What do metformin tablets do?
METFORMIN (Glucophage(R)) is a medicine used to treat Type II diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent diabetes). Treatment is combined with a balanced diet and exercise. This medicine lowers blood sugar and helps your body to use insulin more efficiently. It is sometimes used with other medicines for diabetes.
What should my health care professional know before I take metformin?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
• frequently drink alcohol or alcohol-containing beverages
• become easily dehydrated
• heart attack
• heart failure that is treated with medications
• hormone changes or problems
• kidney disease
• liver disease
• polycystic ovaries
• serious infection or injury
• thyroid disease
• undergoing surgery or certain x-ray procedures with injectable contrast agents
• an unusual or allergic reaction to metformin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
• pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I take this medicine?
Take metformin tablets by mouth, with meals. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What other medicines can interact with metformin?
• water pills (diuretics like amiloride, furosemide, triamterene)
Many medications may cause changes (increase or decrease) in blood sugar, these include:
• alcohol containing beverages
• aspirin and aspirin-like drugs
• beta-blockers, often used for high blood pressure or heart problems (examples include atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol)
• female hormones, such as estrogens, progestins, or contraceptive pills
• male hormones or anabolic steroids
• medications for weight loss
• medicines for allergies, asthma, cold, or cough
• some herbal dietary supplements
• steroid medicines such as prednisone or cortisone
• thyroid hormones
• water pills (diuretics)
Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What side effects may I notice from taking metformin?
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
• breathing difficulties or shortness of breath
• muscle aches or pains
• passing out or fainting
• severe vomiting or diarrhea
• slow or irregular heartbeat
• unusual stomach pain or discomfort
• unusual weakness, fatigue or discomfort
In combination with other diabetic medications, (like acarbose, glyburide, glipizide, miglitol, or insulin), metformin may cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Contact your health care professional if you experience symptoms of low blood sugar, which may include:
• anxiety or nervousness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, hunger, pale skin, nausea, fatigue, sweating, headache, palpitations, numbness of the mouth, tingling in the fingers, tremors, muscle weakness, blurred vision, cold sensations, uncontrolled yawning, irritability, rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, and loss of consciousness
Symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) include:
• dizziness, dry mouth, flushed dry-skin, fruit-like breath odor, loss of appetite, nausea, stomach ache, unusual thirst, frequent passing of urine
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
• decreased appetite
• metallic taste in the mouth
• mild stomachache
• weight loss