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GLUMETZA (metformin hcl)
(metformin hydrochloride extended-release tablets)

Read this information carefully before you start taking this medicine and each time you refill your prescription. There may be new information. This information does not take the place of your doctor's advice. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand some of this information or if you want to know more about this medicine.

What is the most important information I should know about GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) ?

Warning: GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) can cause a rare, but serious condition called lactic acidosis (a buildup of an acid in the blood) that can cause death. Lactic acidosis is a medical emergency and must be treated in the hospital. Stop taking GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) and call your doctor right away if you get the following symptoms of lactic acidosis.

  • You feel very weak or tired.
  • You have unusual (not normal) muscle pain.
  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You have stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • You feel cold, especially in your arms and legs.
  • You feel dizzy or lightheaded.
  • You have a slow or irregular heartbeat.
  • Your medical condition suddenly changes.

You have a higher chance for getting lactic acidosis with GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) if you:

  • have kidney or liver problems.
  • have congestive heart failure that requires treatments with medicines.
  • drink a lot of alcohol (very often or short-term “binge” drinking).
  • get dehydrated (lose a large amount of body fluids). This can happen if you are sick with a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. Dehydration can also happen when you sweat a lot with activity or exercise and don't drink enough fluids.
  • have certain x-ray test with injectable dye used.
  • have surgery.
  • have a heart attack, severe infection, or a stroke.
  • are 80 years of age or older and have not had your kidney function tested.

What is GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) ?

GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) is used along with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes. GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) may also be used with another anti-diabetes medicine called a sulfonylurea or with insulin to improve blood sugar levels in adults. GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) helps control your blood sugar in a number of ways. These include helping your body respond better to the insulin it makes naturally, decreasing the amount of sugar your liver makes, and decreasing the amount of sugar your intestines absorb. GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) has not been studied in children under 18 years of age.

Who should not take GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) ?

Do not take GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) if you:

  • have kidney problems.
  • have heart failure that is treated with medicines.
  • have a condition called metabolic acidosis, including diabetic ketoacidosis. Diabetic ketoacidosis should be treated with insulin.
  • are allergic to GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) or to any of its ingredients. See the end of this leaflet for a list of ingredients in GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) .

What should I tell my doctor before taking GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) ?

Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions including if you:

  • have kidney problems.
  • have liver problems.
  • have heart problems.
  • drink a lot of alcohol.
  • are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is not known if GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) can harm your unborn baby. Talk to your doctor about the best way to control your blood sugar levels while pregnant.
  • are breastfeeding. It is not known if GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) passes into your milk and if it can harm your baby. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby while taking GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) .

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) and some of your other medicines can interact. You may need to have the dose of GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) or certain other medicines adjusted. Certain other medicines can affect your blood sugar control. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist. Talk to your doctor before you start any new medicine.

How should I take GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) ?

  • Take GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) exactly as prescribed. Your doctor will usually start you on a low dose and increase your dose slowly to control your blood sugar levels. Do not change your dose unless told to do so by your doctor.
  • Take GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) once a day in the evening with food.
  • Swallow GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) tablets whole. Never crush, split or chew GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) tablets. Tell your doctor if you cannot swallow tablets whole. Your doctor will prescribe a different medicine for you.
  • You may see the GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) tablet shell in your stool. You may also see a soft mass of the GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) inactive ingredients in your stool. Both of these are normal to see in your stool.
  • Stay on your exercise and diet program and test your blood sugar regularly while taking GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) .
  • Your doctor should monitor your diabetes and do blood tests on you from time to time to check your kidneys and your liver.
  • If you miss a dose of GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) resume dosing according to schedule.
  • If you take too much GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) or overdose, call your doctor or poison control center right away.
  • You may need to stop GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) for a short period of time if you:
    • are sick with severe vomiting, diarrhea or fever, or if you drink a much lower amount of liquid than normal.
    • plan to have surgery.
    • are having an x-ray procedure with an injection of dye.

Call your doctor right away for instructions.

What should I avoid while taking GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) ?

Do not drink a lot of alcoholic drinks while taking GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) . This means you should not binge drink for short periods, and you should not drink a lot of alcohol on a regular basis. Alcohol can increase the chance of getting lactic acidosis.

What are the side effects of GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) ?

GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) can cause a rare, but serious side effect called lactic acidosis (a buildup of an acid in your blood) that can cause death. See “What is the most important information I should know about GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) ?”

The most common side effects of GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) include diarrhea, nausea, and upset stomach. These side effects usually go away after you take the medicine for a while. Taking your medicine with the evening meal can help reduce these side effects.

GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) rarely causes low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) by itself. However, low blood sugar can happen if you do not eat enough, if you drink alcohol, or if you take other medicines to lower blood sugar.

Tell your doctor if you have side effects that bother you, last for more than a few weeks, come back after they have gone away, or start later in therapy. You may need a lower dose or need to stop taking GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) .

These are not all the side effects with GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) . For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

How should I store GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) ?

  • Store GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) at room temperature, 59° to 86° F (15° to 30° C).
  • Keep GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) and all medicines out of the reach of children.

General information about GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) .

Medicines are sometimes prescribed for conditions that are not mentioned in patient information leaflets. Do not use GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them.

This leaflet summarizes the most important information about GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) . If you would like more information, talk with your doctor. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) that is written for health professionals or contact 1-866-458-6389.

What are the ingredients in GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) ?

Active Ingredient:500 mg or 1000 mg of metformin HCl

Inactive Ingredient: Each 500 mg tablet contains coloring, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose and polyethylene oxide. Each 1000 mg tablet contains contains colloidal silicon dioxide, polyvinyl alcohol, crospovidone, glyceryl behenate, polyacrylate dispersion, hypromellose, talc, polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide, simethicone emulsion, polysorbate and coloring. GLUMETZA (metformin hcl) 500 mg and 1000 mg tablets both utilize advanced, polymer-based, oral drug delivery systems, which allow delivery of metformin HCl to the upper GI tract.

Last reviewed on RxList: 7/6/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

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