Metformin is employed in conjunction with a suitable diet and exercise regimen to manage elevated blood sugar levels. This treatment is primarily intended for patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Metformin restores the body’s natural responsiveness to the insulin it produces and reduces the amount of sugar produced by the liver and the sugar absorbed by the stomach and intestines.
By effectively controlling high blood sugar, metformin aids in preventing potential complications such as kidney damage, vision impairment, nerve disorders, limb loss, and sexual function issues. Maintaining proper diabetes control can lower the risk of heart attacks or strokes.
Uses and Dosage
Metformin is available in three forms: liquid, regular tablets, and extended-release (long-acting) tablets, all to be taken orally. The liquid variant is typically consumed with meals once or twice a day. The regular tablet is usually taken with meals two or three times a day, while the extended-release tablet is taken once daily during the evening meal.
Establish a consistent daily schedule for taking metformin, preferably around the same time(s) each day, to help with adherence. Take metformin exactly as prescribed and avoid altering the dosage or frequency without medical advice.
When using metformin extended-release tablets, swallow them whole without splitting, chewing, or crushing.
Your doctor may initiate treatment with a low metformin dose and gradually increase it, but not more frequently than once every 1–2 weeks. Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels will allow your doctor to assess the effectiveness of metformin.
While metformin helps control diabetes, it is not a cure. Continue taking metformin even if you feel well, and do not discontinue the medication without consulting your doctor.
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 taking this medication, inform your doctor or pharmacist about any allergies you have, especially if you are allergic to metformin or any inactive ingredients present in the product. These inactive components may lead to allergic reactions or other issues.
Before using this medication, disclose your medical history to your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you have a history of severe breathing problems, blood problems, kidney disease, or liver disease.
If you are planning to undergo surgery or any X-ray/scanning procedure involving iodinated contrast, make sure to inform your doctor or dentist about all the products you use, including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products. Depending on the situation, you may need to temporarily discontinue this medication for the surgery/procedure.
Be cautious about experiencing blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness, as these could be indications of extremely low or high blood sugar levels. Until you are certain about your blood sugar status and can safely perform such activities, avoid driving, using machinery, or engaging in tasks requiring alertness and clear vision.
While using this medication, limit alcohol consumption, as it can raise your risk of lactic acidosis and developing low blood sugar.
Dehydration can increase the risk of lactic acidosis, so pay attention to conditions that may cause it, such as high fever, the use of “water pills” (diuretics like hydrochlorothiazide), excessive sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. If you experience prolonged diarrhea or vomiting, stop taking the medication immediately and inform your doctor. Unless directed otherwise by your doctor, ensure you drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration.
Stress on the body, resulting from fever, infection, injury, or surgery, may make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. In such cases, consult your doctor, as increased stress might necessitate changes in your treatment plan, medications, or blood sugar testing.
Older adults may be at a higher risk of experiencing side effects such as low blood sugar or lactic acidosis.
During pregnancy, only use this medication if it is clearly necessary, and discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Your doctor may advise using insulin instead of this product during pregnancy, so follow their instructions carefully.
Metformin can influence the menstrual cycle, promoting ovulation, and increasing the risk of pregnancy. If you are using this medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist about the use of reliable birth control methods.
Metformin passes into breast milk in small quantities, so consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
Form and Strength
Glumetza is available in the following forms and strengths:
Glumetza extended-release tablets:
metformin ER extended-release tablets::
Should I take Glumetza even if I skip a meal?
Some days can be busy and you might not always have time to eat an evening meal. Still, try to take your medication with a light snack. This can help prevent stomach upset, diarrhea, and other stomach-related side effects.
How long does it take for Glumetza to start working?
You may notice improvement in your blood glucose control in 1 to 2 weeks, but the full effect of blood glucose control may take up to 2 to 3 months.