Metformin belongs to the Biguanide group of medicines used to treat diabetes mellitus and reduce blood sugar levels.
Uses of Metformin
It is used for Type 2 diabetes mellitus (‘non-insulin dependent diabetes’) when diet and exercise have not been able to control your blood glucose levels.
Contraindications of Metformin
When should one not use Metformin
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease (severe)
- Heart failure
- Severe respiratory disease
- If you are a heavy drinker of alcohol
- If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to Metformin
- If you have a severe infection such as infections of lung or your kidney. Infections can increase the risk for lactic acidosis (see 'Warnings and precautions')
Side effects of Metformin
Common side effects of this drug are:
- The most common side effects of Metformin are loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach ache and mild diarrhea. Do not stop taking medicine if you experience these as these are transient and shall go away after a few weeksread less
- Altered taste sensations
- Decreased Vitamin B12 levels
- Skin rashes, redness, itching and hives
- Weight loss is also a known side effect which is desirable in young and middle-aged obese patients
- A rare but severe side effect of Metformin is lactic acidosis (symptoms: nausea, vomiting, generalized muscle weakness and rapid breathing; see warnings section)
- Metformin does not usually cause sudden low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- If Metformin is prescribed with other anti-diabetic medications, there may be an occurrence of low blood sugar level
- Metformin can cause abnormal liver function tests and hepatitis. If you notice yellowing of the eyes or skin, contact your doctor immediately
Precautions and Warnings of Metformin
Can I take Metformin during pregnancy?
In general, in pregnancy-related diabetes, insulin is preferred over any oral blood-glucose-lowering medicines as a thumb rule. Your doctor will mostly not prescribe this medicine to you in pregnancy. Do not use in pregnancy without a doctor’s advice.
Can I take Metformin while breastfeeding?
It is known to pass into mother’s milk. So it should be not taken in breastfeeding.
Can I drive if I have consumed Metformin?
If you are taking Metformin along with other antidiabetic medicines, there are chances your blood sugar can fall. You may experience faintness, confusion and increased sweating. So, in this case, you should take extra care while driving. Keep a juice or chocolate handy while driving in case you start experiencing any of these and immediately have it.
Can I consume alcohol with Metformin?
Avoid excessive intake of alcohol while taking Metformin. Alcohol lowers blood sugar and also increases the risk of a serious condition called lactic acidosis.
Other General Warnings
Talk to your doctor if
- You experience vomiting, stomach ache, muscle cramps, difficulty in breathing, reduced body temperature and heartbeat
- Stop the medication of Metformin for a short time if you have a condition that may be associated with dehydration (significant loss of body fluids) such as severe vomiting, diarrhea
- Metformin can cause a critical condition called lactic acidosis
- The risk factors are uncontrolled diabetes, serious infections, prolonged fasting or alcohol intake, dehydration, liver problems and any severe heart conditions
Mode of Action of Metformin
How Does It Work?
- Your pancreas produces a hormone called insulin. Insulin drives glucose (sugar) from the blood to enter inside the cell. Then this glucose is utilized as energy by the cell
- If you have diabetes mellitus, your pancreas either does not make enough insulin or your body is unable to use the insulin it produces properly (insulin resistance). As a result, glucose is not able to enter into the cells and this leads to a high level of glucose in your bloodread less
- Metformin works by decreasing the amount of glucose absorbed from the intestine, lowering the amount of sugar created by the liver and facilitating entry of sugar into the cells
Interactions of Metformin
Interactions with other medicines
- Birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
- Diet pills or medicines to treat asthma, colds, or allergies
- Increase urine production (a diuretic)
- Heart or blood pressure medications
- Steroids (Prednisone, Methylprednisolone, Dexamethasone and others)
- Thyroid medicine
- Medicines like Furosemide and Cimetidine can increase the side effects of Metformin
- If you need to have an injection of iodine-containing contrast medium into your bloodstream, for an X-ray or scan, your doctor will ask you to stop taking Metformin before or at the time of injection
- If you are on medicines that are used to treat pain and inflammation (NSAID and COX-2 inhibitors such as Ibuprofen and Celecoxib) for the long term, these can damage your kidneys. Use of such medicines in diabetes should be avoidedread less
Interactions with food items
Absorption of Vitamin B12 appears to be reduced during long-term Metformin therapy and annual screening of serum Vitamin B12 levels and red blood cell parameters has been recommended to determine the need for Vitamin B12 injections.
