Metformin is a prescription drug which comes as an oral tablet and an oral solution. Metformin oral tablet comes in two forms: immediate-release and extended-release. The immediate-release tablet is available as the brand-name drug Glucophage. The extended-release tablet is available as the brand-name drugs Glucophage.
Metformin oral tablets are used to treat high blood sugar levels caused by type 2 diabetes but are commonly used to treat women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This helps regulate menstrual cycles, start ovulation, and lower the risk of miscarriage in women with PCOS. It is generally used in conjunction with clomid.
Metformin belongs to a class of drugs called biguanides. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.
Metformin works by:
Insulin is a hormone that helps your body remove extra sugar from your blood. This lowers your blood sugar levels.
Metformin oral tablets can cause mild or serious side effects. The following list contains some of the key side effects that may occur while taking metformin. This list does not include all possible side effects
Metformin may cause a low blood sugar reaction. If you have a low blood sugar reaction, you need to treat it.
For mild hypoglycemia (55–70 mg/dL), treatment is 15–20 grams of glucose (a type of sugar). You need to eat or drink one of the following:
Test your blood sugar 15 minutes after you treat the low sugar reaction. If your blood sugar is still low, then repeat the above treatment. Once your blood sugar is back in the normal range, eat a small snack if your next planned meal or snack is more than 1 hour later.
Take with a meal to reduce the risk of stomach upset. Once-daily dosages should be taken with the evening meal.
Metformin is usually started at a low dosage before being titrated up. Dosages may vary between individuals.
Splitting dosages throughout the day (rather than taking a single dose) may improve gastric side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, and indigestion.
Swallow slow-release tablets whole; do not crush, break, or chew.
Do not drink large amounts of alcohol or drink it daily while taking metformin because this may increase your risk of lactic acidosis.
Monitoring of blood sugars and other regular laboratory tests including kidney function are needed.
May need to be temporarily discontinued before undergoing investigations requiring contrast media, or if you become dehydrated.
The outer case of some slow release metformin tablets may be visible in the stools; this does not mean the drug has not been absorbed.
Ensure you are educated about the importance of diet and exercise in the management of type 2 diabetes because it is important to use lifestyle measures to improve your condition in addition to medications.
Tell your doctor if you become unwell with severe vomiting, diarrhea or a fever because these types of illnesses may lead to severe dehydration and you may need to temporarily stop metformin. Also, talk to your doctor if you develop cold hands or feet, muscle pain, dizziness, a slow heartbeat, have trouble breathing, stomach pains or severe nausea or vomiting.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any other medications, including those bought over-the-counter, to check that they will be compatible with metformin.