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 medicine 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.