Metformin : Uses, Side Effects, Dosages, Treatment and Warnings

Type 2 Diabetes has become an epidemic-like disease all over the world as around 108 million people have been affected by it but people now know of Metformin. Prevalence of this chronic disease might increase due to several reasons including unhealthy diet, genetic diseases or other physical conditions. The condition might not be treated completely; however, its side effects can be minimized with the help of a drug, namely, Metformin.

Introduction to Metformin

When you decide to follow a proper exercise regime along with an effective diet, taking metformin can help you regulating blood sugar level extensively. Especially, used for the patients suffering from Type 2 Diabetes, the medication can avert further problems that arise with high blood sugar level.

It is often seen that increase in blood sugar leads to nerve problems, sexual dysfunction, kidney damage, cardiovascular problems or loss of limbs. In addition to the context, high chances of heart attack or stroke cannot be discarded by the medical practitioners either. The aforementioned medicine helps to restore the patient’s body’s reciprocation towards insulin that is produced in the patient’s body in natural way.

What is Metformin Exactly?

Designed to be taken as an oral tablet, this is an oral drug that exists as the market are drugs, namely, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Fortamet and Glucophage. Glucophage is taken as an oral medication treating diabetes playing an important in regulating blood sugar level. Additionally, the tablet acts an SOS tablet.

You need to keep in mind that other medications that act as extended-release tablet apart from Glucophage, exist in the market also as generic drugs. The price of the generic drugs is comparatively lower than the immediate release tablet. However, the severity of your health condition decides which one can be helpful and when.

Another thing which you need to keep in mind is that the medicine acts a combination therapy referring to the fact you are required to take it with other effective drugs.

Side Effects of the Drug

Like every medicine on the planet, this one has certain side effects that can sometimes be problematic for the patient. However, not everyone notices the side effects on his/her body.

General Side Effects

The general side effects are the ones that are widely seen among one in hundred patients. As soon as you notice side effects, you must rush to the medical practitioner for further advice. Varying from people to people, the common side effects include,

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling sick
  • Metallic taste in mouth
  • Loss of appetite

Unusual Side Effects

The rare side effects seem to raise complex problems among one in ten thousand patients. If you face certain set of side effects, you must visit the medical professional right away.

  • A sense of uneasiness along with prolonged weariness, shallow breathing or fast, slow heartbeat or feeling cold.
  • Skin and white portion of the eyes become yellow. This can be a sign of growing liver problems, too.
  • Visible signs that are usually seen in anaemia – lack of energy, sore throat or mouth, redness in tongue, ulcers seen in mouth, weak muscles or blurred vision.
  • Signs of skin disease which includes redness in skin along with itchiness or rashes can be seen.

Allergic Reactions

Anaphylaxis or serious allergic reactions are seen with the intake of the medicine. You should know that this kind of allergic reaction often becomes life-threatening if the problem of the condition is not nipped in the bud.

  • Tightness in throat or chest
  • Facing problems while talking or breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Swollen face, mouth, tongue, lips and throat
  • Skin rashes and skin can often become blistered or swollen. Additionally, the sufferer can face itchiness or redness along with peeling skin.

Apart from all the stated side effects, there might be other impacts that can jeopardise your living. For more information, it is always better to pay attention to every word written in the medicinal information pack or ask questions to the doctor.

Is it Possible to Cope with the Medicinal Side Effects?

The side effects of the medicine differ from patient to patient; however, getting rid of the side effects does not involve rocket science.

For vomiting or diarrhoea, you may take the medicine with frequent yet small sips of water so that your body does not get dehydrated. Additionally, you may choose to buy supplements for rehydrating yourself from time to time. However, before taking any such medicine, it is better to get advice from the medical professional or pharmacist first.

  • Sugar-free gums can help to some extent to help you get rid of the metallic taste in your taste buds.
  • If you feel sick after taking the medicine with food, there might have been lesser chances of feeling nausea or sick. Additionally, the dose can get higher over the course of time.

Usage of the Medication

When you purchase Metformin, you are required to go through the instructions stated in the information pack. Additionally, if you are perturbed by any queries regarding use of the medicine you can direct them to your medical professional.

  • It is better to follow the steps suggested by the medical practitioner and he/she must have recommended it to take with meals. Playing an essential role in regulating the health condition, you should follow a regular exercise plan. In addition to the context, you can go for regular sugar tests to monitor the condition.
  • Generally, consumed with meals, the medicine helps to reduce severe impacts on bowel movement or stomach that is seen to take place around first week of the treatment procedure. You must be careful while swallowing the tablet with a glass of water because you are not allowed to chew or break it. After the full absorption of the extended-release tablet, your body may pass it into stool.
  • In order to measure the oral liquid medicine, you can take a measuring spoon, medicine cup or a syringe. You may avoid taking regular teaspoon as it is not effective in measuring the amount of liquid.

