Metformin HCL – Uses, Side Effects, Warnings, and More
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Metformin, together with a healthy diet, an exercise regimen, and potentially even additional drugs, is used to bring under control elevated blood sugar levels. Patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are given it to treat their condition. Keeping high blood sugar under control can help prevent kidney disease, blindness, nerve difficulties, limb loss, and problems with sexual function. Keeping your diabetes under control may also reduce your likelihood of suffering a heart attack or stroke. Metformin is effective because it assists in restoring your body’s normal response to the insulin that it already produces naturally. Additionally, it lowers the quantity of sugar that is produced by your liver as well as the amount that is absorbed by your stomach and intestines.
Instructions for taking metformin by mouth
Before beginning treatment with metformin and whenever you get a refill, make sure to read the Patient Information Leaflet, which should be provided by your pharmacist if one is available. If you have any questions, visit your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this drug exactly as advised by your physician, which is typically anywhere from one to three times daily with a meal. While you are taking this medication, make sure to drink a lot of water, unless your doctor tells you to do otherwise.
Your current medical condition, how well you are responding to treatment, and any other medications you may be taking all play a role in determining the appropriate dosage for you. Make sure to inform both your primary care physician and your pharmacist about all of the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). It is possible that your physician will instruct you to begin taking this medication in a low amount and then gradually raise that dose over the course of a few days. This will help lessen the likelihood that you will experience unwanted side effects, such as stomach upset. Be sure to pay close attention to the directions that your doctor gives you.
It is important to maintain consistent use of this drug in order to derive the maximum advantage from it. Keep in mind that you should always use it at the same time every day.
If you are already taking another medication for diabetes (such as chlorpropamide), be sure to carefully follow your physician’s instructions regarding whether or not you should stop using the previous medication before beginning treatment with metformin.
Your doctor should advise you to perform regular checks on your blood sugar. Keep a record of the results and discuss them with your primary care physician. If your blood sugar readings are excessively high or too low, you should discuss this with your primary care physician. It’s possible that your dosage or therapy will need to be adjusted.
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There is a possibility that you will experience nausea, vomiting, stomach trouble, diarrhoea, weakness, or a taste of metal in your mouth. Notify your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if any of these side effects continue or become worse. Inform your physician as soon as possible if you experience a return of stomach problems after having taken the same dose for several days or weeks. If you experience stomach pain or discomfort after the first few days of your treatment, it’s possible that you have lactic acidosis.
Keep in mind that the reason your doctor has recommended that you take this medication is that he or she believes that the potential benefits to you outweigh the potential risks of doing so. The majority of persons who take this medicine do not report experiencing any severe adverse effects.
Metformin typically does not result in a drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia). When this medication is combined with other diabetes medication, there is a possibility of experiencing low blood sugar. Have a discussion about the possibility of reducing the dosage of your other diabetic medication(s) with your primary care physician or your pharmacist.
Low blood sugar can cause a variety of symptoms, including abrupt sweating, shivering, a rapid heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling in the hands and feet. When treating low blood sugar, it is a recommended practise to always have glucose tablets or gel on hand. In the event that you do not own these dependable sources of glucose, you can quickly elevate your blood sugar by consuming a source of sugar that digests quickly, such as table sugar, honey, or sweets; alternatively, you can drink fruit juice or regular soda. Immediately discuss the reaction with your attending physician. It is more probable that you will experience low blood sugar if you eat a big amount of alcohol, if you engage in exercise that is exceptionally strenuous, or if you do not ingest enough calories from food. Eating meals on a regular schedule and avoiding skipping meals are two things you may do to help prevent low blood sugar. If you don’t eat for a while, you should talk to your primary care physician or your pharmacist about what you should do.
The condition known as hyperglycemia is characterised by symptoms such as thirst, increased urination, confusion, tiredness, flushing, fast breathing, and a fruity stench emanating from the breath. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible. It is possible that your diabetic medication will need to be adjusted by your doctor (s).
If you experience this life-threatening adverse effect, lactic acidosis, immediately discontinue use of this medicine and consult your physician.
It is quite unusual for this medicine to cause an extremely severe allergic reaction. However, you should seek immediate medical attention if you have any of the following signs of a major allergic reaction: a rash, itching/swelling (particularly of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
This list of potential adverse effects is not exhaustive in any way. Please consult your physician or pharmacist if you have any side effects that are not listed above.
In the United States, if you are experiencing any adverse effects, please consult your primary care physician. You can call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or visit their website at www.fda.gov/medwatch to report any adverse effects.
In Canada, if you are experiencing any adverse effects, please consult your primary care physician. You can call Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345 to report any adverse effects you experience.
If you have a history of allergies, including those to metformin or any other substances, you should discuss your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist before using this drug. There is a possibility that this product contains inactive substances, which, if present, could result in allergic responses or other complications. Discuss the matter further with your pharmacist for further information.
