Health and MedicineMedicinesMetformin: what is it, how to take it and side effects

Metformin: what is it, how to take it and side effects

What is metformin and what is this drug to control diabetes? We discover how to take it and also what side effects it has when consumed.

Metformin is a drug that is commonly used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes, a disease that affects a significant number of people.

Like any prescription drug, it should be administered only on medical advice and controlled by a doctor since -although it helps many people to treat their diabetes- it has potentially serious side effects and is not suitable for every patient.

So that you can have some more information about Metformin, on this occasion, we have prepared for you a summary with the fundamental aspects that you should know about how to take this medicine and the side effects it has.

Effects of Metformin

Metformin is the generic name of the drug and can be found under different names since there are various laboratories that market it, in some cases in combination with other medications.

As we mentioned, it is mainly used for patients who have type 2 diabetes that is, when the body produces insulin but does not use it properly, not being able to control the amount of sugar in the blood.

Metformin has the effect of reducing the amount of glucose (either produced in the liver or incorporated through food). Another effect of this drug is to increase the body’s response to insulin.

In other words, on the one hand it reduces the amount of glucose produced in the liver or consumed from the diet, and on the other hand it increases the response of our own body to insulin.

Warnings for taking metformin and side effects

Before we reminded you that this drug must be exclusively administered by a doctor, and this is because there are many situations that can lead to a serious adverse effect if this drug is taken without supervision. We will review some of them.

There are a number of health problems that may be incompatible with taking metformin, even if you have had them in the past: heart attack or heart disease, stroke, diabetic ketoacidosis, coma, liver or kidney disease. Also being over 80 years of age.

Another thing to keep in mind and inform your doctor immediately is if they arise during treatment or if you had recently suffered from any of these conditions: serious infections, severe diarrhea, vomiting, fever, decreased fluid intake.

If any of these symptoms arise while taking the medication, you should stop taking it and see a doctor: feeling very tired or weak, stomach pain, loss of desire to eat, changes or difficulties in breathing, alterations in heart rate (fast or slow), flushed skin, muscle pain, or cold feeling.

As you can see, there are many cares to be taken if you are receiving treatment with Metformin, and it is always necessary to go to a consultation if you have these conditions that can interfere with said drug.

Other things that can interfere with metformin include surgery (including dental), tests that use contrast injectable, or any major medical procedure. Also the ingestion of alcohol, for which authorization must be previously requested from the doctor in charge of its follow-up.

How is metformin taken?

This medicine has different types of presentation. The most common are in liquid form, common tablets and long-acting tablets. Although of course your doctor will tell you how much, how often and when to take metformin, we will review in each case which is the most recommended way to take it.

For the presentation of liquid metformin, it is usually taken once or twice a day with one of the meals. For regular tablets, they are usually indicated two or three times a day, also accompanying food.

In the case of long-acting tablets, as their name tells us, they are taken with a single daily dose that has an effect throughout the day. It is generally recommended to take it with food.

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