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Differences between Metformin and SR Metformin

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by purplekat, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. purplekat

    purplekat Active Member

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    Hi, I'm thinking of asking the doctor to change me to SR Metformin because after almost a year on it I am still suffering the side effects - to the extent of I end up taking immodium maybe once a week, and the rest of the week I'm quite paranoid about what I eat (I feel like I've got IBS, which started at the same time as the Metformin :roll: , and having read the IBS website I do have a lot of the symptoms).

    I've persevered for so long as the fact I can't eat a lot of the unhealthy foods due to this has made it easier for me to give up pizzas, fizzy drinks, spicy foods, regular bread etc and helped me lose a little weight. However, it does impact on life somewhat, I don't like going for long visits to friends houses in case I am ill, if I am going on a day out somewhere I don't want to eat/drink much, and when we moved offices I had to cut my water consumption right down to try and balance out the effect of the metformin (the bathroom was 5mins away, upstairs).

    I've got a couple of questions about the SR Metformin which I'm hoping someone who takes them can answer (as opposed to the doctor's answer, which isn't based on personal experience).

    1) Are the pills any bigger than the Metformin ones? I already have trouble swallowing those sometimes, so if they are bigger I might have to forget that idea.

    2) Do they still have the welcome side effect of reducing your appetite?

    3) Does it take long to get used to them (especially if you are switching from Metformin/other medication already taken)?

    Thank you :)
  2. Daibell

    Daibell Forum Regular

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    Hi. I was prescribed SR from the beginning. The tablets are quite large. Yes, they do appear to reduce the appetite as well. I've never had any problems with the SR version whatsoever but of course we are all different. With the problems you are having I would certainly consider swapping over to SR.
  3. ukmike

    ukmike Member

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    Hi,i was on the normal Metformin tabs for 3 months when diagnosed,(2 a day,500mg),had the same problems as you so asked to be put on SR tabs & have been fine since.They are not round like the normal ones but oblong shaped,a bit larger but easy to swallow with a mouth full of water.Well worth changing to.
  4. skyoy37

    skyoy37 Member

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    I started off with metformin and only after 2 weeks i could not stand the side affects i got changed to metformin SR which for me was a good thing, but with metformin i have found i now suffer from wind big time,
  5. ))Denise((

    ))Denise(( Well-Known Member

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    PurpleKat, I've always had a fast digestive system and metformin made it worse. I've found since cutting out wheat from my diet that my IBS-D is so much better. There is wheat in so many things that you don't realise, such as sausages and stock cubes. I didn't know about the SR version of metformin as I didn't come here until over two years after diagnosis. The upside of cutting out wheat is that you eat loads less carbs if you don't replace it with alternatives. I take quite a large dose of regular metformin without problem, except when I've accidentally eaten wheat and then the stomach cramps and the runs start.

    The more carbs you eat skyoy37, the more wind you will have with metformin, so cut the carbs and hopefully it will get better.
  6. clairebear13

    clairebear13 Member

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    I went from Metformin to SR cos I had a dodgy tummy too. They are slighly bigger, more a capsule shape. Better on the tummy and for me the levels :)
    Good luck x
  7. purplekat

    purplekat Active Member

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    Thanks for all the replies!

    If they are more of a capsule shape, I should probably manage to swallow them ok even if they are bigger. Currently at least every other day I end up getting one of the Metformin either glued to the rough of my mouth (they taste foul!), or half-choking when I swallow it. Just seems to be those pills, nothing else causes me trouble!

    I suspected it might be wheat related - I'd got as far as noticing that pizza was bad, less sandwiches were good (or wraps instead of bread), and some crisps/biscuits (which I shouldn't be eating anyway) were bad.

    I'll speak to the doctor and see what she says. That's been nearly a year, and of that the last 5 months were full dose so it's as settled down as it's giong to get I think!
  8. rinfrance

    rinfrance Member

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    It seems that others have not come across the two reports, one from a California Uni and one from Norway.
    Basically if you were before being diabetic sensitive to wheat, (hard red or white) then you would be a diabetic!
    I have tried to stop having wheat, cut down on red meats and only have oats or barley (be careful some beers are made of cheap wheat!), we eat a lot of rough flake fish, eg salmon, haddock cod etc. and my BS has come down, my night liver dump has also reduced so mornings now about 160. We have also stopped potatoes, and basically reduced all carbs.
    It seems I also have a bad thing with sugar, have it and I have a problem and go to sleep, malt whisky OK, have blended and sleep, so I suspect that it may actually be the sugars in the wheat.
    Had this type of conversation with a proffessor in Paris some time ago, why are there so many accidents with lorry drivers falling asleep at about 14:30 -16:30, Now lets see what do French truckers do at dinner time, oh yes, loads of bread, a french beer made with lets see, oh yes wheat, and after they have a cake type gateau made from, oh yes here it is, wheat!
    If that little scenarion IS correct, and it seems that it probably is then either the drivers will have to be tested for wheat intolerance (baout 30% of europeans) or these wheats will be banned. (sorry USA and Canada 'cos thats what you grow.) Most wheat in the UK is soft and about 50% is in france but called froment!
    Its the reason why weetibix do not affect me! All their grain comes from within 50 miles and is all soft! Now Kellogs, they will not answer so guess its not, is THAT why it frequently but not always knocks me out. Ryvita also only use soft wheat and they make biscuit products for some other supermarkets.
    Incidentally, the French dietician told me that "all kellogs products, Orangina, and many Nestle are likely to be a problem" as she said they should be called "sugarful".
    I had a helping of a Marmalade made from Lemons, first for years, last night, mmm wont be doing that again. Had problems till midday today, dont know how I carried on. As it was purely the marmalade that was different the inference is total.
  9. ))Denise((

