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metformin

This medicine is indicated in maturity onset diabetes either alone or with sulphonylureas. It is also used as adjuvant therapy in insulin dependent diabetes, particularly in obese patients.

Contradications

This medicine is contraindicated in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis (life threatening condition in which liver breaks down fats into ketones for energy) or precoma (a state of near unconsciousness), renal (kidney) or hepatic (liver) impairment, acute conditions predisposing to renal impairment, cardiac or respiratory failure, recent myocardial infarction (heart attack), alcoholism and in patients with administration of iodinated contrast materials.

Side effects

GI upset, taste disturbance, abnormal liver function tests, hepatitis (inflammatory condition of liver), skin reactions, reduced B12 absorption are some of its side effects. Rarely it may cause lactic acidosis (buildup of lactate causing acidic pH of blood stream).

Expert Advice

Avoid this medication if:

  • You are allergic to this medicine or its contents 

Consult your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant, planning to have a child, or breastfeeding.
  • If you are avoiding unwanted pregnancy, so that your doctor may suggest a suitable form of birth control. Due to Metformin's effects on ovulation and pregnancy.
  • You have any sort of digestive problems after taking this medicine: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
  • You have a medical history of: Liver diseases, kidney diseases, congestive heart failure, or lung disease.
  • If you are about to undergo any medical or surgical treatment. 
  • If you are about to undergo any CT scan, or X-ray, as it may interact with the dyes used in some pf these procedures.
  • If you have a B12 deficiency, are anemic, or are developing symptoms of anemia, Such as: lethargy, aches and pains,  or a pale appearance to the skin. 

Be careful about:

  • Having your meals on time to maintain blood sugar levels.
  • Taking the medicine timely, in the way that your physician has prescribed (with food), this will help avoid digestive disturbances.
  • Alcohol consumption.
  • Avoiding dehydration in any form.

FAQs

What family of drugs does this medicine belong to?

Metformin belongs to a class of drugs known as biguanides. It is used to improve insulin activity, and control weight in diabetic patients. It is also known to regulate menstrual cycles (periods) and is used in the treatment of PCOs (Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease.)

Does this medicine contain hormones, or insulin?

No, this drug does not contain hormones, or insulin,. It enhances the effect of insulin, which helps patients with diabetes or PCOs, since their bodies tend to develop a resistance to the actions of insulin.

Can this drug be used with thyroid medications, and steroids?

Though there is no dangerous drug interaction, an adjustment in doses of both anti thyroid drugs, and steroids (eg: prednisone) may be required. It should be noted that patients taking steroids sometimes develop diabetes as a side effect. Please consult your physician, and discuss all the medicines you are taking, including their doses.

What is lactic acidosis and does this medication cause it?

Lactic acidosis is a very rare, and potentially fatal side effect of this medication. It occurs when there is an excessive buildup of lactic acid in the body. It may occur in patients who have overdosed. Symptoms include stomach problems, dizziness, breathing difficulty, muscle aches, irregular heartbeat, etc. Patients who experience these symptoms should go to a doctor immediately.

How long should I use this medication for?

Please use this medicine for the time that has been prescribed, and in the dose prescribed by your physician. Using it for longer than prescribed can cause side effects such as Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Can this medicine cause low blood sugar?

Low blood sugar is rare with Metformin, but it is a possible side effect, especially if you are taking other anti-diabetic drugs. Please maintain regularity in meals, dosage, and exercise to maintain blood sugar levels, and continue monitoring sugar levels. Also carry sugar or a sugary drink in case you feel dizzy, or develop any other sign of low blood sugar.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

You can take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If you remember when it is almost time for your next dose, then skip the missed dose entirely. Do not double your dose to catch up for missed doses.

What will happen if I skip a meal?

It is important to maintain regularity in meals, and exercise. Low blood sugar is rare, but may occur if you are taking other anti-diabetic medication.

Will this medicine make me loose or gain weight?

Weight gain is unlikely with this medicine, however, it does cause weight loss. This is because it improves the actions of insulin, and decreases hunger. Please take note that this drug is not a medicine which treats weight loss, and should only be used if prescribed by your physician. This medicine may, however, cause bloating. It is best taken after meals to avoid this side effect.

Can this medication cause any Vitamin deficiency or anemia?

This medication can result in a vitamin B12 deficiency after being used for a long time, and this can cause anemia. Please discuss with your doctor if you are already anemic, or if you start experiencing symptoms such as paleness, weakness, lethargy, etc.

Is it safe to use in patients with liver disease?

In patients who have fatty liver, and hepatitis C related liver disease, it is safe and is recommended. However, it is discouraged in patients who have liver cirrhosis, due to its association with lactic acidosis.

Medicines containing metformin

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Rs.15

Diabescot 1gm

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Diabescot 500mg

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Diabescot 850mg

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Diabimin 500mg

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Glucoformin 1gm

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Rs.14

Glucoformin 500mg

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Rs.10

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Rs.10

Glucoformin 850gm

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Rs.12

Glucoformin 850gm

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Glucomate 500mg

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Glucophage 1gm

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Glucophage 250mg

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Glucophage 500mg

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Glucophage 850mg

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Glucosic 500mg

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Glucosic 500mg

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Glumet 500mg

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Glumin 500mg

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Lowmet 1gm

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Lowmet 500mg

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Mephage 500mg

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Metadox 1gm

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Metadox 500mg

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Rs.10

Metadox 850mg

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Metadox 850mg

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Metfor 1gm

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Metfor 500mg

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Metform 1gm

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Metform 500mg

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Metformed 1gm

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Metformed 500mg

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Metphage 850mg

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Metwil xr 500mg

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Metwil xr 850mg

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Neodipar 1gm

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Neodipar 250mg

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Neodipar 500mg

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Neodipar 850mg

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Neophage 500mg

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Novinormin 500mg

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Novinormin 850mg

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Pharmin 500mg

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Regain xr 500mg

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Regain xr 850mg

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Robustin 1gm

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Robustin 500mg

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Sugamet 500mg

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Sugarphage 1gm

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Sugarphage 500mg

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Tabrophage 500mg

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Xormet 500mg

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Glucophage XR 750mg

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