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Metformin: Uses, Dosages, and Side Effects

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Metformin belongs to a class of medications called biguanides, used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus . People who suffer from this disorder do not use insulin correctly and therefore cannot properly control blood glucose levels, that is, the amount of glucose they have in their blood. Through different mechanisms of action, this drug allows maintaining the glucose balance within normal values. In this FastlyHealarticle we inform you about the uses, dosage and side effects of metformin so that you have all the information related to this drug.

Mechanism of action of metformin

Metformin works by reducing blood levels of both fasting glucose and postprandial glucose, the blood glucose two hours after food intake. To carry out this action, three mechanisms take place:

  1. Decreased glucose production in the liver.
  2. Increased sensitivity to insulin, whose function is to lower glucose levels .
  3. Delayed intestinal absorption of glucose.

Uses of metformin

As we have mentioned previously, the use of metformin is fundamentally to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus, especially in patients who are overweight and who also cannot control glucose levels only with diet and exercise. It can be administered as monotherapy, that is, as the only drug to treat the disorder, or in association with other oral antidiabetic drugs or with insulin.

It can be administered with or after meals, always continuing the diet with a regular distribution of carbohydrate intake during the day and in cases of overweight, accompanying a hypocaloric diet .

Recommended dose

Metformin comes in the form of tablets and is administered orally, with two modalities, 500 and 850 milligrams. The daily dose will be prescribed by the doctor treating diabetes, taking into account the metabolic state of the patient. Generally, the dosage schedule is as follows:

  • The starting dose is usually 500 mg twice a day or 850 mg once a day, always given with food .
  • If you are using the 500 mg tablet, the dose is usually adjusted at weekly intervals, depending on your blood glucose values. On the other hand, if 850 mg tablets are being administered, the dose can be adjusted every two weeks.

Regardless of the recommended guidelines, the maximum dose of metformin is 3000 mg per day, and it is important not to exceed it under any circumstances to avoid possible adverse effects. In addition, in elderly patients or in people with renal insufficiency , the dose should be adjusted taking into account the capacity and function of the kidneys.

Contraindications of metformin

Before taking metformin, you should make sure that you do not have any hypersensitivity or allergy problems. If you suffer from any of the following conditions, medication with metformin is not recommended:

  • Gestational diabetes that occurs during pregnancy.
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus.
  • Renal insufficiency.
  • Liver failure.
  • Heart failure.
  • Severe malnutrition
  • Chronic alcoholism
  • Acute complications of diabetes, such as ketoacidosis.
  • Vitamin B12 , iron and folic acid deficiency.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Serious infections
  • Dehydration

Side effects of metformin

The side effects that may appear after taking metformin as a treatment for diabetes mellitus 2 are:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite.
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis, in which the body cannot use glucose properly and uses fat for energy, producing ketones.
  • Acute pathology that presents a risk of renal impairment: dehydration, severe infection and even shock.
  • Acute or chronic disease that presents a risk of tissue hypoxia, which causes oxygen to not reach the tissues and which can lead to heart or respiratory failure, myocardial infarction or shock.
  • Liver failure.

Due to all these possible side effects, keep in mind that metformin is a drug that you can only take under the recommendation and prescription of your doctor and following the prescribed dosage, in addition to carrying out periodic controls of your glucose levels to examine if it is necessary. make some kind of readjustment in the dose.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Metformin: uses, doses and side effects , we recommend that you enter our category of Medication and medical tests .

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