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Metformin (Glucophage)



Metformin is used to treat diabetes and helps to regulate blood sugar by decreasing the absorption of sugar, decreasing the body’s sugar production, and also helps the cells within the body to take in and store sugar.



How to Use


Take this medication by mouth with water. Take it with meals.


Take it exactly as directed, do not take it more than directed.


If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is already almost time for your next dose, take only that next dose. Do not double up on any dose.



Important Information


Be sure to have regular check ups with your doctor while on this medication. Keep record of your response to the medication and your blood sugar for each visit. You should receive an A1C test every 3-6 months while on this medication. This test tells us about your blood sugar levels over the last 2-3 months.


Learn and monitor yourself for symptoms of high and low blood sugar. Carry sugar tablets or candy with you to take in case you develop low blood sugar. Inform others around you that symptoms of low blood sugar can be serious such as choking, seizures, and unconsciousness and it is important to get help at once.


If you are going to undergo an MRI, CT scan or other surgery, it is important to inform your healthcare providers that you are taking Metformin. They may want to discontinue the medication for a brief period of time.


Carry an ID card and a bracelet or ID informing others of your condition and of the doses of your diabetes medications.


Avoid skipping meals and maintain a healthy balanced diet while on this medication.


Inform your doctor immediately if you think you might be pregnant while on this medication. This medication may increase your chances of becoming pregnant.


Ask your doctor about how to check your blood sugar while taking Metformin.


Symptoms of high blood sugar include increased thirst and urination, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, fruity breath odor, dry mouth, and fatigue.


Symptoms of low blood sugar include anxiety, shaking, increased heart rate, fatigue, seizures, unconsciousness, nightmares, headaches, mood changes, sweatiness or clamminess or irritability.



Be sure that your prescribing doctor is aware if you have any of the the following conditions before taking this medication


Kidney or liver disease, currently taking medications for heart failure, history of heart attacks, anemia, frequent alcohol consumption, dehydration, polycystic ovary syndrome, vomiting, allergy history, any serious injuries or infections, pregnancy, breastfeeding, trying to become pregnant.



Side effects that should be immediately reported to your healthcare provider


Allergic reaction(hives, itching, swelling of the face or mouth), trouble breathing, lightheadedness or falls, stomach pain,  muscles pain, effects such as anxiety, confusion, dizziness, fatigue, sweating, irritability, headache, blurred vision, heartbeat changes, increased heart rate(signs of low blood sugar).



Other Side Effects


Diarrhea, heartburn, headache, metallic taste, nausea, stomach upset.



Adult Dose



Type 2 diabetes


Regular Tablets or Oral Solutions:  500 mg by mouth twice per day.




850 mg by mouth once per day. This medication is taken with meals.



Type 2 diabetes


Extended Release Tablets: 500 mg by mouth once daily taken with an evening meal.





1.  Gluocophage (R), Glucophage ® XR oral tablets, extended-release oral tablets, metformin hydrochloride oral tablets, extended-release oral tablets[package insert]. Princeton, NJ:  Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; 2009.


2.  Glumetza ® oral extended-release tablet, metformin HCl oral extended-release tablet[package insert]. Menlo Park, CA: Depomed, Inc. (per FDA); 2011.


3. Bailey CJ, Turner RC. Metformin. N Engl J Med 1996;334:574-9.

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