Metformin is used with a proper diet and exercise program and possibly with other medicationsto control high blood sugar.

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Metformin is used with a proper diet and exercise program and possibly with other medications to control high blood sugar. It is used in patients with type 2 diabetes. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Metformin works by helping to restore your body's proper response to the insulin you naturally produce. It also decreases the amount of sugar that your liver makes and that your stomach/intestines absorb.

How To Take

Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually 1-3 times a day with meals. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). To reduce your risk of side effects (such as upset stomach), your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same times each day. If you are already taking another diabetes drug (such as chlorpropamide), follow your doctor's directions carefully for stopping/continuing the old drug and starting metformin. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed by your doctor. Keep track of the results, and share them with your doctor. Tell your doctor if your blood sugar measurements are too high or too low. Your dosage/treatment may need to be changed.


Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to metformin; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: severe breathing problems (such as obstructive lung disease, severe asthma), blood problems (such as anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency), kidney disease, liver disease. Before having surgery or any X-ray/scanning procedure using iodinated contrast, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). You may need to stop this medication for a short time for the surgery/procedure. Ask your doctor or dentist for instructions before your surgery/procedure. You may experience blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness due to extremely low or high blood sugar. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcohol while using this medication because it can increase your risk of lactic acidosis and developing low blood sugar. High fever, "water pills" (diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide), too much sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting may cause loss of too much body water (dehydration) and increase your risk of lactic acidosis. Stop taking this medication and tell your doctor right away if you have prolonged diarrhea or vomiting. Be sure to drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration unless your doctor directs you otherwise. It may be harder to control your blood sugar when your body is stressed (such as due to fever, infection, injury, or surgery). Consult your doctor because increased stress may require a change in your treatment plan, medications, or blood sugar testing. Older adults may be at greater risk for side effects such as low blood sugar or lactic acidosis. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Your doctor may direct you to use insulin instead of this product during your pregnancy. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Metformin can cause changes in the menstrual cycle (promote ovulation) and increase the risk of becoming pregnant. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about the use of reliable birth control while using this medication. Metformin passes into breast milk in small amounts. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.