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Metformin is an oral medication that helps to balance blood sugar levels. The drug is prescribed to patients with type 2 diabetes. The medication can be combined with insulin or other treatments for a better effect. Additionally, Metformin can be used for other conditions that are not mentioned in the safety leaflet.

Availability: 58 packsActive Ingredient: metformin

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Metformin is an oral medication taken to control the sugar levels in the blood.  The majority of the patients taking this medication are those diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

This drug is considered to be the first line of treatment for Diabetes Mellitus type 2, and sometimes for patients with polycystic ovary syndrome.

It is widely known as Glucophage, but also known in other brand names such as Fortamet, Glumetza and Riomet.

The History of Metformin?

Metformin was discovered in 1922 and was included in the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines.  It was introduced in the United States in 1995.  It is a widely used drug taken to combat diabetes.

How Does Metformin Work?

Metformin helps the body re-establish normal glucose blood levels.  This is done by ensuring the production of insulin, which regulates and combats excess glucose in the bloodstream.  It also inhibits the absorption of sugar in the liver, stomach and intestines.

How Do I Take Metformin?

There are 2 forms of Metformin, a liquid and a tablet, which also comes in extended release form.  The regular tablet is taken with meals, usually two to three times per day, depending on the physician’s recommendation.  The extended release, however, is only taken once per day, usually during the evening after dinner.

Ensure that you swallow the medication whole and avoid splitting, chewing or crushing.  This may cause more of the medication to be released than is recommended.

How Effective Is Metformin?

Metformin is very effective in controlling blood sugar and ensuring that proper levels are maintained.  Different studies show that while using Metformin, you’re less likely need to use other drugs to control blood sugar.  Metformin is also one of the oldest drugs developed for treatment of Diabetes, and has continually proven that it is still the best treatment in the market.

What If I Missed Taking a Dose?

It is advised to take Metformin the same time each day, not only to maintain and establish a good level of glucose in the blood, but also to ensure that you don’t forget to take the medication.  In case that you forgot to take the medication at your designated time, take the missed dose immediately, and if it is nearly time to take your next dosed, skip the missed one and continue with your regular schedule.  Avoid taking double doses since this may lead to hypoglycemia.

What If I Am Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

There is still no clear indication that Metformin is absolutely safe for pregnant women.  It is highly suggested that this drug be used during pregnancy only if absolutely needed.  For those who are breastfeeding, it is highly suggested to stop breastfeeding first, since the medication is excreted into human milk.

What Are the Side Effects?

There are different side effects that are directly related to the medication, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea

Stomach irritability is a common side effect felt during the first few days of medication intake, however, if this persists, it is important to report this to your doctor immediately.

It is unlikely to experience a drop in blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia, but if you experience sudden sweating, blurred vision or tingling hands and feet, it is best to have glucose tablets on hand to counteract the effects of Metformin.

What Are the Drug Interactions? What If I am Taking Other Medications?

There are different things to note when taking this medication.  Inform your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Pre-existing allergies, especially to any of the ingredients in Metformin.
  • History of liver or heart disease. The chances of developing lactic acidosis, where the oxygen level in the body drops, may be higher.

Essential Information

It is important to keep a record of your blood sugar levels.  This is to easily help you to know if the drug is having a positive effect.

A diabetic bracelet as identification should also be worn.  This is for immediate treatment in cases of overdose, hypoglycemia or if any adverse reaction is experienced.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions when it comes to dosage amounts and method of injestion.

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