13 Common Side Effects of Metformin (Glucophage)

What is Metformin?

Metformin Oral pill is a prescribed drug that’s available in the market as the brand name medications Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Foramen, and Glumetza. Glucophage is an immediate-release medication. All of the other brands are extended-release tablets. Metformin immediate-release pills and extended-release pills can be easily found as a generic drug. Generic drugs generally are cheaper. Sometimes, they might not be available in each and every strength or form as the brand. Metformin is usually available in an oral treatment that’s only available as the brand name Riomet.

Metformin is a medication used to cure type 2 diabetic issues and at times polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Type 2 diabetes is an illness in which the body doesn’t make enough insulin, or the insulin that it makes doesn’t work effectively. This can cause high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia). PCOS is a condition that affects how the ovaries work.

Side effects of Metformin

Side Effects of Metformin (Glucophage)

Like all medicines, metformin can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Metformin does have several common side effects. Like almost all medication, Metformin will affect different people in different ways.

The following types in detail explains about Metformin (Glucophage) side effects, but this does not mean that all people taking Metformin will experience any or all of the following side effects such as:

  • Common side effects
  • Serious side eeffects
  • Short term side effects
  • Long term side effects

Common Metformin (Glucophage) Side Effects:

Like all medicines, metformin can cause common side effects, although not everyone gets them. Common side effects of Metformin (Glucophage) include:

  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Uneven breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle pain
  • Slow or fast heart beat
  • Vomiting
  • Numbness in arms and legs
  • Skin reaction
  • Taste disturbance (metallic taste)

These are generally mild side effects which disappear after the first few weeks. Taking metformin with meals can help reduce nausea and diarrhea. Skin rash has been reported rarely.

Serious Side Effects of Metformin (Glucophage)

Serious side effects are rare and happen in less than 1 in 10,000 people. Tell your doctor straight away if you get any such warning signs of:

  • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
  • Swollen face or other body parts
  • Rash, itching or hives on the skin
  • Feeling of faint
  • Hay fever-like symptoms.
  • Shivering

Lactic acidosis is an extremely uncommon but very serious side effect which needs urgent medical advice. The threat of lactic acidosis is higher in the aged people, those whose diabetic issues is poorly regulated, those with long term fasting, those with specific heart conditions, those who drink alcohol and people who have kidney and liver disorders.

Short Term Metformin (Glucophage) Side Effects:

Most significantly, these types of short term side effects are reversible: it will disappear when the dosage is reduced or when the medicine is quit. Keep in mind that the advantageous (good) effect of prednisone simply cannot be divided from the beginning for a minimum of a few of these unwanted side effects.

Some short-term side effects are as follows:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Low level oh “ph” in body tissues
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Upset stomach

Most of the harmful temporary side effects usually disappear rapidly once you avoid these medication, consult your doctor immediately if you suffer more from the above side effects.

Long Term Side Effects of Metformin (Glucophage)

These side effects arise when metformin continues to be reduced to a minimal dosage and only happen when metformin is used for a long period. In lots of sufferers, these types of side effects could be decreased by proper avoidance. The Metformin long term negative Side effects are:

Digestive Problems: Gastrointestinal disorders which affects the intestines and stomach are long term side effects of metformin. These includes nausea or vomiting, and loose intestinal movements or even diarrhea. These symptoms can decrease by starting with a low dosage of metformin and slowly increasing it.

Malaise: Patients who are taking metformin, especially women may experience general malaise, fatigue, and body ache. Malaise may be caused by other effects of metformin on the liver, kidneys, stomach and intestinal issues.

Damage in Body Organs: Long-term use of metformin can cause liver or kidney problems in some intakers, because this medication alters function of liver and is excreted by the kidneys. This is more common in patients that already suffer from kidney or liver problems.

Malabsorption of vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 malabsorption can also occur in patients on metformin treatment. A chemical in the stomach called intrinsic factor is necessary for the body to absorb vitamin B12. Metformin may interfere with this chemical, which may cause decreased absorption of this vitamin. From the long term, this vitamin B12 deficiency may cause persistent health risks as this vitamin is important for the synthesis of DNA, red blood cell production and other biochemical functions in the human body.

See Also:  Side Effects of Januvia with Metformin (Sitagliptin)

Types of Metformin mg:

Metformin comes in three strengths:

  • 500 mg tablets:
  • 850 mg tablets:
  • 1000 mg tablets:

How does Metformin look like?

500 mg: This tablet is white in colour, film-coated, biconvex capsule shaped tablet with a break line in centre and ‘500’ embossed on the other side. They are packed in a blister pack of 100 tablets.

850 mg: This tablet is white in colour, film-coated, biconvex capsule shaped tablet plain on one side and ‘850’ embossed on the other side. They are packed in a blister pack of 60 tablets.

1000 mg: This tablet is white in colour, film-coated, biconvex capsule shaped tablet plain on one side and ‘1000’ embossed on the other side. They are packed in a blister pack of 10, 30, 60 and 90 tablets.

How Does Metformin Works?

This drug belongs from a class of drugs known as biguanides. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similar to this. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions.

This drug decreases the amount of glucose produced by liver, lowering the amount of glucose in the body absorbs, and increases the effect of insulin in the body. Insulin is a hormone that will help your body removes extra sugar from the blood. This lowers your blood sugar levels.

More Details and info on Metformin (Glucophage)

Metformin reduces your blood glucose levels by strengthening the way your body handles insulin. It’s generally prescribed for diabetic issues when diet and exercise alone have not been sufficient to regulate your blood sugar levels. For many women with PCOS, metformin promotes ovulation even if they don’t have diabetes. It does this by lowering insulin and blood sugar levels. Metformin can be obtained on prescription as pills and as a liquid which you drink.

Metformin works by lowering the amount of sugar your liver releases into your blood. This also makes the body respond better to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that controls the level of sugar in your blood. It’s best to take metformin with a good meal to decrease the side effects. The most common side effects are a feeling of sickness, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache and going off your food. Metformin will not cause weight gain (unlike some other diabetes medicines).

Metformin is used with an ideal diet and exercise program and likely with other medicines to control high blood sugar levels. It is used in patients with type 2 diabetes. Controlling high blood sugar levels prevents kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, losing arms and legs, and sexual function problems. Appropriate control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or heart stroke. Metformin functions by helping to restore your body’s proper reaction to the insulin you naturally produce. It also decreases the amount of sugar that your liver makes and that your stomach/intestines absorb. Source: AllHealthpost.com


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