This drug Metformin HCl is an oral anti-diabetic drug used for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. This drug can also be used for the treatment of type-1 diabetes (insulin dependent) as well. Metformin is the only anti-diabetic drug that has shown cardiovascular complications of diabetes. This drug can also be used with other medicines for treating diabetes.
Type-2 diabetes mellitus is also called insulin independent type-2 diabetes. Type-2 diabetes mellitus is the most common diabetes occurring in more than 90% of the cases. Obesity is the most common cause of this type of disorder. Type-2 diabetes mellitus can be managed by increasing exercise, diet and medicines.
Understanding the drug
How it works?
Metformin hydrochloride works by lowering the high blood glucose (hyperglycemia) by helping your body make more use of the insulin released by pancreas or in short this drug works by suppressing the glucose production by the liver.
When should you avoid it?
You should not take this drug if you:
- Are allergic to metformin
- Are pregnant or planning to do so
- Are breastfeeding
- Have severe kidney problem
- Have dehydration
- Have severe infection
- Are facing breathing difficulties
- Have blood clots or pancreatitis
What are the strengths available?
Metformin HCl is available in following strengths and with various brands options also available:
- Bigomet 850mg
- Bigomet 500mg
- Bigomet 250mg
- Glycomet SR1000 mg
- Glyciphage SR 500 mg
How much to take?
The usual starting dose for adults is 500 mg 1-2 times a day and the maximum recommended dosage is of 1000 mg three tablets a day. The drug dosage varies from person to person. Ask the doctor for the recommended dosage.
How to take it?
Swallow the tablet with one glass full of water. The tablet can be broken into two if advised by the doctor along the line of break. This drug should be combined with well balanced calorie controlled diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.
When to take?
Metformin hydrochloride tablet is generally recommended to be taken during or immediately after the food. In this way you will be able to reduce the chances of upset stomach.
For how long should it be taken?
Continue to take the medicine as long as the doctor recommends you that take the medicine about the same the time each day so as to remember when to take the drug. Metformin hydrochloride controls diabetes but does not cure it hence you may have to take it for a longer period of time.
What if you take too much (overdose)?
Too much Metformin hydrochloride may cause harmful effects on body as you may face hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). You may require urgent medical help in this situation. The following symptoms could be faced:
- Weakness, trembling or shaking
- Loss of co-ordination
- Fits or loss of consciousness
- Slow or uneven heart rate
In such cases you must need to immediately increase the sugar levels, by:
- Eating 2-3 teaspoon sugar or honey
- Drinking a non diet soft drink
- Eating 2-3 concentrated glucose tablets
If the situation worsens then visit the nearest healthcare center or call the doctor immediately.
What if you miss the dose?
In case you forget to take the dose, skip the dose and take the next dose on the recommended time period if it’s too late but if it’s less than 1 hour of the meal then go and take it. Do not double up the dose to make up for the missed one.
What are the side effects?
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:
- Stomach pain
- Taste disturbance
- Rashes and sores
In such cases you must go for immediate medical help. Do not get alarmed by the list. You may /may not experience all of them. Tell your doctor immediately in the above situations.
Are there any possible drug interactions?
As the drug is associated with weight loss, ask your doctor about the intake of the cholesterol and diabetes drugs. Also consult your doctor about the following drugs such as:
- Vitamins like Vit. B12
Ask your doctor to get the full list of the drugs needed to be avoided while taking the drug as they may interfere it and may cause adverse effects.
What are the things to be taken care of?
- The maximum recommended dose should not exceed this dose 1000 mg
- Do not consume alcohol
- Elderly people may require very less dosage. Take as recommended by the doctor.
- Your skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight than it is normally, so try to stay away from sunlight
- Keep Metformin hydrochloride readily available
- Do not skip meals while taking Metformin hydrochloride
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