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Metformin

Metformin is a biguanide that is prescribed, alone or along with other agents, to help regulate blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

US Brand Name Metformin
Generic Name Metformin
Other Brand NameMetformin
Packing100
Manufacturer USV
Form Tablet
Strength 500 mg

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Details

Introduction

For diabetic patients, especially those who are type II diabetics, it is essential that they take the right medicines so that their blood sugar level comes down to suitable limits. Although many of the drugs used in type II diabetes are supposedly having the propensity of decreasing the blood sugar levels, Metformin is good drug in this regards, which doesn’t lead to hypoglycaemic excursions rapidly. In this regards, this drug has become the primary drug of treatment across many patients and are helpful for them in controlling their blood sugar.

Use

The drug from biguanide group is primarily utilized for control of blood sugar in diabetic patients, of the type II variety, because it helps in lowering of the blood sugar levels. It is given in patients having a higher body mass index or those who are obese. It works very well for such patients, because of the insulin resistance that is seen in such types of people. Hence, doctors prescribe such patients this drug to lower the blood sugar, as it works with a unique mechanism of action. It helps in making the muscles and other tissues in the body to utilize glucose in more efficient manner while little insulin presence is necessary. But, unlike secretagogues, this drug doesn’t cause the release of the insulin from the pancreatic beta cells.

Dosage and administration

This drug has been well known among the patients and widely accepted because it can be taken in oral form, without having much side effect. Whenever doctors advise patients to take this biguanide, it is usually started with a minimal dose of 500 mg, especially for the newly detected type II diabetes mellitus cases. Thereafter, as per the control attained, the dose can be titrated gradually so that the drug doesn’t become heavier in dose and still can control the blood sugar level. This is an important way to control the dosage and the doctors can keep a tight check on the diabetes patients. The drug is to be administered after food, unlike other anti-diabetic drugs so that it shows proper control of the blood sugar.

If required, the metformin dose can be increased to up to 2000 mg per day, although it doesn’t cause side effects. If the patient control is good with this dose, then it will be beneficial. But, in many cases of type II diabetics, the dosage can be mixed with other anti-diabetic drugs like sulphonylureas or other newer drugs which have come into the market.

Important Precautions

Lactic acidosis is one of the problems found with this kind of drug, belonging to biguanide group, but this drug is having less of this side effect. In cases of renal impairment, hepatic diseases, elderly patients and patients with heart failure should be administered the drug with caution.

Side effects

Since it is a safe drug, it doesn’t have many side effects, but still it should be used carefully in patients. Any kind of hypersensitivity to the drug should be an indication for withdrawal of the drug. Sometimes, side effects like nausea, vomiting, gastric upset and metallic taste have been found with the drug, but these are not serious side effects and subside after use for a few days.