Metformin: Use and Side Effects

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What is Metformin?

Metformin is a prescription drug. It comes as an oral tablet and a solution.

There are two forms of metformin oral tablets: immediate-release and extended-release. The immediate-release tablet is available as the drug Glucophage. The extended-release tablet is available as drugs Glucophage XR and Fortamet.

Both tablet forms are also available as generic drugs. Generic drugs usually cost less than brand-name versions.

Metformin Uses

Metformin tablets are used to treat high blood sugar levels caused due to type 2 diabetes. They’re used in combination with diet and exercise. The drug may be used as part of a combination therapy, which means you may need to take it along with other drugs.


How It Works:

Metformin belongs to a class of drugs called biguanides. It works by:

  • reducing the amount of glucose (sugar)
  • decreasing the amount of glucose the body absorbs
  • increasing the effect of insulin on the body

What if You Take Too Much?

If you take too many metformin tablets by accident, contact your healthcare provider right away.

An overdose of metformin tablets can cause serious health problems, which are severe and quick to appear.

They include:

  • tummy pain
  • diarrhoea
  • fast or shallow breathing
  • feeling cold and unusual sleepiness
  • tiredness, or weakness

Side Effects:

  • feeling sick
  • diarrhoea
  • stomach pain
  • loss of appetite
  • metallic taste in the mouth

Read More: How Do Diuretics Affect Blood Sugar Levels?

Serious side effects:

  • weakness
  • unusual muscle pain
  • Breathing issues
  • unusual sleepiness
  • stomach pains, nausea, or vomiting
  • dizziness
  • light-headed 
  • slow – irregular heart rate

Managing sugar levels is essential for a diabetic. Along with prescribed medication, keep a check on sugar levels even on the go using a glucometer

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