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General Information
Brand names and manufacturer
Type: OTC/Prescription/schedule

What should I know before taking this drug
Dosage information
Adverse reactions
Additional information if any

 Type: OTC/Prescription/schedule

Metformin is a prescription drug available from your pharmacy store only with the prescription of a qualified medical practitioner. 
Metformin is pronounced as: met-FOR-min 

Metformin is oral anti diabetic medication.

Metformin is used to treat type 2 diabetes (Non insulin dependent diabetes)  
Take metformin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions ask your pharmacist, nurse or doctor to explain them to you.
Do not take the medication in larger amounts or for longer duration than recommended by your doctor.
Do not stop taking this medication unless advised by your doctor. 
Take the metformin with food. 
Always remember to inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are currently taking any OTC drugs or prescription drugs like
  • Cimetidine
  • Digoxin
  • Other anti diabetic drugs
  • Oral contraceptives
This may not be the complete list of drugs interact with metformin, ask your pharmacist if any other drugs interact with this medication. 
Do not take metformin
  • If you are suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis.
  • If you have liver disease or kidney disease or congestive heart failure or stroke

Old people: Metformin should be cautiously used in older people as they have poor kidney function.

Pregnant woman: Metformin belongs to FDA pregnancy category B. This means that metformin is safe during pregnancy and is not expected to cause any harm to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or are planning for conception.
Lactating women: It is not known whether metformin passes into breast milk or if it could harm the baby. Do not take metformin with out first talking to doctor if you are breast feeding baby.
Avoid alcohol while using metformin. Alcohol decreases blood sugar level and increases the risk of hypoglycemia. 
Metformin is available in the form of tablet. 
Use metformin as directed by your physician, your physician prescribes depending on the severity of disease.
Use the complete course of medication as prescribed by your physician even though you feel better after one or two days of usage of medication. 
If it is almost the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not take two doses of metformin at the same time to cover up the missed dose. 
In case of overdose of metformin contact your nearest poison control centre or emergency medical centre for immediate care by physician. 
The following are the side effects you may experience
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea, Vomiting
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
Consult your doctor if you notice any of the following side effects of metformin
  • Allergic reaction like difficult breathing, chest congestion, swelling of the face
  • Lactic acidosis symptoms like slow heart rate, short ness of breath, stomach pain, dizziness
Store metformin at room temp (15 – 30 degrees C). Avoid excessive heat, moisture or direct sunlight, never store in the bathroom.
Keep it out of reach of children. Make sure that any leftover portion is disposed off safely.
  • Proper diet and regular exercise are important to keep control normal blood sugar levels.
  • It is advised to have the blood or urine glucose test to monitor the drug therapy.
  • Symptoms of low blood sugar levels are
    1. Nausea, extreme hunger, rapid heartbeat
    2. Dizziness, drowsiness, headache, restlessness, anxiety, blurred vision
    3. Convulsions, loss of consciousness, coma and low body temp.
  • Symptoms of high blood sugar levels are
    1. Excessive thirst, increased urination, increased hunger,
    2. Headache, confusion, blurred vision, weight loss, fatigue
    3. Viginal and skin infection, slow healing of sores, ulcers and cuts, Erectile dysfunction
It is imp to read manufacturing packaging instruction carefully if available and always do not hesitate to consult pharmacist or physician for any information. 

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: May 31, 2012

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