Metformin is a drug that is prescribed to treat type II diabetes. It helps the diabetic patients by decreasing the amount of sugar made by the liver and decreasing the amount of sugar absorbed into the body. As a result, Metformin can help the body respond better to its own insulin and decrease blood sugar levels. It is sometimes used in combination with insulin or other medications, but it is not for treating type I diabetes. Metformin is part of a class of diabetes medications known as biguanide medications.
Metformin Side effects:
Only very rare number of patients is reported with Metformin side effects. In most cases they are minor and either require no treatment or can be easily treated by you or your doctor. The most common Metformin side effects include: Diarrhea, Nausea or vomiting, Gas, Weakness, Indigestion, Abdominal discomfort and Headache. Generally, people have fewer side effects when taking the long-acting form.
The Metformin dosage depends on a number of factors. Patients within the age group of 10 to 16 are recommended with starting dose of Metformin 500 mg twice daily. Those above 17 years are recommended a starting Metformin dose of 500 mg twice daily or 850 mg once daily. For the long-acting form, the starting dose is Metformin ER 500 mg once daily, and the maximum dosing is Metformin ER 2000 mg once daily.
Important information: One should not use this medicine if they are allergic to Metformin, or if they are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis. If you are planning to undergo go any type of x-ray or CT scan using a dye that is injected into your veins, you will need to temporarily stop taking the dose. Some patients develop lactic acidosis while taking this medicine. Early symptoms may get worse over time and this condition can be fatal. It is advised to take emergency medical help if you have even mild symptoms such as: muscle pain or weakness, numb or cold feeling in your arms and legs, trouble breathing, stomach pain, nausea with vomiting, slow or uneven heart rate, dizziness, or feeling very weak or tired.
Take the dosage exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Also note that Metformin is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. It is important to use this medicine regularly to get the most benefit. Check your blood sugar carefully during a time of stress or illness, if you travel, exercise more than usual, drink alcohol, or skip meals. These things can affect your glucose levels and your dose needs may also change. Ask your doctor how to adjust your dose if needed. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your health providers advice.