Many diabetic patients are receiving metformin pills for the control of blood sugar levels.
If you are using metformin pills, then am I providing you useful information about it.
What is metformin?
It is an oral medication in order to lower the glucose level in the blood, the most common one used is “Glucophage”.
Metformin is second-generation sulfonylurea medications that are able to sensitize the pancreas to secrete insulin.
The patient should commit to a healthy lifestyle including diet and physical exercise in order to achieve better control of the blood sugar.
Sometimes, patients may need another antidiabetes medication in addition to metformin pills.
The patient should take it at the same time each day.
Indications of metformin pills
It is indicated for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
As a result of controlling the blood sugar, there is a less risk of:
- Heart complications as well as stroke.
- Peripheral nerve damage.
- Renal troubles.
- Sight and eye complications.
- Damage to peripheral blood vessels.
Drug forms and concentration
Usually, physicians recommend 1-3 doses of metformin pills per day to be taken with meals in order to get the best control.
The dose depends on the blood glucose as well as the patient’s response to treatment.
The patient should take metformin pills as a whole without chewing or crushing them.
It`s also available in 3 forms:
- 500 mg
- 850 mg
- 1000 mg
- 500 mg
- 750 mg
- 1000 mg
- 100 mg/mL
Oral suspension, extended-release
- 47.31g/473mL per bottle
- Reconstituted suspension is 500 mg/5mL
The physician can modify the dose secondary to the assessment results of the liver and kidney functions.
Side effect of metformin pills
- Abdominal upset and stomach pain.
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- It is uncommon to cause massive lowering of the blood glucose but if happen the patient will experience dizziness, fatigue, pallor, numbness, and sweating.
- Again, it is rare to cause a serious allergic reaction which if occurred it will lead to skin eruptions, itching, and dizziness, in addition to the difficulty breathing in severe cases.
- Metallic taste.
- Muscle and abdominal pain in cases of developing lactic acidosis which is rare but serious. It can occur in patients with severe infections and alcoholism as well as in patients older than 65 years.
- It should be stopped before any contrast imaging study such as X-ray and CT and then measure the renal functions 48 hours after the study.
- Metformin increases the chance of ovulation with subsequent undesired pregnancy.
- Muscle pain and weakness.
- Moreover, it can cause heartburn and male-digestion.
Interactions with metformin pills
- Low glucose in the blood if the patient is taking another antidiabeteic medication or insulin coincidently with metformin.
- Beta-blockers shouldn’t be taken with metformin because B-blockers can mask the rapid heartbeats in cases of lowering the blood sugar.
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis.
- Severe kidney disease.
- Liver disease.
- Heart failure.
Metformin and alcohol
The chronic alcoholism with the intake of metformin pills can induce lactic acidosis. it is a rare complication but serious.
In addition, it can induce a fatal lowering of the blood glucose level.
There are no enough studies on the effect of metformin pills on pregnancy as regards the risk of abortion or fetal abnormalities.
Animal studies on rabbits and rats didn’t proof any side effects.
Human reports after marketing the medication didn’t show fetal complications related to the intake of it. but this not enough yet.