How Is It Used?
Take metformin tablets by mouth, with meals.
Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the
tablets with a drink of water. Take your doses at regular
intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
Contact your pediatrician or health care professional
regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care
may be needed.
What should my health care professional
know before I take Metformin?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
- Frequently drink alcohol or alcohol-containing
- Become easily dehydrated
- Heart Attack
- Heart failure that is treated with medications
- Hormone changes or problems
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Polycystic ovaries
- Serious infection or injury
- Thyroid disease
- Undergoing surgery or certain x-ray procedures
with injectable contrast agents
An unusual or allergic
reaction to metformin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or
- Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
Are There Possible
Side effects that you should report to
your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
- Breathing difficulties
or shortness of breath
- Muscle aches or pains
- Passing out or fainting
- Severe vomiting or
- Slow or irregular heartbeat
- Unusual stomach pain
- Unusual weakness, fatigue
In combination with other diabetic medications,
(like acarbose, glyburide, glipizide, miglitol, or insulin),
metformin may cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Contact
your health care professional if you experience symptoms of
low blood sugar, which may include:
- Anxiety or nervousness, confusion, difficulty
concentrating, hunger, pale skin, nausea, fatigue, sweating,
headache, palpitations, numbness of the mouth, tingling
in the fingers, tremors, muscle weakness, blurred vision,
cold sensations, uncontrolled yawning, irritability, rapid
heartbeat, shallow breathing, and loss of consciousness
Symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) include:
- Dizziness, dry mouth, flushed dry-skin, fruit-like breath
odor, loss of appetite, nausea, stomach ache, unusual thirst,
frequent passing of urine
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention
(report to your prescriber or health care professional if
they continue or are bothersome):
- Decreased Appetite
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Mild Stomachache
- Weight Loss
What drug(s) may interact with metformin?
- Water Pills (diuretics like amiloride, furosemide, triamterene)
Many medications may cause changes (increase or decrease)
in blood sugar, these include:
- Alcohol containing beverages
- Aspirin and aspirin-like drugs
- Beta-blockers, often used for high blood pressure or heart
problems (examples include atenolol, metoprolol, propranolol)
- Female hormones, such as estrogens, progestins, or contraceptive
- Male hormones or anabolic steroids
- Medications for weight loss
- Medicines for allergies, asthma, cold, or cough
- Some herbal dietary supplements
- Steroid medicines such as prednisone or cortisone
- Thyroid hormones
- Water pills (diuretics)
Tell your prescriber or health care professional
about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription
medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also
tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are
a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you
smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way
your medicine works. Check with your health care professional
before stopping or starting any of your medicines.
What should I watch
for while taking metformin?
Visit your prescriber or health care professional
for regular checks on your progress. Your prescriber will
check your blood sugar, kidney function, and other tests from
time to time.
Learn how to monitor your blood sugar. Learn what to do if
you have high or low blood sugar. Do not skip meals. If you
are exercising much more than usual you may need extra snacks
to avoid side effects caused by low blood sugar. Do not change
your medication dose without talking to your prescriber.
If you have mild symptoms of low blood sugar, eat or drink
something containing sugar at once and contact your health
care professional. It is wise to check your blood sugar to
confirm that it is low. It is important to recognize your
own symptoms of low blood sugar so that you can treat them
quickly. Make sure family members know that you can choke
if you eat or drink when you develop serious symptoms of low
blood sugar, such as seizures or unconsciousness. They must
get medical help at once.
If you develop a severe diarrhea or vomiting, or are unable
to maintain proper fluid intake, you should contact your prescriber.
"Sick-days" may require adjustments to your dosage
or your illness may need to be evaluated. Ask your prescriber
what you should do if you become ill.
If you are going to have surgery or will need an x-ray procedure
that uses contrast agents, tell your prescriber or health
care professional that you are taking this medicine.
Wear a medical identification bracelet or chain to say you
have diabetes, and carry a card that lists all your medications.
What If I Miss A Dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost
time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take
double or extra doses.
How Should It Be Stored?
Keep out of the reach of children in a
container that small children cannot open.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59
and 86 degrees F). Protect from moisture and light. Throw
away any unused medicine after the expiration date.
NOTE: The above
information is intended to supplement, not substitute for,
the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist,
or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed
to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate,
or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional
before taking the product.