Metformin is a biguanide anti-diabetic that works by decreasing the amount of sugar that the liver produces and the intestines absorb.
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Metformin is used for treating type 2 diabetes. It is used along with diet and exercise. It may be used alone or with other anti-diabetic medicines.
How to use
Use Metformin as directed by your doctor.
Take Metformin by mouth with food.
Take Metformin on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it. Taking Metformin at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
Continue to take Metformin even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Metformin.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Metformin is a biguanide antidiabetic. It works by decreasing the amount of sugar that the liver produces and the intestines absorb. It also helps to make your body more sensitive to the insulin that you naturally produce.
If you miss a dose of Metformin and are using it regularly, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Store Metformin between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Metformin out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Do not use Metformin if:
you are allergic to any ingredient in Metformin;
you have congestive heart failure that is treated by medicine;
you have a severe infection, low blood oxygen levels, kidney or liver problems, high blood ketone or acid levels (e.g., diabetic ketoacidosis), or severe dehydration;
you have had a stroke or a recent heart attack, or you are in shock;
you are 80 years old or older and have not had a kidney function test;
you will be having surgery or certain lab procedures.
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Dizziness may occur while you are taking Metformin. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Metformin with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
Follow the diet and exercise program given to you by your health care provider.
Do not drink large amounts of alcohol while you use Metformin. Talk to your doctor or health care provider before you drink alcohol while you use Metformin.
Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Metformin before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
Be careful not to become dehydrated, especially during hot weather or while you are being active. Dehydration may increase the risk of Metformin 's side effects.
Carry an ID card at all times that says you have diabetes. Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your doctor. If they are often higher or lower than they should be and you take Metformin exactly as prescribed, tell your doctor.
This medicine does not usually lower your blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar may be more likely to occur if you skip a meal, exercise heavily, or drink alcohol. It may also be more likely if you take Metformin along with certain medicines for diabetes (e.g., sulfonylureas, insulin). It is a good idea to carry a reliable source of glucose (e.g., tablets or gel) to treat low blood sugar. If this is not available, you should eat or drink a quick source of sugar like table sugar, honey, candy, orange juice, or non-diet soda. This will raise your blood sugar level quickly. Tell your doctor right away if this happens. To prevent low blood sugar, eat meals at the same time each day and do not skip meals.
Fever, infection, injury, or surgery may increase your risk for high or low blood sugar levels. If any of these occur, check your blood sugar closely and tell your doctor right away.
Metformin may commonly cause stomach upset, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea at the beginning of treatment. If you develop unusual or unexpected stomach problems, or if you develop stomach problems later during treatment, contact your doctor at once. This may be a sign of lactic acidosis.
Lab tests, including kidney function, fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, and blood counts, may be performed while you use Metformin. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
Use Metformin with caution in the elderly; they may be more sensitive to its effects. Low blood sugar levels may also be more difficult to recognize in the elderly.
Metformin should not be used in children younger than 10 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Metformin while you are pregnant. It is not known if Metformin is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Metformin.