What is it used for?

It is used to in Type 2 Diabetes to help control blood sugars.

How does it work?

Metformin reduces the amount of sugar that your liver releases into your blood. It also makes your body more sensitive to your natural insulin, which helps keep blood sugars low.

Note: Because it is using your body’s own natural pathways, metformin will not cause your blood sugar to go low.

Possible Side Effects

Many people can take metformin without any problems at all.

The main side effect that people may get is loose bowel movements. Some people may get nausea. Some people may get diarrhea. For most people these symptoms are mild and tolerable, and they go away after a few weeks as your body gets used to the medication.

How to take this medication

This is a pill medication you take twice per day (i.e. with breakfast and supper).

It comes in a 500mg pill. Some people may just need ONE pill twice per day. The full dose is TWO pills (1000mg per dose) taken TWICE per day.

Usually, you can just start with a HALF PILL (250mg ) taken TWO times per day. If you get mild bowel side effects, then hold steady at that dose until your body gets used to it and the side effects disappear.

Then you can try increasing to ONE FULL PILL (500mg) taken TWO times per day. Again, hold steady at that dose until you do not have any side effects.

If you are prescribed the full 1000mg (TWO PILLS) twice per day, then you can continue to increase the dose to ONE AND A HALF pills (750mg) twice per day until your body gets used to it. Then you can go up to the full dose of TWO pills (1000mg) twice per day.

Many people get minimal or no side effects and can increase the dose quickly over just a few days. Other people may take weeks to gradually increase the doses.

Disclaimer: this is just the general and common advice regarding this medication that Dr. Stewart tells his patients. It is not intended to be a complete list of all the information about this medication. For complete information, please click on the product monograph here, or contact your pharmacist.