What Is Metformin?

Metformin is a medication particularly well suited for type 2 diabetes. The unique way that it works makes it unsuitable for treating type 1 diabetes or for most other medical conditions.


It offers a range of benefits that extend beyond the basic ability to lower blood sugar. By decreasing the amount of glucose in the body, this drug also decreases the risk of hypertension and protects the heart against various conditions. It also decreases the body’s ability to feel hungry, thereby reducing appetite and helping some people lose weight. It is actually so effective at shedding pounds that many people attempt to use it for that benefit alone, though doctors certainly do not recommend that.

Side Effects

The most significant side effect to be concerned about with Metformin is lactic acidosis. This condition is characterised as extremely low blood sugar and includes the symptoms dizziness, headache, nausea and stomach pain. This occurs when you take too much Metformin and your blood sugar lowers to dangerous levels or when you take another substance that lowers blood sugar and use it in conjunction with Metformin.

If you start to notice the symptoms of lactic acidosis, you should contact medical help right away. If not treated immediately, the condition can be fatal.

If you did not take too much Metformin or do anything else to abnormally lower your blood sugar, you may still experience some of those same symptoms, albeit in milder forms. You should still pay attention to them and at least let your doctor know that you are experiencing some side effects.

Metformin interacts badly with alcohol. Both substances can lower your blood sugar; so, when they are combined, they can become quite dangerous. Your doctor will likely advise you not to drink alcohol while you are taking Metformin.

Dosing Information

Your doctor will tell you how much Metformin you need to take. You will want to follow your doctor’s direction precisely, as too much Metformin can cause an overdose and lead to lactic acidosis and too little will be ineffective at treating your high blood sugar levels.

You should always take this medication with a meal or with a thick drink of some sort. There are different kinds of Metformin available, and certain types should only be taken during the evening with your meal. Your doctor will let you know when yours should be taken.

If you miss a dose, then you can make it up, if you remember shortly after your scheduled dosing time. If you remember closer to your next dose, then just take your normally scheduled dose. Do not try to take a double dose to make up for a missed dose. This can easily result in an overdose.

You may be given specific dosing instructions by your doctor due to your medical condition. You will want to follow those precisely, as certain medications or medical conditions can interfere with this medication. Your doctor may tell you to take your various medications at different times so that they are less likely to interfere with one another.

If you believe that Metformin is causing an unpleasant interaction or is causing you to experience side effects, then let your doctor know. Your doctor may want to adjust the dosage or prescribe an alternative medication for you.

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