Metformin is used to treat high blood sugar levels that are caused by a type of diabetes mellitus or sugar diabetes called type 2 diabetes. With this type of diabetes, insulin produced by the pancreas is not able to get sugar into the cells of the body where it can work properly. Using metformin alone, with a type of oral antidiabetic medicine called a sulfonylurea, or with insulin, will help to lower blood sugar when it is too high and help restore the way you use food to make energy. Many people can control type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise. Following a specially planned diet and exercise will always be important when you have diabetes, even when you are taking medicines. To work properly, the amount of metformin you take must be balanced against the amount and type of food you eat and the amount of exercise you do. If you change your diet or exercise, you will want to test your blood sugar to find out if it is too low. People who take the number one most commonly prescribed drug for diabetes are also the most likely to stop taking their medication. Metformin works by reducing the amount of sugar released by the liver and improving how the body responds to insulin. It’s been prescribed to more than 120 million people worldwide. The drug’s lack of certain side effects compared to other medications are notable. Metformin puts little if any strain on the organs, doesn’t cause weight gain, and comes with the added benefit of being the most affordable diabetes medication on the market. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Surrey. The researchers examined the medication compliance rates of 1.6 million people with type 2 diabetes.
Rarely, too much metformin can build up in the body and cause a serious (sometimes fatal) condition called lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is more likely if you are an older adult, if you have kidney or liver disease, dehydration, heart failure, heavy alcohol use, if you have surgery, if you have X-ray or scanning procedures that use iodinated contrast, or if you are using certain drugs. For some conditions, your doctor may tell you to stop taking this medication for a short time. Stop taking this medication and get medical help right away if you have any symptoms of lactic acidosis, such as unusual tiredness, dizziness, severe drowsiness, chills, blue/cold skin, muscle pain, fast/difficult breathing, slow/irregular heartbeat, or stomach pain with nausea/vomiting/diarrhea. Show More Metformin is used with a proper diet and exercise program and possibly with other medications to control high blood sugar. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Metformin works by helping to restore your body's proper response to the insulin you naturally produce. It also decreases the amount of sugar that your liver makes and that your stomach/intestines absorb. Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking metformin and each time you get a refill. These short-acting oral medications, taken with meals, block the breakdown of complex sugars into simple sugars in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. “Simple sugars are more easily absorbed and cause the blood sugar to ultimately go up,” Sam Ellis, Pharm D, BCPS, CDE, associate professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Colorado says. These drugs are minimally absorbed into the blood, so a certain blood level concentration is not necessary for them to work. You will see the effect immediately with the first dose. “You take it before a meal, and with that meal you see the effect,” says George Grunberger, MD, FACP, FACE, President of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. While researchers aren’t exactly sure how these oral medications work, it’s likely that the meds block some absorption of glucose in the GI tract. “You’ll see most of the effect in the first week with these drugs,” says Ellis.
Jul 11, 2014. Metformin also works to lower blood sugar in two secondary ways by increasing your sensitivity to insulin and decreasing the amount of. Metformin works in a few ways. It helps your body properly respond to its insulin, reduces glucose production in the liver, and helps block glucose absorption in.