Metformin is an antidiabetic employed either as a monotherapy or in combination with other drugs, such as insulin, to manage type 2 diabetes, a condition characterized by impaired insulin utilization in the body. Belonging to the class of drugs known as biguanides, metformin plays a crucial role in regulating blood glucose levels. It achieves this by reducing the absorption of glucose from food and curtailing the liver’s production of glucose. Metformin also enhances the body’s responsiveness to insulin, a natural substance responsible for controlling blood sugar levels.
Uses and Dosage
Administer this medication orally in accordance with your doctor’s instructions, typically once daily during the evening meal.
While taking this medication, consume an ample amount of fluids, unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider.
Crushing or chewing this medication must be avoided, as doing so can lead to the rapid release of the entire drug, elevating the risk of encountering adverse effects. Refrain from splitting tablets unless they possess a score line and your doctor or pharmacist explicitly advises you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
The prescribed dosage is contingent upon your medical condition, response to treatment, and concurrent medications. To minimize the likelihood of side effects, such as stomach discomfort, your doctor may instruct you to commence this medication at a low dose and gradually increase it. Adhere diligently to your doctor’s instructions in this regard.
To derive the utmost benefit from this medication, take it regularly at the same time each day.
If you are currently using another diabetes drug, such as chlorpropamide, closely follow your doctor’s guidance concerning the discontinuation or continuation of the previous medication and the initiation of metformin.
Your doctor may direct you to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly. Keep a record of the results and share them with your doctor. If your blood sugar measurements are too high or too low, inform your doctor, as adjustments to your dosage or treatment may be necessary.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- stomach pain
- unpleasant metallic taste in mouth
- flushing of the skin
- nail changes
- muscle pain
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- chest pain
Prior to commencing this medication, inform your doctor or pharmacist about any known allergies to metformin or any other substances. This product may contain inactive components that could trigger allergic reactions or other complications.
Before initiating the use of this medication, disclose your medical history to your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have a history of severe breathing problems, blood disorders, kidney disease, or liver disease.
If you are scheduled for surgery or any X-ray/scanning procedure that involves the use of iodinated contrast, inform your doctor or dentist about all the medications you are taking, including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products. There might be a need to temporarily discontinue this medication before the surgery or procedure.
Instances of blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness can arise due to exceedingly low or high blood sugar levels. Until you are confident in your ability to perform such tasks safely, it refrain from activities that require alertness or clear vision, such as driving or operating machinery.
During the course of this medication, limit alcohol intake, as it may heighten the risk of lactic acidosis and lead to low blood sugar.
Dehydration may occur due to factors such as high fever, the use of “water pills” (diuretics like hydrochlorothiazide), excessive sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting, thereby increasing the risk of lactic acidosis. If prolonged diarrhea or vomiting occurs, discontinue the medication promptly and notify your doctor. Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, ensure adequate fluid intake to prevent dehydration.
Stressful situations, such as fever, infection, injury, or surgery, can complicate blood sugar control. Consult your doctor, as such circumstances may necessitate adjustments to your treatment plan, medications, or blood sugar testing.
Older adults may face a higher risk of experiencing side effects like low blood sugar or lactic acidosis.
During pregnancy, the use of this medication should only be considered if clearly necessary. Discuss the potential risks and benefits with your doctor. If you are pregnant, your doctor may advise you to use insulin instead of this product.
Metformin may affect the menstrual cycle by promoting ovulation and increasing the risk of pregnancy. If using this medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist about the use of reliable birth control methods.
Metformin is excreted in small amounts into breast milk. Before breastfeeding, consult your doctor for guidance and appropriate recommendations.
Form and Strength
Glucophage XR is available in the following forms and strengths:
Glucophage XR extended-release tablet:
metformin ER extended-release tablet:
Is Glucophage XR taken once or twice a day?
The starting dose for Glucophage XR is usually once a day with your evening meal. You can continue to take it once a day even at higher doses if that works well for you. Some people have better blood sugar control if they take the medication twice a day.
Why take Glucophage XR at night?
The administration of metformin, as glucophage retard, at bedtime instead of supper time may improve diabetes control by reducing morning hyperglycemia.