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What Is Metformin Hcl

What Is Metformin Hcl

What Is Metformin Hcl

Metformin is a prescription drug. It comes as an oral tablet and an oral solution.

Metformin oral tablet comes in two forms: immediate-release and extended-release. The immediate-release tablet is available as the brand-name drug Glucophage. The extended-release tablet is available as the brand-name drugs Glucophage XR, Fortamet, and Glumetza.

Both tablet forms are also available as generic drugs. Generics usually cost less than brand-name versions. In some cases, they may not be available in all strengths or forms as brand-name drugs.

Interactions

Increased risk of lactic acidosis with topiramate, other carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (eg, zonisamide, acetazolamide, dichlorphenamide); monitor. Concomitant cationic drugs that interfere with renal tubular transport systems (eg, ranolazine, vandetanib, dolutegravir, cimetidine) may increase metformin levels; monitor. Avoid excessive alcohol intake (potentiates effects of metformin on lactate). Diuretics, steroids, phenothiazines, thyroid products, estrogens, oral contraceptives, phenytoin, sympathomimetics, calcium channel blockers, isoniazid, nicotinic acid, others may cause hyperglycemia. May need lower dose of concomitant insulin and/or insulin secretagogue (eg, sulfonylurea) to reduce risk of hypoglycemia.

Why it’s used

Metformin oral tablets are used to treat high blood sugar levels caused by type 2 diabetes. They’re used in combination with diet and exercise.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you may need to take it with other drugs.

How it works

Metformin belongs to a class of drugs called biguanides. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Metformin works by:

reducing the amount of glucose (sugar) made by your liver

decreasing the amount of glucose your body absorbs

increasing the effect of insulin on your body

Insulin is a hormone that helps your body remove extra sugar from your blood. This lowers your blood sugar levels.

Metformin Dosage

Your health practitioner may prescribe a specific dosage for you based on a few aspects such as:

The way you control your diabetes.

Your other health conditions.

You may need extra medications.

Generally, you are not supposed to change your dose without consulting your medical practitioner.

Warnings

This drug has a black box warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Lactic acidosis is a rare but serious side effect of this drug. In this condition, lactic acid builds up in your blood. This is a medical emergency that requires treatment in the hospital. Lactic acidosis is fatal in about half of people who develop it. You should stop taking this drug and call your doctor right away or go to the emergency room if you have symptoms of lactic acidosis.

Symptoms include weakness, unusual muscle pain, trouble breathing, unusual sleepiness, and stomach pains. They also include nausea or vomiting, dizziness or lightheadedness, and slow or irregular heart rate.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use metformin only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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