Updated: December 4, 2017
is a prescription drug used to treat type 2 diabetes by help lowering
your blood sugar levels to a target range. This is also used in
treating PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).
Metformin can cause mild and serious side effects, which are the same in men and women. The side effects include diabetic neuropathy, brain fog, and digestive issues. It belongs to a class of medications called biguanides. Most prescribed names in metformin category include fortamet, glucophage, glucophage XR, riomet, glumetza, formin, daomet SR, met-500 and bigomet.
2 Diabetes is a chronic disease that requires lifelong management with
medication. Metformin if taken for a longer period of time, along with
its benefits it is more likely to create side effects.
acidosis is a rare but serious problem that can occur due to a buildup
of metformin in your body. It is a medical emergency that must be
treated right away in the hospital.
can decrease the levels of vitamin B-12 in your body. This can cause
anemia in rare cases. Vitamin B-12 levels can be improved by taking
vitamin B-12 supplements.
Check your red blood cell levels if you have these symptoms.
Metformin alone does not cause hypoglycemia.
It may develop hypoglycemia if taken in combination with other diabetes
medications, excessive alcohol intake, a poor diet and strenuous
help prevent hypoglycemia, take your medications on schedule, follow a
well-balanced diet and exercise as directed by your doctor.
There are several factors which can raise the risk of lactic acidosis while you take metformin. These include:
of the most important role of kidney in your body is to filter waste
materials from the blood and expel them from the body as urine. If your
kidneys are not working properly, they can not remove metformin from
your body resulting in higher levels of metformin in your system. This
raises your risk of lactic acidosis.
If you have mild or moderate kidney problems, a lower dosage of metformin can be prescribed. But if you have severe kidney problems or are 80 years or older, metformin may not be right for you. You should do a kidney function test before starting metformin. This test should be done every year after the age of 80.
If you have acute heart failure
or have recently had a heart attack, metformin is not recommended for
you. In this condition your heart may not be able to send enough blood
to your kidneys which would prevent your kidneys from removing metformin
from your body as well as they normally would, raising your risk of
One of the function
of liver is to clears lactic acid from your body. If you have severe
liver problems, your lever would not be able to remove lactic acid from
your body which could lead to a buildup of lactic acid. Lactic acid
buildup raises your risk of lactic acidosis. In addition metformin also
raises your risk. So its not advisable to take metformin if you have
Drinking alcohol while taking
metformin raises your risk of hypoglycemia. As it increases lactic acid
levels in your body, it also raises your risk of lactic acidosis.
reacts adversely and severely with certain drugs that are given prior
to imaging or CT scan procedures. If you need to get a scan done, you
should stop taking metformin for a few days before and after the scan.
If you have any of the above issue, discuss it with your doctor before starting metformin.