Metformin

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  • Encourages monthly periods
  • Stimulates ovulation
  • Lowers miscarriage risk
  • Genuine medication
  • Shipped from EU Pharmacies
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Metformin is most commonly prescribed for type 2 diabetes. However, it is occasionally prescribed to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) as an “off-label” prescription. This doesn’t mean that the drug is unsafe, but simply that the drug manufacturer hasn’t extended the license to cover PCOS as well as diabetes.

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    • Metformin is most commonly used to treat diabetes, but can be prescribed to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
    • Metformin can sometimes cause bloating, nausea, and stomach ache, but these will usually settle after a few days
    • It is common to start taking a low dose of metformin before reassessing the dose based on any side effects that occur
    • It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.

    One of the main causes of PCOS is insulin resistance. Metformin improves the body’s sensitivity to the insulin that is being produced by the pancreas, helping to reduce glucose production. This in turn can help to treat PCOS and reduce symptoms including unwanted hair growth (hirsutism). Some women find that taking metformin can encourage regular menstrual cycles and stimulate ovulation, supporting improved fertility.

    Metformin is a tablet that should be swallowed with some water. It is often taken at mealtimes to help reduce the risk of digestive side effects.

    The usual starting dose is 500mg taken once a day for a week or two. If there are no side effects, or any side effects start to settle, the dose can be increased to 500mg twice daily. 

    The dose of metformin can eventually be increased to 500mg three times daily if required. Occasionally, the dose of metformin can be increased further.

    If you experience side effects, your doctor may start you on a more gradual schedule to help you comfortably increase the dose of metformin.

    Like all medications, metformin can have some side effects. The most common side effects include:

    • Nausea
    • Abdominal bloating
    • Stomach ache
    • Flatulence.

    These side effects are likely to settle down in a week or two, but if they persist or become troublesome you should speak to your doctor for further advice.

    More unusually, metformin may cause vomiting or diarrhoea. If this occurs, your doctor should reduce your dose of metformin for a while longer.

    Serious allergic reactions happen very rarely. If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip swelling or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.

    Metformin may not be suitable for everyone. You should tell your prescriber if you:

    • Have kidney failure
    • Have severe liver disease
    • Have heart failure or have recently had a heart attack
    • Have alcohol dependence or drink more than 14 units of alcohol each week
    • Have lung disease
    • Might already be pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    Some medications can interact with metformin. You may be advised that metformin will not suit you if you already take:

    • Medications for heart disease or high blood pressure
    • Medications for kidney disease
    • Diuretics (‘water tablets’)
    • Anti-inflammatory medications
    • Some steroid medications
    • Certain antibiotics
    • Medications for indigestion or stomach ulcers.

    Because metformin may not suit everyone, we will complete a Consultation with you including a health questionnaire. This will ensure that the medication will be suitable for you.

    A qualified prescriber will review your current medications, including any herbal remedies or supplements, to ensure that metformin will not interact with them. 

    Once prescribed, metformin will be ordered on your behalf via electronic prescription. Metformin will then be conveniently dispatched from one of our partner pharmacies.

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