"What are oral diabetes medications and how do they work?
Insulin is a hormone produced by cells in the pancreas called beta cells. Insulin helps the body use blood glucose (a type of sugar) for energy. People with type 2 diabetes "...
IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
METFORMIN SUSTAINED-ACTION TABLET - ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Fortamet, Glucophage XR, Glumetza
WARNING: Metformin can rarely cause a serious (sometimes fatal) condition called lactic acidosis. Stop taking metformin and get medical help right away if you develop any of the following symptoms of lactic acidosis: unusual tiredness, dizziness, severe drowsiness, chills, blue/cold skin, muscle pain, fast/difficult breathing, slow/irregular heartbeat, stomach pain with nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Lactic acidosis is more likely to occur in patients who have certain medical conditions, including kidney or liver disease, recent surgery, a serious infection, conditions that may cause a low level of oxygen in the blood or poor circulation (such as congestive heart failure, recent heart attack, recent stroke), heavy alcohol use, a severe loss of body fluids (dehydration), or X-ray or scanning procedures that require an injectable iodinated contrast drug. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these conditions occur or if you notice a big change in your overall health. You may need to stop taking this medication temporarily. The elderly are also at higher risk, especially those older than 80 years who have not had kidney tests. (See also Side Effects and Precautions sections.)
USES: 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.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
Metformin may be used with lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise to prevent diabetes in people who are at high risk for becoming diabetic. It is also used in women with a certain disease of the ovaries (polycystic ovarian syndrome). Metformin may make menstrual cycles more regular and increase fertility.
HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking metformin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily with the evening meal. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Do not crush or chew this medication. Doing so can release all of the drug at once, increasing the risk of side effects. Also, do not split the tablets unless they have a score line and your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, kidney function, and response to treatment. Your doctor may direct you to take a low dose of this medication at first, gradually increasing your dose to lower the chance of side effects such as upset stomach. Your doctor will adjust your dose based on your blood sugar levels to find the best dose for you. Follow your doctor's directions carefully.
Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time each day.
If you are already taking another anti-diabetic 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.
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