Before You Start Taking Metformin

Overview of metformin

Metformin is an orally-administered medicine intended to treat diabetes by controlling sugar levels in the blood. It is a drug for patients with type 2, non-insulin dependent diabetes. It is occasionally administered in conjunction with insulin or other medicines. Metformin is not intended to treat type 1 diabetes.

This drug is now regarded as the most recommended anti-diabetic prescription medicine in the world. In 2010, almost 50 million metformin prescriptions were issued in the United States alone.

Metformin may serve other purposes not found in this medication guide.

What to pay attention to before taking metformin


It is important that any medicine you take does not do more harm than good. (Ideally, no harm!) Always let your physician know if you have any allergies to other medications, foods, additives etc, before taking metformin. If you find that you develop an allergic reaction to metformin, stop taking it immediately and consult with your doctor.


If your diabetes is in ketoacidosis state, insulin treatment is necessary.

Former history

It’s important to notify your doctor if you have any liver conditions or heart disease history before you take Metformin.

Lactic acidosis

Lactic acidosis is a dangerous side effect that may occur while taking Metformin. The condition can be life-threatening if symptoms are not remedied in due time. Seek medical attention if you have symptoms such as numbness, dizziness and vomiting, unstable blood pressure, stress, stomach and muscle pains and difficulty breathing.

Metformin and children

Metformin has been proved to be a safe and effective drug in treating children with diabetes as well as adults. However, a consultation with a doctor is always necessary, as well as the right dosage.

Metformin and the elderly

There haven’t been specific studies to determine metformin affects in the geriatric population. However, it is generally believed that metformin is safe for the elderly and can be used just as with any other age group.

Having said that, a large percentage of the elderly population may have kidney, liver and heart issues and that has to be taken into account when metformin is prescribed.

Pregnant women and metformin

Metformin is considered safe for women at any stage of pregnancy and during breastfeeding.


Always pay attention to your doctor’s exact prescription and dosage and follow their advice as to how to take metformin, when and under which conditions. Generally, it is recommended that metformin is taken with food to soften its effect on GI tract and bowels, which can be particularly strong in the first few weeks of meditating. Swallow the tablets whole with some water.

Do not break the tablets. The correct dosage of metformin will be defined by the physician for your particular case after taking into account your health state, your history with other medications, your lifestyle and your health goals. Generally, adults are recommended 500 mg to 1000 mg per day depending on metformin formulation.

Dosage for children is always determined strictly by the doctor.

If I Missed A Dose of Metformin, What Should I Do?

If you missed a dose in medication’s schedule, take it as soon as possible if it’s still a long time until your next dose. However, if it’s almost the time for your next dose, don’t take the missed dose and go on with the standard schedule. Never take two doses of metformin at the same time!

Storing Metformin

The medicine should be kept in a dry place at room temperature. Keep the drug in an airtight bottle. Keep the drug and other medicines beyond children’s and pets’ reach.


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