Before beginning treatment with this medication, it is important to discuss your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, particularly if you have a history of severe breathing issues (such as obstructive lung disease or severe asthma), blood problems (such as anaemia or a lack of vitamin B12), kidney disease, or liver disease.
Before undergoing any kind of operation that requires X-rays or scanning that uses iodinated contrast, make sure to inform your doctor or dentist about all the items you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Because of the upcoming operation or procedure, it is possible that you will be required to cease taking this prescription for a period of time. Before going through with the operation or procedure, make sure to get instructions from your surgeon or dentist.
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If your blood sugar is dangerously low or high, you could have symptoms such as blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness. Do not operate a motor vehicle, or any machinery, or engage in any activity that demands alertness or clear eyesight until you have established that you are capable of carrying out such activities in a secure manner.
While you are taking this medicine, you should limit your use of alcohol since it can raise your risk of experiencing lactic acidosis and low blood sugar.
Dehydration and an increased risk of lactic acidosis can be caused by a high temperature, “water pills” (diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide), excessive sweating, vomiting, diarrhoea, or any combination of these symptoms. If you experience extended diarrhoea or vomiting, you should stop taking this medication and contact your doctor as soon as possible. Unless your physician instructs you otherwise, you should be sure to drink enough water to prevent becoming dehydrated.
When your body is under stress, it could make it more difficult to maintain proper management of your blood sugar (such as due to fever, infection, injury, or surgery). Talk to your healthcare provider because your elevated stress levels can call for an adjustment to your treatment plan, medications, or blood sugar monitoring.
It’s possible that older folks have a higher chance of experiencing adverse consequences including low blood sugar or lactic acidosis.
During pregnancy, it is important to only use this drug when it is absolutely necessary. Talk to your healthcare provider about the potential drawbacks and advantages. During the course of your pregnancy, your physician may advise you to switch to insulin from this particular product. Be sure to pay close attention to the directions that your doctor gives you.
Metformin might cause changes in the menstrual cycle (it can enhance ovulation), which can increase the likelihood of a woman falling pregnant while taking the medication. While you are taking this medicine, you should discuss the use of effective birth control with your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Metformin is excreted in very low concentrations into breast milk. Before starting to breastfeed, you should talk to your healthcare provider.
Drug interactions can alter the way in which your prescriptions work or raise the likelihood that you will have major adverse effects. This document does not contain all possible medication interactions. Maintain a list of all the goods you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as herbal remedies, and give it to both your primary care physician and your pharmacist. Without first consulting your physician, you should never alter the dosage of any medication, stop taking any medication, or start taking any new medication.
Beta-blocker drugs, such as metoprolol, propranolol, and glaucoma eye drops such as timolol, have the potential to prevent the rapid and pounding heartbeat that you would normally experience when your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia). These medications have no effect on the other symptoms of low blood sugar, such as dizziness, hunger, or sweating, but they can make you sweat more.
There are numerous medicines that can have an effect on your blood sugar, making it more difficult to control. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the potential effects every medicine you take could have on your blood sugar before you begin, stop, or change any medication you are already taking. Check your blood sugar on a regular basis as instructed by your doctor, and then discuss the results with them. If you experience any symptoms of high or low blood sugar, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. (Also see the section on adverse effects.) It’s possible that your diabetic medication, exercise routine, or diet will need some tweaking from your doctor.
Dial 911 if you suspect that someone has overdosed and they are exhibiting serious symptoms such as passing out or having problems breathing. In any other case, you should immediately contact a poison control centre. To reach the poison control centre for your area in the United States, dial 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control centre. Overdose can cause lactic acidosis. Overdose can cause a variety of symptoms, including extreme drowsiness, severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea, fast breathing, and a sluggish or irregular pulse.
This drug should not be given to anyone else.
Attend a diabetes education session to gain a better understanding of how to control your diabetes through the use of medications, a healthy diet, physical activity, and frequent checkups with a doctor.
Acquaint yourself with the signs of high and low blood sugar, as well as the treatments for low blood sugar. Check your blood sugar on a regular basis as instructed by your doctor, and then discuss the results with them.
Before you begin taking this drug and periodically while you are on it, you should have laboratory and/or medical testing done. These tests should evaluate your kidney function, liver function, blood sugar, haemoglobin A1c, and total blood counts. Make sure you don’t miss any of your doctor or lab appointments. Consult your doctor for additional details.
If you forget to take a dose, you should take the medication as soon as you remember, preferably with food. If it is getting close to the time of the next dose, you should forgo the dose that you missed. Your next dose should be taken at the typical time. It is not necessary to double the dose in order to catch up.
Keep at room temperature and away from light and moisture. Store at room temperature. Keep away from the bathroom at all costs. Always make sure that children and animals are kept well away from any medications.
Unless you have been specifically told to do so, you should not flush drugs down the toilet or pour them down a drain. When it is no longer needed or has passed its expiration date, dispose of this product in the appropriate manner. For more information on how to properly and safely dispose of your product, you should seek the advice of either your local pharmacy or a waste management business in your area.