One more thing that you should stick to is the brand name of medicine because assessing your health condition, medical professionals prescribe the medicine. Within one or two week(s) significant changes in blood sugar level may be noticed. Be patient, the whole impact of the medicine is yet to be seen around two to three months.

Medicinal Dose for the Adults

Based on the health conditions of the patients, the medical professionals direct you to take the medicine. However, you should keep in mind that the dose is different for every patient. Going through the information pack, you can get an idea of the dose of the medicine. The amount of the drug indicates the strength of the dose.

  • Adult patients who undergo the critical condition of Type 2 Diabetes are requested follow the doctor’s advice on the amount of the medicine. If you are prescribed Fortamet, you may have to take 100 mg of it once in a day with the evening meal. Till the time, your blood sugar is completely controlled; your medical professional is not likely to increase the dose.
  • Glumetza can be taken 500 mg in each day but once with the evening meal. Monitoring the progress of blood sugar level, your medical practitioner may direct you to take around 200 mg once a day. However, you should stick to the prescription because excessive dose can do more harm to your health that you could ever imagine.
  • You can take Metformin with insulin starting with 500 mg once a day. Checking your blood sugar level, the medical professional can advise you take 500 mg in each week. Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that the amount of dose is not generally more than 2500 mg in every day.

In case, due to any reason you have missed your daily dose, you should take it as soon as you recall it. However, you should be careful about doubling doses in each day.

Is Metformin for Everyone?

There is an ongoing debate regarding whether everyone might be able to take Metformin due to prominent side effects of the medicine. It is usually prescribed for the adults but if the medical practitioner advises a ten-year-old patient to take it evaluating his/her health condition, he/she has to take it.

It has been observed over the course of time that the extended-release tablet is not for every diabetic patient.

  • People who suffer from kidney problems, uncontrollable diabetes, infection, allergic reaction from other drugs, are diagnosed with heart failure or do face difficulties while breathing, are not usually prescribed Metformin. In addition to the context, patients who have had heart attack recently, are not advised to take it either.
  • People are often advised to stop taking the medicine before undergoing surgery or tests. For the surgeries where you are put to sleep or taking tests like scan including injection and X-ray, you might be instructed to limit the dose of the medicine.

New mothers while breastfeeding can opt for Metformin if there is any need for it as there is only a small amount of medicine leaves an impact on the infant’s health.

Warnings on the Drug

Metformin is considered to be one of the widely anti-diabetic drugs that have become popular due to its effectiveness and low cost. However, in America, the drug has faced certain constraints getting because of the safety concerns related to lactic acidosis. The side effect might have been rare but it was found in Metformin on a large scale.

During the recent era, Food and Drug Administrative has instructed that the medicine is not to be taken by the service users who suffer from critical renal complications. Renal impairment can get worse with the presence of lactic acidosis. However, after going through several studies, FDA has released a statement that the patients with renal impairment can take the medicine; however, with proper dose must be followed.

Cautions for the Combination Therapy

Metformin is considered to be taken as a part of combination theory referring to the fact that you can take this one with other drugs. While taking the medicine, you need to keep an eye on the blood sugar level.

You may further need to change the dose of other drugs that you are taking including water tables, steroid tablets, medications for heart diseases and hormone controlling medicines. Women may have to adjust the dose of Metformin, in case, they take contraceptive pills.

Modern Treatment and Metformin

One of the current studies sheds light on the fact that this medication has been widely used in the T2D management. Moreover, World Health Organization has enlisted the drug as an essential medicine that can be helpful while treating the chronic disease, namely, Type 2 Diabetes. On the contrary, it is difficult for everyone to understand the entire mechanism which lingers on the verge of being severely complex.

The effects of the drug on blood glucose level can be effectively seen; however, its impact on lipid level in blood cannot be overlooked either. This finding can indicate that there seems to be a protective impact against the complex metabolic results regarding antipsychotic drugs leading to increase in lipid and glucose levels in blood simultaneously. In addition to the context, the effect has left a significant impact on increasing one’s weight.

This drug is found to have a certain effect in dealing with one of the common health conditions that women suffer, namely, a polycystic ovarian disease that leads to infertility and obesity.

One thing that you should always keep in mind is that you cannot take medication without consulting the medical practitioner because not every diabetic patient is in need of the particular drug. Additionally, if your health does not show effective outcomes after taking the medication, you can let the medical professional know about your crucial condition so that he/she can advise taking alternative medicine that may be more suitable for you. Acquiring complete knowledge of the drug from the licensed professional is highly essential to get relief on time from the painful effects of diabetes in an extensive manner.

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