Metformin: Multifunctional Antidiabetic Drug

Metformin is classified as an antidiabetic drug that is appreciated for the powerful impact it may promote on various body processes. Generally, Metformin works decreasing postprandial and fasting blood glucose. There are three main mechanisms for the action it promotes:

  • Decreases glucose absorption in the intestine;
  • Advances sensitivity to insulin in muscles;
  • Eliminates glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis.

According to the medical information, Metformin can be used for the treatment of various health problems. Although it is commonly administered for the improvement of diabetes symptoms, the drug can also be used as an anti-aging remedy. Additionally, it may be helpful for improving insulin sensitivity. Metformin can also be taken off-label for the treatment of other disorders, not mentioned in the safety guide. Talk to your doctor before you start the intake of the drug to avoid dangerous side effects and misuse reactions.

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Recommendations for the Use of Metformin

Metformin is available in numerous forms, including liquid, tablet, and extended-release pills. Your doctor will recommend you a specific type of the drug, depending on the condition you want to treat. The dose will also depend on the severity of your symptoms, as well as specifications of the overall health state.

Generally, the remedy should be taken with food, two times a day. The regular intake of the medication is halfway to successful and efficient therapy. Take Metformin right as directed by the doctor. Do not change a dose, duration of the treatment course, or other specifications. Start using Metformin with the lowest dose that is effective for the treatment of your condition. Your health care specialist may occasionally change a prescription.

Regular medical checkups and blood tests are inevitable during the treatment course with Metformin. Keep using the drug even if the symptoms of your disorder disappear. Contact your health care specialist if you want to stop the therapy or change the prescription. Keep in mind that sudden changes in the treatment course may lead to unwanted reactions and life-threatening side effects.

Warnings, Contraindications, and Restrictions for the Intake of Metformin

Metformin is not approved for patients who are sensitive to its active or inactive components, as well as similar pharmaceuticals. The drug is not safe for people who are diagnosed with accompanied kidney problems, heart failure, liver impairments, and other severe ailments.

Talk to your doctor before the beginning of the treatment course. Your health care provider should be informed of all the health problems, including minor and major abnormalities that may influence the Metformin action. Provide your doctor with the details of other therapies you currently take, as some prescription and non-prescription drugs, herbal supplements, minerals, and vitamins may interfere with Metformin leading to devastating reactions. Do not take Metformin together with any of the following treatments:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors;
  • Amiloride;
  • Beta-blockers;
  • Calcium channel blockers;
  • Cimetidine;
  • Water pills;
  • Digoxin;
  • Hormone replacement therapy;
  • Insulin drugs for diabetes;
  • Niacin;
  • Oral contraceptives;
  • Steroids.

This is not a complete list of interactions Metformin may form. Mention other remedies you take, especially if you want to prevent severe side effects.

Metformin is not approved for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as its components may harm the health of an unborn and nursing child.

Keep in mind that Metformin is not likely to speed weight loss, so you should not take the drug as a dietary supplement. Report any disorders or abnormalities that appear during the therapy to your doctor.

Side Effects

If taken in accordance with the safety guidelines and intake recommendations, Metformin is not likely to cause unwanted reactions. Contact your health care provider if you notice any abnormalities after the intake of the medication. The most common Metformin side effects include:

  • The symptoms of lactic acidosis;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Headache;
  • Stomach pain, discomfort, and cramps;
  • Nausea, vomiting;
  • Abnormal gas formation and others.

As a rule, mild side effects of Metformin appear at the beginning of the treatment course and subside after the first intake of the drug. Contact your health care specialist if the symptoms do not fade away but rather aggravate, causing more dangerous outcomes.

Metformin may influence the level of your blood sugar. Seek emergency medical assistance if you get any signs of abnormal blood sugar levels, allergic reactions, or other life-threatening symptoms, especially:

  • Severe watery or bloody diarrhea;
  • Bloating;
  • Gas and stomach pain;
  • Constipation;
  • Flushing of the skin;
  • Heartburn;
  • Muscle pain;
  • Chest pain;