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- Popular and effective medicine for type-2 diabetes
- Lowers amount of glucose in the blood
- Controls symptoms
- Genuine medication
- Shipped from UK Pharmacies
Metformin is a tablet medication used to help control blood sugar levels in people who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It can also be prescribed if you are at high risk of developing diabetes, or if you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
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Prescriptions issued by European Doctors
- Metformin lowers blood sugar levels
- It is often prescribed for patients who have type 2 diabetes and have not responded to changes in diet and exercise alone
- Metformin should usually be taken with a meal
- Metformin won’t cause low blood sugar on its own, but can when combined with other diabetes medications
- It has shown some benefits to patients with PCOS, helping to stimulate ovulation
- It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.
What is Diabetes?
Our bodies rely on insulin which is made by the pancreas. Insulin helps to control the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. If the body starts to make less insulin, our blood sugar levels are left to rise unchecked. In some people, the body has also stopped responding properly to any insulin that is being produced. The rising blood sugar levels will lead to diabetes.
High levels of glucose in the blood over a prolonged period can cause damage to the blood vessels, nerves, kidneys and eyes. Some patients will eventually require amputation of extremities including the toes or feet. It is therefore very important to keep your blood glucose levels under control, even if you currently feel well.
How Does Metformin Work?
Metformin works in more than one way to control blood glucose levels. Its first mechanism of action is to prevent the liver from releasing too much sugar into the bloodstream. It also prompts the body to respond better to any insulin that is still naturally being produced.
These actions combined help to lower blood sugar levels to a healthier range. After starting metformin, it can take up to three months to see the full effect. It is therefore important to see this as a long term treatment and take your medication regularly.
How is Metformin Taken?
Metformin is available in tablet form or as a liquid. The tablets should be swallowed whole and can be taken with a glass of water. Metformin can be taken alongside other antidiabetic medications, and even with injected insulin.
It is best to take metformin at mealtimes or just after a snack. This is because the presence of food in the stomach appears to increase the absorption of metformin from the stomach.
Dosage of Metformin
The maximum daily dose of metformin is 2,000mg. This is the equivalent of taking four 500mg tablets in one go. You will likely start on a low dose and gradually increase this as required.
Standard release tablets release metformin into the body quickly, and you may need to take a dose with each meal. Slow-release tablets release the medication slowly over 12-24 hours, and you may only need to take them with your meal in the evening.
You will be advised on the dose of metformin that is best for you. This dose may be increased or decreased by a medical professional depending on how your blood glucose levels respond.
Are there any Side Effects?
Like most medications, metformin can cause some side effects. If any of these common side effects fail to settle down, you may want to talk to a doctor or pharmacist:
- Feeling sick or being sick (nausea or vomiting)
- Stomach pain
- Reduced appetite
- A strange or metallic taste in your mouth.
Occasionally, metformin can cause more serious side effects including:
- Severe tiredness with fast or shallow breathing
- Feeling cold or having a slow heartbeat
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
- Skin rashes
- Mouth ulcers, muscle weakness or changes to your vision.
If these occur, speak to a doctor straight away.
If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.
Metformin won’t cause low blood sugar, or a ‘hypo’ on its own, but if you are taking another diabetes medication such as gliclazide or insulin, you should be aware of the early signs of low blood sugar. These include:
- Feeling hungry
- Trembling or shaking
- Struggling to concentrate or feeling confused
If a hypo occurs, you should eat or drink a fast acting carbohydrate such as sugary fruit juice, sweets or a sugar cube. If you still feel unwell, seek immediate medical advice.
Metformin may not be suitable for people with:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Liver or kidney disease
- Heart failure or history of a heart attack
- A high alcohol intake.
During the Consultation with EU Meds, you will be asked to complete a health and medicines questionnaire to check that metformin is suitable for you.
Once prescribed, you can order metformin online for home delivery.