Dietary Restrictions of Metformin
Advisable to have a diabetic diet as recommended by your doctor or dietician. This medicine works best along with a proper diet and exercise. Exercise is known to decrease insulin resistance.
Dosage of Metformin
You must seek emergency medical care immediately if you suspect overdose. In the case of overdose, lactic acidosis may occur. Symptoms of lactic acidosis are vomiting, stomach ache, muscle cramps and difficulty in breathing.
Missed a Dose
If you miss any dose, take it as soon as you remember with food. However, if it is time for the next dose then skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
- Diabetes.co.uk.metformin. [Accessed 20 Jun.2019] (online)
- Ema.metformin. [Accessed 20 Jun.2019] (online)
- Lactmed. metformin. [Accessed 20 Jun.2019] (online) Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); 2006-. Metformin. [Updated 2018 Oct 31]
- Care.daibetes.metformin. [Accessed 20 Jun.2019] (online)
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)
Could A Pandemic More Deadly Than COVID Strike Soon?
The COVID pandemic is not yet dealt with and we have already heard about a prospective new pandemic that is likely to strike any day and could be deadlier. For a long time, way before COVID struck, certain scientists had sounded the warning bells, they had prophesied that a series of killer diseases are lurking
10 Simple Tips To Get Acidity And Heartburn Under Control
We’re over two weeks into 2021. You’ve probably embraced the motto of “NEW YEAR, NEW ME,” and have already drafted your new year resolution list, because why not? However, for patients who struggle with acid reflux or GERD, the promise of a “NEW YOU” is a bit difficult to attain. Living with ACIDITY and HEARTBURN
Facing Acidity During Winter? Here’s The Solution!
Have you lately felt that your joints ache when the temperature drops? Even though the science behind this relationship isn’t clear, flare-ups, when the weather turns, are quite real for most people with joint pain. This may sound like migrating to a warmer climate is the only remedy. However, here are a few ways to
Make Your 2021 Acidity-Free With These Easy-To-Follow Steps!
The new year is here! Now that we are almost two weeks in, how are those resolutions going? Where is the acid reflux on the list, and what have you done to resolve it? From our personal experience, anecdotal evidence, and published medical research, we know that many times acid reflux is a disease of
New COVID Strains – Here Are Some Countries Where Cases Have Been Found
For almost a year, the world has been struggling with a pandemic the likes of which have seldom been recorded in history. 2020 was a terrible year for almost all of us. But towards the end of the year, it seemed like the battle was about to be won. The coronavirus live update stated that
Bird Flu In India: Should You Worry?
We all started 2021 on a hopeful note. The coronavirus vaccine is about to roll out and there is a high possibility of us resuming our old lives very soon. But then came the news that has plunged us into despair. Another virus is doing the rounds and creating headlines. Bird flu or avian flu
FAQs Regarding COVID Vaccination To Be Aware Of
According to the latest coronavirus news, vaccination in India will kick off from January 16. This is a cause for celebration! The end of the long battle against COVID is near. But at the same time, you might have a few questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccination program. It is important to get all your queries
Want To Get The COVID-19 Vaccine? Check The Step-wise Procedure
In a bid to finally get rid of the menace of COVID-19 disease, central and state governments in India are all geared up to begin the cross-nation vaccination drive, probably the most pervasive one in the history of Indian healthcare. With the vaccination drive set to begin on January 13, 2021, people in India are
Will The B117 Virus Trigger Another Lockdown In India?
Just when we thought that the COVID-19 pandemic was receding, we received some gloomy news. There’s a new COVID strain doing the rounds. Our coronavirus vaccine drive is almost underway and at this point, news of a new COVID strain, the B117 virus has got everyone asking the question- does this mean a new lockdown?
The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts. Please click here for detailed T&C.
Please add item(s) to proceed
Medicines containing Metformin
+ View More Medicines
1 Lakh+ Products
We maintain strict quality controls on all our partner retailers, so that you always get standard quality products.
100% secure and trusted payment protection
We have a new and dynamic return window policy for medicines and healthcare items. Refer FAQs section for more details.
Our Payment Partners
© 2021 PharmEasy. All Rights Reserved