Metformin Side Effects


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What is Metformin

Metformin is a drug prescribed for type 2 diabetes. It decreases the amount of sugar made by the liver. It also decreases sugar that is absorbed in the body. Meformin is also known as Glucophage and is used to treat non-insulin dependent diabetes.  Some of the more notable Metformin side effects are listed below.

Common Metformin Side Effects

  • Indigestion and/or upset stomach
  • Nausea
  • Cold symptoms
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Diarrhea

There are some symptoms that may occur from taking Metformin that are very severe but not nearly as common the above mentioned side effects they include:

  • Discomfort in the chest and/or pain
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Other types of vision changes
  • Painful bones
  • Loss of appetite
  • Severe headaches
  • Feeling chilled
  • Allergic reactions which may include hives, rashes, difficulty in breathing and swelling of the mouth and face
  • Pale stools

If any of these rather severe side effects happen to you while taking Metformin/Pioglitazone you should contact your physician immediately. It bears saying that this is not a full list of Metformin’s side effects. If you desire to see the entire list please contact your health care professional and they can provide one for you.

The Best Way to Take Metformin:

  • Meformin is taken by mouth 1 to 3 times a day.
  • The long acting type of Meformin should be taken only 1 time a day, preferrably with dinner
  • It can cause an upset stomach so it is wise to take your dose with food.

Metabolic Situations

Lactic acidosis is a very serious medical condition that requires medical attention as soon as possible. Some patients who are being given Meformin may show symptoms of myalgia and/ or malaise and abdominal pain may be experiencing this medical condition. The fatality rate with this condition is as high as 50%. That is why it is very wise to have this patient evaluated for this condition. There are signs that a person may be experiencing symptoms of lactic acidosis. These include:

  • Dyspnea
  • Hypotension
  • Bradycardia

metformin side effectsThis is a very serious situation and hemodialysis is required to correct the acidosis. Acidosis has the possibility of being fatal and is a severe metabolic condition. The reported cases have only been about 1.5 cases in 10,000. So although serious, this is a very rare condition.

Hypoglycemia is another side effect of Metformin use. Exercise and decreased food intake are all factors that may affect whether or not a patient experiences this side effect.

Important Information on Metformin Side Effects

If you are planning on being x-rayed or having a CT scan where they are going to inject any kind of a dye into your bloodstream, you will have to stop taking Metformin temporarily. It is also very important to let your physician know if you have ever had heart or liver complications before taking this drug.

Information on how to take Metformin

metforminIf you are prescribed Metformin you should take it precisely as it was prescribed by your doctor. You should read the information provided to you by your pharmacist and follow the label instructions as well. Do not take this medication in smaller or larger doses unless advised to do so by your doctor. You should always take your Metformin with a meal so as to avoid any nausea or stomach upset. Many times (as stated earlier) this drug is prescribed just once a day and taken with an evening meal.

Metformin should be combined with proper eating and regular exercise to be its most effective in treating diabetes. Also if you want to benefit the most from this drug it should be taken regularly. It is not good to skip doses of Metformin. It is best to have the prescription refilled before you completely run out so that you don’t miss a dose. If you are prescribed an extended release form of this drug, it is very important to never crush or break the pills. If you do, you could end up with too much Metformin in your system at once. You should only take it exactly as it is prescribed.

You should always visit your physician regularly while on this medication. Your doctor will need to test your blood glucose levels on a scheduled basis. Your doctor may decide to perform other blood tests on you as well. That is why it is advised to visit your health care professional very regularly. If you have a tendency to drink alcohol, skip meals or exercise very strenuously you will need to have your blood glucose checked more often. You want to avoid any complications with Metformin and protect your overall health. If you suddenly become sick or develop any kind of fever, your doctor may very well have you stop taking Metformin until you are recovered from your illness. Do not change your own dosage of Metformin. Contact your doctor before making any changes in the way you take this medication.

Meformin and Alcohol Do Not Mix

Alcohol can exacerbate the symptoms of metabolic acidosis. Patients who are taking Meformin should avoid alcohol. There are over 600 drugs that could adversely interact with Meformin. A few of these drugs include:

  • Crestor
  • Cymbalta
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Hexabrix
  • Metrizamide
  • Renovist
  • Optiray

There is a complete list online of drugs that react with Meformin. You should definitely familiarize yourself with them and avoid taking those drugs while on Meformin.

Meformin is a commonly prescribed drug for type 2 diabetes. You should consult with a physician to see if Meformin is a right choice for you and your medical situation. It can be a highly effective drug when it comes to treating the symptoms that come along with diabetes. You should take it properly and on the schedule prescribed by your doctor to see its full benefits.