What is Metformin?
Metformin is an oral medication used to treat type 2 diabetes and other related health problems. It belongs to a class of drugs called biguanides and helps to reduce blood sugar levels.
Understanding the Different Types of Metformin
Metformin comes in several different forms, including tablets, extended-release tablets, and oral solutions. Tablets and extended-release tablets are the most common form of the drug, and they come in strengths from 500 mg to 1000mg. Extended-release tablets are designed to slowly release the medication over some time. Oral solutions are also available in various strengths, including 5 mg/5 mL, 10 mg/5 mL, and 15 mg/5 mL.
Metformin is also available in combination with other diabetes medications, such as glipizide, glyburide, sitagliptin, vildagliptin empagliflozin, and pioglitazone.
What Is Metformin Used For?
Metformin is used to treat type 2 diabetes. It is often recommended by doctors as per international guidelines as a first-line treatment for diabetes because of its effectiveness and safety. It is also used in gestational diabetes (diabetes in pr
The drug can also be used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome in women.
How does Metformin work?
Metformin works by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin and improving the body’s ability to use insulin. The drug is primarily metabolized in the liver and excreted in the urine. It takes about 2-4 hours for the drug to reach its maximum effect, and its effects can last for up to 24 hours.
Dosage and Administration
The dosage of metformin varies depending on the type of medication and the condition being treated. Tablets and extended-release tablets are usually taken once or twice a day with or without food. Oral solutions are typically taken once or twice a day with meals.
It is important to take metformin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of the medication than prescribed and do not stop taking the medication without your doctor’s approval.
Side Effects of Metformin
Common side effects of metformin include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and loss of appetite. Other side effects may include headache, dizziness, restless feeling, joint pain, and skin rash.
More serious side effects may include lactic acidosis, a condition in which the body produces too much lactic acid. This is very rare.
Precautions and Warnings
Before taking metformin, it is important to tell your doctor if you have any medical conditions, such as kidney or liver disease, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. You should also tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications, including herbal supplements or vitamins. People with kidney or liver problems, or who are undergoing certain medical procedures, may need to stop taking Metformin temporarily.
Is Metformin Safe?
Metformin is considered safe for most people when taken as prescribed. However, it is important to talk to your doctor if you have any underlying medical conditions or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
It is also important to be aware of the potential side effects of the drug and to seek medical attention if you experience any serious or life-threatening side effects. It is also important to follow your doctor’s instructions for taking the medication and to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly.
What Are the Long-Term Side Effects of Metformin?
Long-term use of metformin may also increase the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. If you take metformin for a long period, talk to your doctor about getting regular blood tests to check your vitamin B12 levels.