Metformin is  a drug to lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes sufferers.  To make treatment more effective, diabetics are advised to adopt a healthy lifestyle by exercising diligently and eating a balanced nutritious diet.

Metformin works by increasing the work and activity of the hormone insulin , reducing the formation of blood sugar in the liver, and reducing the absorption of sugar in the intestine. This way of working will help lower blood sugar levels.


In the treatment of type 2 diabetes, metformin can be used alone or in combination with insulin or other anti-diabetic drugs. Metformin can also sometimes be used in the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome ( PCOS ) as well as as a fertility aid  and as a medicine for fast menstruation .

Metformin trademarks: Actosmet, Adecco, Amaryl M, Amazone Ir 500, Benofomin, Diabemin, Diabit, Diafac, Diaglifozmet XR, Eraphage, Efomet XR, Forbetes 850, Glucovance, Glufor XR, Gluvas M, Glumin XR, Glufor 500, Jardiance Duo , Janumet XR, Lapigim 2/500, Metformin HCL, Paride M-Plus, Reglus XR, Tudiab, Zipio M

What is Metformin

class Prescription drug
Category Antidiabetic
Benefit Reducing blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes
Used by Adults and children over 10 years of age
Pregnancy and lactation categories Category B:  Animal studies have not demonstrated a risk to the fetus, but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women.

Metformin can be absorbed into breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, do not use this medication without telling your doctor.

Drug form Tablets and caplets

Precautions Before Taking Metformin

Metformin should not be used carelessly and must be prescribed by a doctor. There are several things that must be considered before taking metformin, namely:

  • Tell your doctor about any history of allergies you have. Metformin should not be taken by patients who are allergic to this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you have kidney failure, are addicted to alcohol , have liver failure, or are taking certain medications, such as topiramate . Metformin should not be used by patients with these conditions, because it can trigger lactic acidosis .
  • Tell your doctor if you have congestive heart failure , adrenal gland disease, malnutrition , injury, infectious disease , anemia, or have recently had certain surgeries.
  • Metformin is not intended for people with type 1 diabetes or patients with diabetic ketoacidosis .
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements or herbal products.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor that you are taking metformin if you are planning to have certain radiological studies that use contrast or are having surgery.
  • Do not drive a vehicle or do activities that require alertness after taking metformin because this drug can cause hypoglycemia.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking certain medications, supplements or herbal products.
  • Immediately consult a doctor if you experience an overdose, drug allergic reaction , or serious side effects after taking metformin.

Dosage and Rules for Use of Metformin

The dose of metformin is determined by the patient's age, severity, medical history, and response to the drug. In general, the following is the dose of metformin to lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus:

  • Adult
    Initial dose 500–850 mg, 2–3 times daily. The maximum dose is 2,000–3,000 mg per day, divided into 3 drinks.
  • Children 10 years of age and over
    Initial dose of 500–850 mg, once a day, the dose is increased gradually, depending on the patient's condition. The maximum dose is 2,000 mg per day divided into 2-3 times.

How to Take Metformin Properly

Follow the doctor 's advice and read the instructions listed on the metformin packaging label before consuming it. Do not increase or decrease your dose without consulting your doctor first.

Metformin is taken after meals. Swallow metformin tablets or caplets with plain water. Swallow the metformin tablets whole, without chewing or crushing them first.

Try to take metformin at the same time each day for treatment to be effective. Make sure there is sufficient time between one dose and the next. Keep taking this drug even if you feel better. Do not stop using the drug without consulting your doctor first.

If you forget to take metformin, take this medicine immediately if the break with the next consumption schedule is not too close. If it's close, ignore it and don't double the dose.

Keep in mind, metformin cannot cure type 2 diabetes. The use of metformin must be followed by adopting a healthy diet and diligent exercise.

Check your blood sugar levels regularly, so your doctor knows your health progress. The doctor may decrease or increase the dose according to your condition.

Store metformin in a dry, closed place, and avoid exposure to direct sunlight. Keep this drug out of reach of children.

Interactions of Metformin with Other Drugs

The use of metformin together with other drugs can cause several interaction effects, including:

  • Increased risk of renal impairment when used with contrast agents in certain radiological examinations
  • Increased risk of hypoglycemia when used with insulin or sulfonylurea drugs
  • Increased risk of developing lactic acidosis when used with topiramate, acetazolamide, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs ), or antihypertensive drugs, such as ACE inhibitors
  • Increased blood levels of metformin when used with cimetidine, amiloride , dolutegravir, ranolazine, trimethoprim, isavuconazole, or vandetanib
  • Decreased effectiveness of metformin when used with birth control pills or drugs containing the hormone estrogen, such as estradiol

In addition, if metformin is consumed with food or alcoholic beverages , it can increase the risk of hypoglycemia or lactic acidosis.

Metformin Side Effects and Dangers

Metformin has the potential to cause a number of side effects, including:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Metallic taste in mouth
  • Low blood sugar levels ( hypoglycemia )

Check with your doctor if these side effects do not improve or get worse. Immediately consult a doctor if you experience a drug allergic reaction or experience lactic acidosis which can be characterized by symptoms such as:

  • Unusual tiredness
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Deep sleepiness (somnolence)
  • Low body temperature ( hypothermia )
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Slow heart rate
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