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Last Updated: November 30, 2019

Metformin is a drug that helps maintain balanced blood sugar levels in the body. It is used to treat Type 2 diabetes, heart disorders and polycystic ovary syndrome.

Metformin works by decreasing the amount of glucose produced by the liver. It suppresses the quantity of glucose that the liver releases in the body. Thus, it lowers the blood sugar levels in the body of a patient suffering from Type 2 diabetes. Metformin also increases your sensitivity to insulin, enabling your body to absorb larger quantities of glucose. This drug is available in oral solution or even tablet form.

Metformin is an oral drug that is used to control and balance blood sugar levels. This medication is used in the treatment of conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and polycystic ovarian syndrome. If you do not manage the condition of diabetes, it can result in kidney failure, obesity and heart disorders. Therefore, Metformin helps keep your blood sugar levels low and your diabetes in check.

Metformin does not increase the amount of insulin in the body; instead, it decreases the production of sugar. The liver of patients, who suffer from type 2 diabetes, produces thrice the amount of glucose and their bodies do not have the capacity to absorb these large amounts of glucose. Metformin is effective in lowering the amount of glucose that the liver releases. It also decreases your appetite and increases your body’s sensitivity to insulin, thus, reducing the amount of glucose that is absorbed by your blood. An increased sensitivity to insulin also lowers your levels of cholesterol and helps you to lose weight.

Metformin is available in the form of tablets as well as oral solutions. The dosage that the doctor recommends for your treatment will be based on your age, your condition, the severity of your condition and the other medications you are currently taking. You should follow the course of this treatment until it is completed, and do not skip out on a dose.

In some cases, it is advisable for the patients of certain conditions to avoid taking this medication. You should inform your doctor before taking this medicine, if you suffer from conditions like liver disease, kidney disorders, heart disease, allergies and diabetic ketoacidosis. Pregnant women, women who are breast-feeding their infants and children below ten years should not take this medicine.

The common side effects of Metformin include diarrhea, dizziness, headaches, vomiting and stomach cramps. Consuming this medicine with food can lower your risk of developing the side effects. One rare yet major side effect of Metformin is lactic acidosis. It is build up of lactic acid in the blood, which can be fatal. This side effect causes symptoms such as muscle weakness, stomach aches, nausea, irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, cold or numb sensation in the arms and legs. You should seek emergency medical aid, if you detect any of these symptoms. It is important to avoid drinking alcohol while taking this medicine, since it can increase your risk of developing lactic acidosis.

Type diabetes

Information given here is based on the salt content of the medicine. Uses and effects of the medicine may vary from person to person. It is advisable to consult a Diabetologist before using this medicine.
  • Impaired Kidney Function

  • Allergy

  • Metabolic Acidosis

  • Nausea Or Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Abdominal Pain

  • Hypoglycemia

  • Lactic Acidosis

  • Weakness

  • Chest Discomfort

  • Headache

  • Running Nose

  • Belching

  • Swollen Joints

  • How long is the duration of effect?

    The effect lasts for an average duration of 4 to 8 hours.
  • What is the onset of action?

    The peak effect of this medicine can be observed after 1-3 hours of administration.
  • Are there any pregnancy warnings?

    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women owing to the risk of abnormalities in the fetus. Alternate means of blood sugar control like insulin therapy should be considered during pregnancy.
  • Is it habit forming?

    No habit forming tendencies were reported.
  • Are there any breast-feeding warnings?

    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women owing to the risk of adverse effects on the baby. Alternate means of blood sugar control like insulin therapy should be considered in such cases. If it becomes absolutely necessary to take this medicine, then breastfeeding should be discontinued.
  • Missed Dose instructions

    Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.
  • Overdose instructions

    Contact a doctor immediately if an overdose is suspected. Some overdosages could lead to Lactic Acidosis which requires immediate medical intervention.
  • India

  • United States

  • Japan

Below is the list of medicines, which contains Metformin as ingredient

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This medication works by decreasing the production and absorption of glucose in the liver and intestine, respectively. It also improves the sensitivity of insulin by enhancing the uptake and utilization of glucose.

Whenever you take more than one medicine, or mix it with certain foods or beverages, you"re at risk of a drug interaction.

  • Interaction with Disease

    Lactic Acidosis

    You should report the incidence of conditions like kidney impairment, heart disease, severe diarrhea, septicemia to the doctor before taking Metformin. Supervised dosing and monitoring of blood sugar levels might be required in such cases. Any signs and symptoms indicative of the above-mentioned conditions should be reported immediately.

    Vitamin B12 Deficiency

    Inform the doctor about incidences of anemia or Vitamin B12 deficiency so that suitable Vitamin supplements can be prescribed if needed.Vitamin B1 deficiency
  • Interaction with Alcohol


    Avoid using alcohol while taking this medicine. Symptoms such as prolonged weakness and muscle pain, lack of sleep, breathing difficulties after alcohol intake should be reported to the doctor immediately.
  • Interaction with Lab Test


    Information not available.
  • Interaction with Food


    Information not available.
  • Interaction with Medicine

    Iodinated Contrast Media

    Discontinue the usage of Metformin at least 48 hours prior to the intake of Iodinated Contrast media. Inform the doctor about Metformin use so that it can be temporarily discontinued.


    Report the usage of either of the medicine to the doctor. Use of Metformin is not recommended along with Gatifloxacin and suitable alternates should be used instead.


    Report the use of either of the medication to the doctor as dose adjustment and safety monitoring may be required.

    Aloe Vera

    Consult your doctor for use of aloe vera while taking Metformin. Suitable dose adjustments and safety monitoring may be required if the intended use is for a long duration.


    Consult your doctor if you are planning to take Estradiol while taking Metformin. Dose adjustment might be required in such cases. It is advised to consult your doctor before starting or stopping any medication while taking metformin.
Disclaimer: The information produced here is best of our knowledge and experience and we have tried our best to make it as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but we would like to request that it should not be treated as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Lybrate is a medium to provide our audience with the common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. Even if there is no mention of a warning for any drug or combination, it never means that we are claiming that the drug or combination is safe for consumption without any proper consultation with an expert.

Lybrate does not take responsibility for any aspect of medicines or treatments. If you have any doubts about your medication, we strongly recommend you to see a doctor immediately.

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Table of Content
About Metformin
What are the uses of Metformin
What are the contraindications of Metformin ?
What are the side effects of Metformin ?
Key highlights of Metformin
What are the dosage instructions?
Where is the Metformin approved?
Medicines containing Metformin
How does this medication work?
What are the interactions of Metformin ?