Metformin Oral Tablet
Metformin Extended Release Oral Tablet
Metformin Extended Release Suspension
Metformin Oral Solution
|metformin hydrochloride 100 MG/ML Oral Solution||Generic|
|metformin hydrochloride 100 MG/ML Oral Solution [Riomet]||Generic|
What is metformin?
Metformin is a medicine prescribed to treat and prevent Type 2 diabetes, PCOS and aid weight loss. Metformin works by improving insulin absorption and lowering blood sugar levels.
What is metformin used for?
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Weight Loss
Metformin is used to reduce the impact of Type 2 diabetes and to prevent it from developing in people at risk. It is also used to treat Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and to aid weight loss.
It is the preferred treatment for overweight patients with diabetes because it does not cause weight gain like some other treatments.
How does metformin work?
In patients with diabetes, metformin reduces blood sugar levels by reducing the amount that the liver makes and reducing absorption from the diet.
It stimulates insulin production and makes the body more responsive to the hormone, which is responsible for regulating sugar levels. With more insulin being more effective, less sugar is absorbed from the diet and the symptoms of diabetes are reduced.
As insulin resistance is thought to cause PCOS, metformin is often used to treat the symptoms and increase the chance of a healthy pregnancy.
Types of metformin
Metformin is always taken orally but comes in two forms: extended-release and immediate release. While they are the same treatment, the extended-release contains a higher dosage that is released gradually, so the tablet does not need to be taken as often.
Arrange a consultation with one of our doctors for an assessment of your condition. They will prescribe the most appropriate form for you.
Generally, you will start on a lower dose of metformin and increase it gradually. 500mg is the lowest dose, which is used to begin with. Once you have adjusted to the lower dose you can move up to 850mg and 1000mg, if your doctor thinks it's necessary.
The extended-release tablets are also between 500mg and 1000mg.
Metformin Side Effects
Metformin is safe to take, but it can cause some side effects. These are mostly experienced in the digestive system, such as heartburn, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. It can also cause nausea, headaches and weight loss.
These side effects usually appear at the start of treatment and disappear on their own. If you are concerned about any of these side effects, speak to your doctor.
Rarely, metformin can cause a condition called lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is a buildup of lactic acid that can result in heart palpitations, dizziness and difficulty breathing. Lactic acidosis is rare but dangerous, so get emergency medical help if you notice any symptoms.
Prolonged use of metformin can also cause vitamin B1 deficiency, which can lead to anemia.
Why do doctors no longer prescribe metformin?
Doctors do prescribe metformin, but some manufacturers were advised to remove their products due to one of their ingredients being linked to cancer.
How long does metformin stay in your system?
If you are a healthy adult, metformin will stay in your system for about 4 days. Anyone with low kidney function should check in with their doctor, as a buildup of metformin can lead to lactic acidosis.
Does metformin cause hair loss?
Metformin does not cause hair to fall out, but some of the conditions it is used to treat do. Vitamin B12 deficiency is also associated with metformin, which can cause hair loss.
Does metformin cause weight loss?
Weight loss is a side effect of metformin, but it is not yet clear why this is. It might be that reduced appetite causes patients to eat less, or that people beginning medication are more likely to improve their lifestyle overall.
Whatever the reason, metformin is not intended for weight loss alone.
What is the benefit of taking metformin at night?
Taking metformin before bed can lower blood sugar levels overnight and in the morning. You should take an extended-release tablet if you are looking to control your blood sugar levels overnight.
How long does it take for metformin to work?
You might notice a change in a few days, but it can be as long as a month before you get the full effect. Everyone is different and the time frame depends on the dosage and type, so chat to your doctor if you want a personalized time estimate.
Are there any foods to avoid while taking metformin?
You should eat when you take metformin, to reduce the impact of gastrointestinal side effects. You should not eat too much fiber, however, because this can affect the uptake of the treatment.
Does metformin cause dementia?
No. Metformin does not cause dementia.
What are some signs metformin is not working?
To accurately determine whether metformin is working, monitor your blood sugar levels as your doctor recommends. Some signs that it is not working are increased appetite, thirst or urination and nausea and fatigue.
What is the best time to take metformin?
The best time to take metformin is with food. As a typical dose is twice daily, that might be in the morning and evening. Every patient is different so arrange a consultation with an online doctor to find out your best option.
Is metformin being recalled?
Some metformin manufacturers were advised to remove their products due to one of their ingredients being linked to cancer. This only affected some metformin, and a doctor can let you know the risks of individual brands.
Is metformin safe?
Yes. Metformin is safe for use and is recommended for treating diabetes. It is also safe and frequently used to treat PCOS.
Conditions that metformin might help
Diabetes and Prediabetes
850mg of Metformin taken twice daily has been found to reduce the incidences of diabetes by 31%. This was a significant, long-term improvement in symptoms, but was significantly less than a change in lifestyle factors.
The research shows that a healthy diet and active lifestyle is the best treatment for diabetes and prediabetes, but metformin can enhance this further.
Very limited research supports the use of metformin for treating polycystic ovary syndrome, but it is not openly accepted for clinical use yet. More research is needed to determine the ideal dosage.
Up to 2500mg of metformin per day can significantly improve weight loss in insulin-resistant patients. This might not be suitable for patients without diabetes but is promising for use on overweight diabetic outpatients.
Metformin may treat:
Metformin desired effects:
- Decreased Glycogenesis
- Decreased Gluconeogenesis
- Increased Glucose Transport into Cells
Metformin drug classes:
Metformin pharmacologic actions:
- Hypoglycemic Agents
Metformin mechanism of action:
- Insulin Receptor Agonists