All you need to know about how metformin helps control diabetes
Metformin is a medicine used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and help reduce of having type 2 diabetes if you are prone to develop it.
Metformin is also used in the prophylaxis of Polcystic Ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Type 2 diabetes is a type of metabolic disease of diabetes whereby the body does not make enough insulin, or the insulin that it makes does not work properly. This cause an increase in blood sugar levels (hyperglycaemia).
Metformin works by lowering your blood sugar levels by improving the way in which your body make use of insulin. Metformin is normally prescribed for diabetes when diet plan and exercise cannot be sufficing to help control your blood sugar levels.
While women with PCOS, metformin helps in lowering the insulin and blood sugar levels, and help in stimulating ovulation. It is available as a prescription drug both in tablets and syrup.
Facts about metformin
Metformin exert its pharmacological effect by reducing the amount of sugar secreted by the liver in the blood. Metformin also helps the body to respond properly to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps control the level of sugar in your blood. Metformin is much more effective when taken after a meal due to its high plasma protein binding. And it’s side effect is also been reduced. Common side effects of metformin includes feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach ache and loss of appetite. Metformin is different from other diabetic drugs, in that it does not cause increase in weight gain e.g Insulin injection.
Metformin can be known by the following brand names: Diagemet, Bolamyn, Glucient, Glucophage, and, Metabet. While the liquid form is called the Riomet.
Metformin is not to be taken when a patient is allergic to metformin and when have certain conditions that has to do with liver or kidney diseases and heart attack. A diabetic patient should see the doctor before taking metformin.
How should metformin been taken
Metformin is best taken with meal or immediately after meal because of its high plasma protein binding. Drugs that are bound to plasma protein have a long acting effect.
Daily dose for metformin is usually 2,000mg per day
Type of metformin
Metformin is normally in 2 different types of tablet namely: standard-release tablets and slow-release tablets
Standard-release tablets have a quick onset of action by releasing metformin as fast as possible into the body. This may be taken several times a day.
Slow-release tablets usually a slow onset of action and may have a long acting effect. It is normally taken once per day
What if i missed a dose
If you miss a dose of metformin take the dose at the regular time and do not try to double dose to make up for the missed dose
Ask your doctor and pharmacist on how to take your metformin dose and in case of missed doses.
Side effects of metformin
Common side effects
- Stomach ache
- Loss of appetite
Serious side effects
- Feeling of discomfort
- Severe tiredness
- Fast or shallow breathing
- Slow heartbeat
- Yellow skin
- Sore and red tongue
- Mouth ulcer
- Muscle weakness
- Disturbed vision due to vitamin B12 deficiency
- Anaemia skin rash
- Hypoglycaemia due to taking metformin with other diabetes medicines like insulin or gliclazide
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
Metformin is usually safe to take during pregnancy, either alone or in combination with insulin
For the use of metformin during pregnancy, consult your doctor and pharmacist for more advice.
Metformin can be taken while breastfeeding.
The pharmacological action of metformin is been interfered with when taken some medicines that includes: steroid tablets, such as prednisolone tablets, diuretics such as furosemide, male and female hormones such as testosterone, oestrogen and progesterone and contraceptives.
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