    ))Denise(( Well-Known Member

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    That's an interesting post riinfrance, do you have links to the reports?

    I've never been good with wheat bran. Used to love Oat Krunchies but they have added wheat bran and they give me the runs (this was as far back as 1987). I can't eat weetabix though.

    I think there is a link with wheat and metformin and how bad it affects your stomach.

    I rather take the non SR Metformin and leave wheat out of my diet, it is easier to low carb that way and not be tempted with carb laden (wheat) food.
  10. carophie04

    carophie04 Member

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    Metformin SR has, in my case, meant far less "bowel" problems than the bogstandard variety. I was told to take two after evening meal and have found that more palatable. However, as has been said before, we all react differently to drugs of any kind and, for me, the Metformin SR I am pretty certain is the cause of a very unpleasant skin rash which has recently been diagnosed as Lichen Planus since I started itching roughly 2 - 3 weeks after I started SR. Seems strange but it is a fact and not very pleasant as can last for months - only good thing is it isn't contagious! If you go on SR and start itching within a week or so go back to your GP. That's what I should have done but I put up with the itching for weeks before I went to report the problem by which time it was well in my system and spreading.
  11. Cosy

    Cosy Active Member

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    I have been thinking of asking my GP about SR Metformin. I actually had an 'accident' in the street in Spain as there are no toilets near the beach and I had to rush back to my hotel, but did not make it !! I had another few 'near misses' during my holiday. I am due to go again in July and am starting to get paranoid about it. I have tried noting what I am eating to see if I can cut out things and I am on low carding now which is working re blood sugars but does not seem to have made any difference re bowel movements, it is more not having control over them that worries me. Hope this is not too much information, but I just need some advice if SR would be helpful.
  12. tree-peony

    tree-peony Active Member

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    Give it a go Cosy. It's been better for me. I still have odd gastric problems, but nothing like as bad :)
  13. hanadr

    hanadr Well-Known Member

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    Wolfgang Lutz [the "life without bread" guy] believed thwawt a low carb diet would solve irritable bowel.
    It's worth a try. I'm low carb and been on Metformin 2 x 500 per day for about 9 years without any trouble from it
    Hana
  14. bernie.freeman

    bernie.freeman Well-Known Member

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    Hi Cosy,

    I know exactly what you mean !!! I went to my GP last year just before going on holiday and he gave me a drug called Lomotil,It slows things down and I don't tend to have to rrrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnn.
  15. Cosy

    Cosy Active Member

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    Oh that sounds interesting bernie.freeman I must take a note of this and ask him for it were there any other side effects from it ?
  16. ))Denise((

    ))Denise(( Well-Known Member

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    This is an explanation of Lomotil http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/digestive-he ... motil.html

    I was given Amitriptyline (a tri-cyclic antidepressant) by a gastroenterologist for the runs. It did slow down my bowels but raised my blood sugar and made me put on weight. I stopped taking these tablets and I then cut out wheat, so unless I accidentally eat wheat I don't have problems with the runs.
  17. me-to-you71

    me-to-you71 Member

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    im on metformin 4 x 500 a day and some time get a bad belly some times i was on 2 x 500 a day but was put on the 4 a month ago im waiting for my blood test to come back to see if i carry on with the 4 or go back to the 2
  18. bernie.freeman

    bernie.freeman Well-Known Member

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    Hi Cosy,

    I haven't noticed any side effects, I was just relieved that I was confident enough to go out and enjoy myself. See what your GP says. I pointed out that my holiday would be spoilt by the Metformin problems.

    All the best

    Bernie :)
  19. Milehouse1

    Milehouse1 Member

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    Hi I was having all the side affects from taking Metformin 500mg x 1 . I was taking it with my evening meal. Which made me feel lousy every evening!
    My Diabetic nurse suggested I take the Metformin last thing at night with my simvastatin. This was the answer...I've been feeling good ever since!
    Perhaps this may work for you?
    :) :thumbup:

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