Metformin - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Metformin: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is metformin?

Metformin is an anti-diabetic drug used as the first line of treatment in the management of type 2 diabetes. Patients with diabetes can no longer produce insulin in sufficient amounts or their bodies lose their ability to utilize insulin efficiently. Lifestyle modifications such as dietary precautions and regular exercise have been shown to be useful in the management of type 2 diabetes.

What are the uses of metformin?

Metformin is the drug of choice for the treatment of type 2 diabetes or diabetes mellitus. It is also known for its use in the treatment of obesity-related diabetes. In addition to its traditional usage, metformin has been shown to be effective in the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Metformin helps to improve the body’s response to insulin. It also reduces the production of glucose by the liver cells. This helps in the reduction of elevated blood glucose levels.

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What are the side effects of metformin?

Metformin is a relatively safe drug and is not known to cause any major side effects or allergic reactions. Some minor side effects of the medicine are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • A metallic taste in the mouth
  • Weakness

In some individuals, metformin can cause hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar. Symptoms of hypoglycemia may include dizziness, confusion, and lethargy. If you notice such symptoms, consult our experts and schedule an appointment today. 


Frequently Asked Questions about Metformin

1. What does metformin do to your body?

Metformin exerts its anti-diabetic effect by reducing the amount of glucose produced by the liver cells. Metformin is also known to act on the stomach and intestines, inhibiting the uptake or absorption of glucose. As a result, it promotes the utilization of glucose in the extremities.

2. Can I stop taking metformin if my sugar levels are normal?

Yes, if your blood sugar levels have returned to normal, you can discontinue taking metformin. Because type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease, you can control your blood sugar levels without the use of metformin by making lifestyle changes, such as

  • Taking up more exercise.
  • Reducing consumption of carbohydrates.
  • Limiting the consumption of foods with a high glycemic index.
However, it is always recommended that you consult your doctor before stopping treatment with this medicine.

3. What should I avoid while taking metformin?

People on a regular dose of metformin should avoid consuming alcohol or tobacco products. Alcohol or tobacco can interfere with the metabolism of this medicine and may lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) or lactic acidosis (high lactic acid levels in your blood). Avoid a high-fiber diet while taking metformin, as it reduces the drug’s efficiency.

4. Should metformin be taken at night?

Yes, it is advisable to take metformin at night. By taking this medicine at night, the risk of side effects like nausea or vomiting is reduced. To get the maximum benefit out of the medication, it is suggested that the extended-release formulation be taken at night after your last meal.

5. Can I take metformin two hours after a meal?

To avoid the gastric side effects of metformin, patients should take the medication either with the meal or immediately after the meal. It is generally recommended to consume metformin at night, but in patients with severe conditions, it can be prescribed twice a day.

6. What sugar levels require metformin?

Metformin is the drug of choice for newly diagnosed diabetes patients or prediabetic patients. People who have fasting blood sugar levels of between 126 mg/dl and below 150 mg/dl can be considered good candidates for metformin therapy. In patients with higher blood glucose levels, metformin may be used with other anti-diabetic drugs.

7. How do you know if metformin is working?

The initial effects after taking metformin are usually related to gastric disturbances such as nausea, bloating, etc. However, metformin takes about four to five days to show its effect. As your body becomes more adept at utilizing insulin, you will notice an increase in energy levels.

8. What are the pros and cons of taking metformin?

  • Pros: Metformin does not affect the secretion of insulin and reduces the chances of hypoglycemic shock. It also protects the body’s organs from the ill effects of type 2 diabetes.
  • Cons: Metformin can cause symptoms of gastric distress, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Metformin can cause symptoms of gastric distress, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Metformin should be used with caution by people who have kidney failure because of the increased risk of side effects.

9. Is insulin better than metformin?

Insulin is the recommended treatment for diabetes. But the major drawback of insulin is that it can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels), which is a common occurrence in diabetic patients. Though it is less effective than insulin, metformin does not affect insulin secretion and is safer to use.

10. Can you drink coffee after taking metformin?

Metformin can interfere with the metabolism of coffee in the body and may enhance its effectiveness, causing undesired side effects. As a precaution, it is advisable to avoid having caffeinated drinks after taking metformin. To know more about metformin and the safest way to consume it, consult our experts.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.