What is Metformin Used For?
As an adjunct to diet and exercise, metformin is the most widely prescribed FDA-approved oral hypoglycemic medication for type 2 diabetes. It reduces blood glucose levels by decreasing glucose production in the liver, decreasing intestinal glucose absorption, and increasing insulin sensitivity. Other potentially powerful properties include reduction of all-cause mortality associated with diseases that accelerate aging, including: pre-diabetes, cancer, inflammation, neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and other age-related pathologies. Metformin was prescribed by your physician for “off-label” use of an FDA-approved drug. Please consult with your provider for any questions regarding “off-label” use.
Who Should Not Take This Medication?
Metformin should not be taken by children, pets, those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or those who are allergic to any of the ingredients in metformin. It should not be taken by those with lactic acidosis.
Make sure your health care provider knows if you have: advanced kidney disease, acute congestive heart failure, excessive alcohol intake, liver disease, history of lactic acidosis, or concomitant use of certain drugs which can increase the risk of lactic acidosis (including, but are not limited to: bupropion, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, cephalexin, cimetidine, dolutegravir, ethanol, glycopyrrolate, iodinated contrast agents, lamotrigine, ranolazine, and topiramate). Use of metformin should be stopped on the day of surgery or when receiving contrast (e.g. for a CT scan), and you may restart when instructed (usually after 48 hours).
Stop taking this medication and get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of lactic acidosis, such as: severe drowsiness, dizziness, chills, blue/cold skin, muscle pain, fast/difficult breathing, slow/irregular heartbeat, or stomach pain with nausea/vomiting/diarrhea.
How Will I Be Monitored?
You should be in contact with your provider at least every six to twelve months.
What Should I Do If I Miss A Dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember with food. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
How Do I Take This Medication?
Metformin comes as a capsule or tablet and is to be taken orally with food. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Metformin should be taken at the same time each day. Please take it as directed by your provider.
How Do I Store This Medication?
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Please dispose of medication according to local, state, and EPA laws.
What Are The Precautions While On Metformin?
Potential side effects include: rash, dizziness, itching/swelling, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, weakness, chest discomfort, infections, muscle pain, weight loss, a metallic taste in the mouth.
Metformin may decrease vitamin B12 absorption, which can rarely cause anemia. Vitamin B12 supplementation may be recommended.
In the event you feel you are in imminent danger or have signs of an allergic reaction, you should contact emergency services immediately. For general symptoms, please advise your provider.