Common brand names:
Metformin is used with a proper diet and exercise program and possibly with other medications to control high blood sugar. It is used in patients with type 2 diabetes. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Metformin works by helping to restore your body's proper response to the insulin you naturally produce. It also decreases the amount of sugar that your liver makes and that your stomach/intestines absorb.
This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
Metformin may be used with lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise to prevent diabetes in people who are at high risk for becoming diabetic. It is also used in women with a certain disease of the ovaries (polycystic ovarian syndrome). Metformin may make menstrual cycles more regular and increase fertility.
How to Use This Medication
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking metformin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 1-3 times a day with meals. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, kidney function, and response to treatment. Your doctor may direct you to take a low dose of this medication at first, gradually increasing your dose to lower the chance of side effects such as upset stomach. Your doctor will adjust your dose based on your blood sugar levels to find the best dose for you. Follow your doctor's directions carefully.
Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same times each day.
If you are already taking another anti-diabetic drug (such as chlorpropamide), follow your doctor's directions carefully for stopping/continuing the old drug and starting metformin.
Check your blood sugar regularly as directed by your doctor. Keep track of the results, and share them with your doctor. Tell your doctor if your blood sugar measurements are too high or too low. Your dosage/treatment may need to be changed.
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Information expires June 2016.