What is Metformin? Full information, uses, benefits and side effects.

What is Metformin? Full Information, Uses, Benefits and Side Effects

What is Metformin?

Metformin is an oral medication belonging to the biguanide class, primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes. It works by improving the body's response to insulin, reducing the amount of glucose produced by the liver, and increasing the uptake of glucose by cells.

Uses:

Metformin is used for:

  1. Type 2 Diabetes Management: Metformin is a first-line treatment for individuals with type 2 diabetes to help control blood sugar levels.

  2. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): It is prescribed to manage insulin resistance in women with PCOS, aiding in regulating menstrual cycles and improving fertility.

Benefits:

  1. Blood Sugar Control: Metformin helps lower and control blood glucose levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

  2. Insulin Sensitivity: It improves the body's sensitivity to insulin, helping cells utilize glucose more effectively.

Side Effects:

Common side effects may include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach upset

Serious side effects are rare but may include:

  • Lactic acidosis (a rare but potentially serious complication)

Precautions:

  1. Kidney Function: Regular monitoring of kidney function is important, as Metformin is excreted by the kidneys.

  2. Lactic Acidosis Risk: The risk of lactic acidosis is higher in individuals with kidney or liver problems. Any signs of lactic acidosis, such as muscle pain or weakness, should be promptly reported.

  3. Contrast Dye and Surgery: Metformin may need to be temporarily stopped before certain procedures involving contrast dye or surgery.

Dosage:

The dosage of Metformin is determined by the healthcare provider based on the individual's blood sugar levels, response to treatment, and other health factors.

General Dosage Guidelines:

  • Starting Dose: Typically, 500 mg or 850 mg once or twice daily with meals.

  • Maximum Dose: The maximum recommended dose is usually 2000-2550 mg per day.

Conclusion:

Metformin is a widely prescribed and effective medication for managing type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance associated with PCOS. Its benefits in controlling blood sugar levels contribute to overall diabetes management. While generally well-tolerated, individuals should be aware of potential side effects, particularly in those with kidney or liver issues. Regular monitoring and communication with healthcare providers ensure the safe and effective use of Metformin.

References:

  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2022). Metformin. medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a696005.html

Author: Nikita Vishnoi BCA

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