Metformin – Facts and Features of a Type 2 Diabetes Medication

What do we know about diabetes? Unfortunately, most people will not be able to give a detailed answer to this question. Many of us have heard about the existence of such a disease, but few people know about its prevalence among the inhabitants of the planet and the danger that it carries. Often diabetes becomes a concomitant disorder and doctors rarely diagnose it at an early stage. People who are overweight and obese are especially likely to have type 2 diabetes. Complications that it can cause are also very dangerous. In some cases, they can lead not only to serious health problems but also to the death of the patient. Therefore, it is very important to monitor your health and undergo an annual diabetes test. Fortunately, modern medicine and drugs can stop the development of the disease and prevent dangerous situations. Today we will tell you about one popular drug. Its name is Metformin.

What is Metformin?

Metformin is a highly effective hypoglycemic drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The medicine was first known in 1922 but gained great popularity in the mid-90s of the last century when the American pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb began its production.

Endocrinologists prescribe Metformin to patients who are overweight or obese, as well as to those people for whom the diabetic diet and exercise have not had the desired effect. The active substance is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and begins to act in several directions at once. Firstly, the intestinal absorption of glucose decreases. Secondly, the production of glucose in the liver is reduced. Thirdly, the sensitivity of cells to insulin is enhanced. As a result, blood sugar is reduced to an acceptable range. Taking Metformin stabilizes blood glucose levels and helps to gradually reduce patient weight. This feature distinguishes medicine among similar hypoglycemic agents.

Dosage form

Metformin is available in the form of oval biconvex tablets of white color. One tablet may contain 500, 850 or 1000 mg of the active substance. The pills are located in plastic blisters, which are in environmentally friendly packaging.

What is the composition of the drug?

Metformin hydrochloride is the main active ingredient. Besides, each tablet contains auxiliary components: povidone, polydextrose, macrogol, magnesium stearate. All of these ingredients are safe and not harmful to health.

Metformin taking

Method of administration and dosage

Before you start taking Metformin, you need to consult with a specialist. Only the attending physician prescribes the correct dosage of the medicine, based on the patient’s medical history.

Nevertheless, the initial dosage for adults is 500 mg 1-3 times a day, depending on the level of glucose in the blood. It is possible to take 850 mg 1-2 times a day. If necessary, the endocrinologist can gradually increase the dose with an interval of 1 week to 2-3 g / day. Within a few weeks, it is necessary to measure the level of glucose in the blood.

The initial dosage for children over 10 years old is 750 mg 1 time or 500 mg 2 times a day. The dose may also gradually increase depending on the results.

The maintenance dose of Metformin for both adults and children is usually 1,500–2,000 mg/day. The maximum daily dosage should not exceed 3000 mg. Particular attention should be paid to combination therapy. In this case, the dosage is determined individually and depends on the drugs used.

Metformin is taken orally. A person should take medicine during or immediately after a meal. Fatty foods do not affect the effectiveness of the active substance. However, the use of alcoholic beverages is not advisable, as it can significantly reduce the effectiveness of the drug. Also, it is very important to constantly monitor the functions of the body. You should stop taking the medicine in case of any problems.


Endocrinologists often use Metformin in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The drug is especially suitable for obese people. However, it has some contraindications in which the use of medicine is prohibited:

  • Renal failure
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Dehydration
  • Severe infection
  • Individual intolerance to components
  • Chronic cardiovascular disease
  • Age up to 10 and over 65 years

In these cases, taking Metformin is prohibited, as it may be harmful to your health. Can I use the medicine during pregnancy or breastfeeding? Special studies that could confidently answer this question have not been conducted. Therefore, the use of Metformin during pregnancy is possible in cases of emergency, when the expected benefit of therapy for the mother outweighs the possible risk to the baby. The attending physician can only make this decision.

Side Effects of Metformin

Clinical studies have proven that Metformin is a safe drug that does not harm human health. However, side effects may occur due to personal intolerance to the components or overdose. Endocrinologists register them no more than 5% of the total number of people using Metformin. Most often, you will meet:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Weakness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dermatitis

If such symptoms appear, you should immediately stop taking the medicine. Contact your doctor who will change the daily dosage or prescribe another hypoglycemic agent.

Drug interaction

Metformin actively interacts with other medicines. As a result, its hypoglycemic properties can both increase and decrease. Therefore, before sharing several drugs, be sure to consult a specialist to avoid unpleasant situations.

How to store the medicine?

Metformin should be stored in a dry, dark place at a temperature of 15–25 ° C. Children should not have access to it. The shelf life under such conditions will be 2 years. After the expiration date, taking the medicine is prohibited.

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