Most people do not think about the dangers that await them every day. An improper diet with lots of sweets or sodas leads to a sharp increase in blood sugar. Add fast food to a similar menu and get the first signs of being overweight. Extra pounds not only interfere with normal life but also lead to various diseases. Obesity is an important factor in the development of prediabetes and then type 2 diabetes. The disorder is not as easy to manage, as it may seem. Often, lifestyle changes do not help much, so endocrinologists prescribe special medicines. Glucophage stands out from all such medicines. Our Glucophage review will tell you why this drug has received high appreciation among specialists.
Table of Contents
What is Glucophage?
Glucophage is a hypoglycemic drug manufactured by the French company Merck Sante. Its active substance is Metformin. Once in the patient’s body, the medicine performs the following actions:
- Increases cell sensitivity to insulin
- Reduces the production of glucose in the liver
- Reduces intestinal absorption of glucose
This leads to a gradual reduction in blood sugar and normalizes the patient’s condition. Glucophage differs from similar drugs in milder effects, so there is no sharp jump in glucose. The patient is protected from any signs of hypocalcemia.
Endocrinologists use the drug in cases where lifestyle changes have not helped return sugar levels to normal values. This is especially true for people suffering from obesity. Long-term use of Glucophage, in this case, leads to a gradual normalization of the patient’s condition. Endocrinologists use it to treat type 2 diabetes. Besides, Glucophage is especially effective during a prediabetic state, when a person still has the opportunity to avoid chronic disease.
Merck Sante produces the medicine in 3 different dosages: 500mg, 850mg, and 1000mg. A separate volume of the active substance is suitable for a different case of the disease. We will talk about this a bit later. Glucophage tablets have a biconvex round (500 and 800 mg) or oval (1000 mg), coated with a white shell. They are packaged in blisters of 10.15 or 20 pcs. Separate environmentally friendly packaging contains a different number of blisters, from 2 to 5 pcs each. Thus, the manufacturer provides the buyer with a wide choice for the purchase of the necessary volume of medicine.
What is the composition of the drug?
As we said earlier, the main active ingredient is Metformin. In addition to it, each tablet contains several auxiliary components. Among them: povidone, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, etc. They are safe and do not harm human health.
How to take Glucophage?
It is strictly forbidden to independently decide on the start of taking the drug. It can only be prescribed by the attending physician after appropriate consultation. The patient should take Glucophage orally with a glass of water during or after meals. Using the drug on an empty stomach is not recommended. Taking the medicine is separate (2-3 times a day), and the daily dosage depends on the development of the disorder and the age of the patient.
An adult patient should start taking the drug at a dosage of 500 mg 2-3 times a day in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In this case, the endocrinologist must select the necessary dosage every 10-15 days, depending on the adjustment of the glucose level in the blood. After normalizing the patient’s condition, the specialist will prescribe a maintenance dosage, which is most often 1800–2000 mg per day. It is worth remembering that the maximum permitted dose is 3000 mg per day. If this value is exceeded, an overdose may occur.
The use of Glucophage in the pre-diabetic state is slightly different since in this case it is too early to talk about diabetes and it is very important to regularly measure blood glucose levels. The dosage of the drug depends on the indications and is in the range from 1000 mg to 1700 mg per day. In this case, the patient should take the required volume for 2 times.
For children over 10 years old, endocrinologists prescribe a lower dosage. In the beginning, it is 500 mg or 850 mg 1 time per day. The attending physician will adjust the dose 10-15 days after the start of the medication. In this case, the maximum daily dosage will be no more than 2000 mg, divided by 2-3 times.
In all cases, the patient can take Glucophage both in mono and in combination therapy, in which the dosage will be determined individually.
Like all medications, Glucophage has some contraindications that should be considered before taking the drug. Therefore, it is very important to inform the endocrinologist about all your diseases. The specialist will take them into account when prescribing the medicine. Glucophage is not allowed in the following situations:
- Renal or liver failure
- Diabetic precoma or coma
- Acute alcohol poisoning
- Surgical operations
- The period of breastfeeding
- Age under 10 and over 60 years
- Individual intolerance to the components of the drug
In all the situations described, Metformin may adversely affect the patient’s health.
Clinical trials conducted during product certification have confirmed the complete safety of Glucophage. Despite this, the drug can cause some non-dangerous side effects, in case of individual intolerance to the components of the drug or an overdose. Endocrinologists most often record the following manifestations:
- Violation of the digestive tract
- Violation of taste perception
Glucophage differs from competitors in low toxicity. Nevertheless, if the described symptoms appear, stop taking the drug. The attending physician will lower the daily dosage, or replace the drug with a more suitable remedy.
Glucophage actively interacts with certain groups of drugs. The patient is obliged to inform the endocrinologist about all the drugs that he takes. Otherwise, health effects may be harmful.
Metformin enhances the hypoglycemic effect when combined with other drugs in this group. That is why it is very important to adhere to the prescribed dosage of the drug, not exceeding the recommended amount. Inadvertent administration of Glucophage together with other medications can lead to lactic acidosis (a very life-threatening condition).
The manufacturer recommends storing Glucophage in a dark, dry place at temperatures above +25 degrees Celsius. Children should never have access to it. Subject to these simple rules, the shelf life will be 3 years for drugs with a dosage of 500 mg or 850 mg, and 5 years for a drug with a dosage of 1000 mg.