Metformin Metmorfin has proved to be an effective medication for diabetes treatment when diet is not enough to provide healthy way of life. Find out more about the mechanism of action of Metformin and why it is so popular among people who suffer diabetes.

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Metformin composition

Each pill of the drug consists of the following ingredients:

  • metformin hydrochloride – 500 mg or 850 mg, or 1000 mg;
  • excipients: Starch 1500;
  • povidone;
  • croscarmellose sodium;
  • magnesium stearate;
  • microcrystalline cellulose;
  • Opadry II (contains: Polyvinyl alcohol, macrogol 3350, talc, titanium dioxide (E 171);
  • indigo carmine (E 132);
  • yellow quinoline (E 104).

When is Metformin prescribed?

Metformin is used to treat the following health conditions:

  • Diabetes mellitus type II (non-insulin dependent) in case of the ineffectiveness of diet therapy.
  • As the monotherapy or combination therapy in conjunction with some oral hypoglycemic agents or insulin for the treatment of adults.
  • As monotherapy or combination therapy with insulin for the treatment of children who are over 10 years old.

Note: Metformin is not recommended in case a patient has severe infections, injuries, danger of dehydration.

Which functions can Metformin perform?

Metformin refers to biguanides, hypoglycemic agents intended to be administered orally. Patients who have been diagnosed diabetes choose Metformin due to several major functions it performs:

  • it decreses the glucose concentration in the blood by inhibiting hepatic gluconeogenesis,
  • it reduces glucose absorption from the gastrointestinal tract,
  • it enhances glucose utilization in tissues,
  • it lowers serum concentration of triglycerides, cholesterol and LDL (defined fasting),
  • it does not alter the concentration of lipoproteins,
  • it stabilizes or reduces body weight.

Metformin improves fibrinolytic blood properties by inhibiting plasminogen activator inhibitor of the tissue type. When Metformin is combined with sulfonylureas, the blood glucose level should be controlled.

How to use Metformin?

Metformin is administere orally during the mealtime or after you have had the meal. The following doses are prescribed to patients with different health conditions:

  • If you don’t receive insulin: 1 g Metformin (2 pills) twice a day for the first 3 days or 500 mg three times a day, in the following 4 to 14 day – 1 g three times a day; after 15 days the dosage can be reduced with regard to the content of glucose in blood and urine. Maintenance of the daily dose – 1-2 g. Retard tablet (850 mg) are taken 1 per day in the morning and in the evening. The maximum daily dose of Metformin is 3 g.
  • If you receive insulin: in case a dose is less than 40 IU / day dosing regimen of metformin is the same as with the insulin, the dose can be reduced (up to 4-8 IU / day every other day). At a dose of insulin 40 U / day metformin and insulin dose reduction requires special care.

Remember that the combined use of Metformin with insulin is recommended to be held in the hospital.

Doses of Metformin for children

Metformin can be used by children older than 10 years old in the initial dose of 500 mg or 850 mg once per day. It is recommended to use the drug with food or after having meals. In 10-15 days the dose should be adjusted according to the results of the content of glucose in the blood serum. The maximum dose that can be taken is 2000 mg daily, it is better to take it during 2-3 times.

Doses of Metformin for the elderly patients

As for the elderly people, they often have a reduction in renal function. That’s why it is recommended to choose the appropriate dose taking into account an assessment of renal function that should be controlled on the regular basis.

What are the contraindications of Metformin?

As any other drug, Metformin may cause certain adverse reactions. Inform your healthcare specialist in case you have noticed at least one of those listed below:

  • Hypersensitivity to Metformin active substance,
  • hyperglycemic coma,
  • chronic renal failure,
  • ketoacidosis,
  • liver disease,
  • heart failure,
  • dehydration,
  • respiratory failure,
  • acute myocardial infarction,
  • infectious diseases,
  • alcoholism,
  • reduced-calorie diet,
  • lactic acidosis (including .ch. history),
  • Pregnancy and lactation.

Special care should be taken if a patient is over 60 or is engaged in some heavy physical work (as in this case there is an increased risk of lactic acidosis).

Which side effects of Metformin should be informed to your doctor?

If you notice at least one of the following side effects, you are recommended to inform your doctor immediately in order he/she decides if it is possible to continue Metformin treatment course. Check out which side effects may be caused by this drug:

  • Hematopoiesis: megaloblastic anemia.
  • Digestive system: nausea, vomiting, “metallic” taste in the mouth, loss of appetite, dyspepsia, flatulence, abdominal pain.
  • Allergic reactions: skin rash.
  • Metabolism: lactic acidosis (weakness, myalgias, respiratory disorders, drowsiness, abdominal pain, hypothermia, reduced blood pressure, reflex bradyarrhythmia), as a result of the long-term treatment – B12 vitamin deficiencies (malabsorption).

Reduce the dose if you have had side effects using Metformin.

In case you overdose the drug, it is possible to experience symptoms of hypoglycemia as well as lactic acidosis. Among other symptoms of side effects are the following:

  • severe weakness,
  • respiratory disorders,
  • drowsiness,
  • nausea and vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • abdominal pain,
  • hypothermia,
  • lowering blood pressure,
  • reflex bradyarrhythmia,
  • muscle pain,
  • shortness of breath,
  • dizziness,
  • loss of consciousness.

If you have experienced one of the mentioned side effects caused by overdose, it is necessary to call for medical help and to be hospitalized immediately in some cases.

Which analogs does Metformin have?

Among the analogs there are: Bagomet, Glikomet, Glyukofazh, Langerin.

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