelling (especially of the face / tongue / throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Metformin – Precautions

Before taking this medicine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to metformin.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, such as obstructive lung disease, severe asthma, blood problems (such as anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency), kidney or liver disease.

Before having surgery or an iodinated contrast x-ray / scan procedure, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, and herbal products). You may need to stop this medicine for a short time for the surgery / procedure. Ask your doctor or dentist for instructions before your surgery / procedure.

Metformin – Interactions

Interactions with other medications can change how your medications work or increase the risk of serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription and nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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