What is Metformin (Glucophage)?

Also classified as a prescription medicine, Metformin refers to a medication essentially utilized to provide medical aid to abnormal blood glucose levels. This diabetes medication is taken orally and goes as an oral solution and a tablet. The said suppressant can be combined to proper physical activities, as well as the right diet to stabilize the right blood glucose levels, which a diabetic person always struggles with.

As there are two major types of the said illness (diabetes), Metformin only treats individuals who have the type 2 diabetes. The medicine isn’t meant to provide medical therapy for patients experiencing the type 1 diabetes.

As mentioned, the tablet form of Metformin can be consumed being the primary approach of the medication process. Two main forms of the tablets are– (1) immediate-release and (2) extended-release. These two forms are prescribed based on their brand names. These include:

  • Immediate-release type – Glucophage
  • Extended-release type – Fortamet, Glumetza, Glucophage XR

The two aforementioned types of Metformin tablets have been accessible in their generic versions for a long period already. However, even if these generic versions are cheaper, the branded drugs do have edge in their performance and strength in treating the illness – diabetes.

Metformin has added benefits in not just treating the disease it needs to treat but also help individuals with the disease to live a normal and quality life.

How Does it Work?

Similarly, the medication has been recognized as a biguanide. Utilized for dealing with the second type of diabetes, Biguanides are classified as a group of drugs that scale down the creation of sugar and glucose that takes place all along the digestion process. In stabilizing the abnormal level of the body’s blood glucose, Metformin assists in balancing the load of sugar being stimulated in the mentioned body process – digestion.

The major functions of Metformin include:

  • Diminish the volume of sugar formed in the body’s liver.
  • Expanding the body’s capacity to take in insulin.
  • Lessen the number of sugar that the human body assimilates.
  • Regulate the right amount of sugar in the body. This means taking Metformin alongside Insulin to ensure the balance of the body’s glucose levels.
  • Eliminating the excess glucose present.
  • Stabilize the blood glucose in its necessary normal condition.

Currently, millions of individuals live with the illness. The World Health Organization (WHO) stated the rapid growth of cases involving the said disease, with more and more cases recorded in the last decade. The organization also indicated the right practices to delay or avoid the emergence of more complicated diseases in line with diabetes. Thankfully, the insulin injections became accessible today to assist the needs of individuals with the disease, and having Metformin, which already proved its efficacy for many years, makes the medical treatment easy, quick, and steadfast.

Benefits & Advantages

Besides its primary functions, there are beneficial effects and advantages of this suppressant that diabetic people can enjoy upon taking it. These are as follows:

  • It lessens the risk in acquiring other diseases (diabetes-induced diseases). These diseases include stroke, heart attack, blindness, liver problems, sexual behavioural change, and kidney damage.
  • Control diabetes better compared to other medications available in the market.
  • Dosage for Metformin is adjustable, as long as it is prescribed by the doctor.
  • Although this medicine is not yet a cure, its capacity to alleviate symptoms and signs of diabetes is remarkable.
  • It serves as the main medication for someone who needs immediate diabetes medication.
  • It helps the body to respond properly during the administration of insulin injections.
  • Taking this medicine will not increase someone’s weight.

There are other positive effects of Metformin in addition to inhibiting illnesses from emerging. Some of these include preventing nerve problems and loss of limbs (functional or physical). Once associated with insulin, the treatment process becomes smooth and easily done.

Metformin Dosage

For this type of medication, its dosage actually varies because on a few factors, such as the patients’ age, an individuals’ bodyweight, form of the medication to consume, and lastly, the existing health concerns the patients have.

Type 2 Diabetes – Proper Dose Matching its Tablet Form

Adult Dosage – Immediate-release types of tablets (age range from 18 years old to 79 years old)

  • 500 mg (to be consumed twice daily)
  • 850 mg (to be consumed once daily)

*Your healthcare professional will likely prescribe either of the two dosages after your diagnosis.

Adult Dosage – Extended-release types of tablets

  • 500 mg – but doesn’t involve Fortamet (consume once per day)
  • 500 mg – 1000 mg of Fortamet (consume once per day)

*As for ER forms of tablets, the suggested time in consuming the drug is during nighttime meals.

Children Dosage – prescribed with Immediate-release types of tablets (age range from 10 to 17 years old)

  • 500 mg (consume two per day)

*Your healthcare professional will likely adjust the dose or increase it for regular usage. Its maximum dose has only 2000 mg.

Children Dosage – prescribed Extended-release types of tablets

  • Currently, there has been no clear dosage for ER types of tablets.

Drug Interactions

A drug interaction is very possible for this medication. It can absolutely interact to other forms of medications but may cause distinct outcomes to the body. Other drugs might interrupt its functions in treating diabetes, while some are possible to add in its adverse reactions.

These interactions are often categorized based on their severity – they could be mild and moderate. Note that other forms of drugs will make it hard for the blood glucose levels to be controlled while on your Metformin treatment. This is a main reason why consultation with your medical specialist with regards to the medications (prescription or non-prescription) you are consuming currently is always a prerequisite.

Warning and Precautions

Before receiving a prescription from your physician or medical specialist, you will be asked of the probable hypersensitivity to the drug Metformin or to any of its ingredients. Any known hypersensitivity to this medicine must be avoided. Ensure to detail this case to your medical specialist of your existing health concerns to avoid added negative outcomes to your system. Furthermore, to guarantee your safety in consuming this medicine, only follow what is prescribed to you. In cases such as an overdose, contacting your medical specialist must be done immediately.

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Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.