How Effective is Metformin & What are it’s Side Effects?

You are not supposed to use metformin if you are if you are in a condition of diabetic ketoacidosis or if you have severe kidney disease. You need to consult your doctor for treatment with insulin.

How Effective is Metformin?

How Effective is Metformin?

An effective oral diabetes medicine used in controlling blood sugar levels is Metformin.

Metformin is best suited for people with type 2 diabetes as it improves blood sugar control. It is also combined with insulin or other medicines certain times for people with type 2 diabetes. However Metformin is not used in the treatment of type1 diabetes.

Crucial Note

You must temporarily stop the intake of metformin in case you have a need to take any kind of X-ray or CT scan with a dye by injecting into your veins.

There are possibilities of this medication causing lactic acidosis in your body. You need to get urgent medical help in case you have even slight symptoms like weakness or muscle pain, breathing trouble, cold or numb feeling in your legs or arms, nausea with vomiting, stomach pain, dizziness, feeling very tired or weak and uneven or slow heart rate.

Before Taking Metformin

Intake of metformin is strictly prohibited in case you have an allergy to it or if you have the following:

  • If you have a condition of diabetic ketoacidosis. Contact your doctor instantly for treatment with insulin or
  • Severe kidney disease;
  • In case you are in a need to take any kind of X-ray or CT scan with the dye by way of injecting into your veins, you must stop consuming metformin temporarily.

In order to ensure metformin is safe for you, inform your doctor if you have the following:

  • Liver disease;
  • Kidney disease;
  • Recent heart attack or a record of heart disease;
  • In case you have taken chlorpropamide recently; or
  • If you are above 80 years of age and have not checked your kidney function recently.

Certain people are likely to develop a severe condition known as lactic acidosis due to the intake of metformin. The probabilities are higher in case you have a kidney or liver disease, a severe infection, congestive failure of heart, if you consume high levels of alcohol or if you are dehydrated. You need to consult your doctor regarding your risks.
However it is unclear whether Metformin will affect an unborn child. Inform your doctor in prior if you are planning to become pregnant of if you are pregnant when taking metformin.

It is unknown if metformin can affect a nursing child through breast milk. Breast-feeding is prohibited when taking this medication.

Metformin must not be administered to an infant less than 10 years of age. Extended-release formulations (Glumetza, Fortamet, Glucophage XR) is strictly prohibited for anyone less than 18 years of age.

What is the Recommended Dosage of Metformin?

Usual Adult Dosage for Diabetes Type 2:

  • Metformin Immediate-release:
  • Initial metformin dosage: 500 milligrams two times a day orally or 850 milligrams one time a day orally
  • Dosage titration: Weekly increments in 500 milligrams or increase in 850 milligrams every 2 weeks as tolerated
  • Maintenance dosage: 2000 milligrams every day
  • Maximum metformin dosage: 2550 milligrams every day

Intake in separated doses two to three times in a day with food. Titrate the amount gradually for minimizing the gastrointestinal side effects. Generally, important responses are not experimented with doses lesser than 1500 milligrams/day.

Metformin Extended-release:

  • Initial metformin dosage: 500 to 1000 milligrams one time a day orally
  • Dosage titration: Weekly increments 500 milligrams as tolerated
  • Maintenance dosage: 2000 milligrams every day
  • Maximum metformin dosage: 2500 milligrams every day.

Comments: If you are unable to control glycemic with one time administration of an extended-release product in a day, you need to divide the doses. In case increased dosages are needed, then you can switch over to immediate-release product.

Use: For effectively improving the glycemic control with type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults as an addition to exercise and diet.

Usual Pediatric Dosage for Diabetes Type 2:

  • 10 years or above:
  • Metformin Immediate-release:
  • Initial metformin dosage: 500 milligrams two times a day orally
  • Dosage titration: Weekly increments in 500 milligrams as tolerated
  • Maintenance dosage: 2000 milligrams everyday
  • Maximum metformin dosage: 2000 milligrams everyday
  • Intake of metformin in divided doses of two to three times each day with food. Gradually titrate for minimizing the gastrointestinal side effects.
  • Effectiveness and safety of metformin extended-release is not established in pediatric patients below the age of 18 years.
  • Use: For effectively improving the glycemic control with type 2 diabetes mellitus in infants in addition to exercise and diet.

What are the Side Effects of Metformin?

You need to get urgent medical help in case you have an allergy to metformin or any signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction to metformin like breathing difficulty; inflammation in your lips, face, tongue or throat.

Certain people are likely to develop lactic acidosis during the intake of metformin. Earlier symptoms could worsen in due course of time which can be fatal. You need to get medical help immediately if you have severe side effects of metformin like the following:

  • Weakness or muscle pain;
  • Cold or numb feeling in your legs and arms;
  • Breathing trouble;
  • Feeling light-headed, very weak, tired or dizziness;
  • Stomach ache, nausea with vomiting; or
  • Uneven or slow heart rate.

General side effects of metformin include the following:

  • Nausea, stomach upset, vomiting; or
  • Diarrhea.

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