Common Name: metformin
How does Glucophage work?Metformin belongs to the class of medications called oral hypoglycemics (medications that lower blood sugar). It is used for the control of blood glucose (blood sugar) in people with type 2 diabetes. It is used when diet, exercise, and weight reduction have not been found to lower blood glucose well enough on their own. Metformin works by reducing the amount of glucose made by the liver and by making it easier for glucose to enter into the tissues of the body. Metformin has been found to be especially useful in delaying problems associated with diabetes for overweight people with diabetes. Your doctor may choose to use a medication for conditions other than the ones listed in these drug information articles. If you're unsure why you are taking this medication, contact your doctor.
How should I use Glucophage?The recommended adult dose of metformin ranges from 500 mg three or four times a day to 850 mg two or three times a day. The maximum daily dose should not exceed 2,550 mg daily. Tablets should be taken with food whenever possible to reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting. Metformin may be used alone or with other medications that reduce blood sugar. To ensure that the medication is working well, monitor your blood glucose on a regular basis as directed by your doctor or diabetes specialist. Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor. It is very important that this medication be taken regularly and exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue on with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue on with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses. Store this medication at room temperature in a dry, dark place.
What form(s) does Glucophage come in?Glucophage® is available in strengths of 500 mg and 850 mg. 500 mg: Each white, round tablet, scored on one face and engraved with "HMR" on the other, contains metformin 500 mg. 850 mg: Each white, oval tablet, engraved with "HMR" on one side and "850" on the other, contains metformin 850 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: magnesium stearate and povidone.
What should I NOT take with Glucophage?Metformin should not be taken by anyone who: has type 1 diabetes (they should always be using insulin) has very poor blood glucose control (they should not take this medication as the only anti-diabetic agent) has reduced kidney function drinks large amounts of alcohol in the short term or on a regular basis has severe liver disease has a known allergy (also known as hypersensitivity) to metformin or any of the ingredients of the medication. has diseases associated with lack of oxygen to the tissues such as cardio-respiratory insufficiency is experiencing or recovering from severe infections, trauma, or surgery is suffering severe dehydration is undergoing radiologic studies involving use of iodinated contrast materials is pregnant
Are there any other precautions or warnings for Glucophage?Alcohol intake: Anyone taking metformin should avoid excessive alcohol intake. Blood glucose monitoring: Monitor your blood glucose regularly at intervals as discussed with your doctor or diabetes educator. Blood sugar control: When a person taking metformin is exposed to fever, trauma, infection, or surgery, a temporary loss of blood glucose control may occur. At such times, it may be necessary to stop metformin and temporarily inject insulin. Metformin may be started again after the problem is resolved. Diabetes complications: The use of metformin (or any other medication used for diabetes) will not prevent the development of complications peculiar to diabetes mellitus (e.g., kidney disease, nerve disease, eye disease). Diet: Use of metformin must be considered as treatment in addition to proper diet and not as a substitute for diet. Lactic acidosis: Lactic acidosis is a rare but serious problem that occurs due to metformin accumulation (i.e., the body doesn't get rid of it fast enough) during treatment with metformin, and almost always occurs for people who have severe kidney disease. When it does occur (very rarely), it is fatal in 50% of cases. When used as directed, there has not been a single report of lactic acidosis with the use of metformin in Canada. Low blood sugar: Under usual circumstances, low blood sugar does not normally occur for people who take only metformin. Low blood sugar could occur when not enough food is eaten, especially when strenuous exercise is undertaken at the same time or when large amounts of alcohol have been consumed. Reduced response: Over a period of time, people may become progressively less responsive to a particular treatment for diabetes because their diabetes worsens. If metformin fails to lower blood glucose to target levels, it should be stopped and replaced, or another medication should be added to it. Pregnancy: The safety of this medication for use by pregnant women has not been established. Speak to your doctor about the benefits and risks of using metformin while pregnant. Insulin is the diabetes medication of choice during pregnancy. Breast-feeding: Metformin is believed to pass into breast milk. If breast-feeding, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue the medication, taking into account the importance of the medication to the mother. Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.