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Home > Health Library > Metformin for diabetes
Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine.
The information provided here is general. So be sure to read the information that came with your medicine. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your pharmacist or doctor.
Metformin is a medicine used to treat prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. It helps control your blood sugar. It is also used to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Metformin works very well and is generally safe.
Here are some examples of metformin. For each item in the list, the generic name is first, followed by any brand names.
Sometimes metformin is combined with other diabetes medicine.
This is not a complete list.
When they first start taking metformin or start taking a larger dose, some people feel sick to their stomach or have diarrhea for a short time.
General information on side effects
All medicines can cause side effects. Many people don't have side effects. And minor side effects sometimes go away after a while.
But sometimes side effects can be a problem or can be serious.
If you're having problems with side effects, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change to a different medicine. Don't suddenly stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor first.
Always be sure you get specific information on the medicine you're taking. For a full list of side effects, check the information that came with the medicine you're using. If you have questions, talk to your pharmacist or doctor.
Cautions for metformin include the following:
Cautions for all medicines
Always tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the medicines you take. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. That information will help prevent serious problems.
Always be sure you get specific information on the medicine you're taking. For a full list of warnings, check the information that came with the medicine you're using. If you have questions, talk to your pharmacist or doctor.
Other Works Consulted
American Diabetes Association (2018). Standards of medical care in diabetes—2018. Diabetes Care, 41(Suppl 1): S1–S159. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/41/Supplement_1. Accessed December 8, 2017.
Inzucchi SE, et al. (2015). Management of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes, 2015: A patient-centered approach: Update to a position statement of the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. Diabetes Care, 38(1): 140–149. DOI: 10.2337/dc14-2441. Accessed February 18, 2015.
Current as of:
August 31, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineTheresa O'Young PharmD - Clinical PharmacyDavid C.W. Lau MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Current as of: August 31, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Theresa O'Young PharmD - Clinical Pharmacy & David C.W. Lau MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
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