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Metformin

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
Biguanides Glucophage, Diabetmin, Diaformin, Diamet

Metformin - What is it for

​Metformin controls diabetes by helping your body to use insulin better. It also decreases the amount of sugar made by your liver, therefore reducing your sugar levels in the blood.

Metformin - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Metformin cause?

It may cause stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and metallic taste in your mouth. These symptoms should get better over time. Check with your doctor if any of these symptoms are serious or do not go away. Taking metformin after food or with food may help to reduce some of these symptoms.

Lactic acidosis (a buildup of lactic acid in the body) is a very rare but serious medical problem. The chance of this happening increases if your kidneys are not working properly. 
Symptoms of lactic acidosis include 

  • decreased appetite
  • vomiting and stomach pains that continues for some time
  • a general feeling of  being unwell accompanied with feeling cold or excessive tiredness
  • fast, shallow breathing.

If any of these happens, stop taking your medication and see a doctor immediately as you will need treatment straight away.

Before taking Metformin, what precautions must I follow?

Inform your doctor if 

  • you are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
  • you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • you have a heart condition, kidney or liver problem
  • you drink alcohol often
  • you are going for a scan/ X-ray. You may need to stop taking metformin for a couple of days

If you need to do fasting blood tests, do not take your medication until your blood has been taken and you have eaten.

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Metformin?

Avoid taking alcohol when you are on medication as it increases the risk of lactic acid buildup in your body..

Metformin - Dosage and How to Use

How should Metformin be used?

Take with or after food. This lowers the chance of getting stomach discomfort, nausea and diarrhea.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Remember to take it with food. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only the usual dose. Do not double your dose or use extra medication to make up for the missed dose.

What should I do if I overdose?

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately.

Metformin - Handling and Storage

How should I handle Metformin safely?

How should I store Metformin?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Metformin safely?

​Pack this medicine into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin.

Metformin - Additional Information

  • Updated on Wednesday, May 8, 2019
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

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