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Alternatives to Metformin?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by TheMillerMan, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. TheMillerMan

    TheMillerMan · Member

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    Hello, all,

    I don't get on with Metformin. According to the paperwork that comes with them, one in ten people don't. I am obviously one of those.

    I stuck at them for over three weeks, took a break, started again and suffered the same results after a few days.

    When I was prescribed them, I was told there were several alternatives. There must be a reason they initially prescribe something that 10% of the population can't cope with. Before I go back to the nurse I would like to know, if possible, the pros and cons of these alternatives.

    Thanks in advance,

    John
     
  2. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
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    Hi @TheMillerMan

    The obvious alternative would be to give dietary changes - which are also important when taking metformin - a go on their own to see if you can manage without medication. Many of us here are testament to this being a viable option.

    So far as other options go, there are many, many, so it’d be good to see what your nurse has in mind and then ask for information about those options.

    This article gives an overview of the main categories of medication available.
     
  3. Andydragon

    Andydragon Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You answered your own question. The reason is that 90% gets on well with it, it is also a very cheap drug and for many people has some impact with minimal side effects, if any

    There are many many alternatives, all with differing side effects and impacts that work in different ways

    you need to find out what the medical professionals are going to offer, it’s not really something you are likely to have a lot of say in as to be honest, some of the alternatives are expensive and there are clear guidelines as to when they can offer what

    although realised have made an assumption on UK based but to be fair, UK forums!
     
  4. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    Metformin plus Atorvastatin gave me the worst weeks of my life, so I can stick to my low carb diet no problem.
    If it was Metformin or a diet of frogspawn - sorry frogs.
    However - eating low carb is not at all onerous.
    I get fresh salads and veges - which I hope will continue despite Brexit, though I could grow a lot for myself if I had to.
    I have stir fries and salads, I roast veges under the chicken or joint - I have a little book in which I have listed all the low carb veges I am likely to come across with their percentage carb content. It would be difficult to complain about the steak or chops or sausages for breakfast, eaten with mushrooms, sweet peppers, cougette or aubergine, then I don't need to eat lunch but 12 hours later I eat dinner.
    Some people fast, but I found it kept my blood glucose more stable to eat at 12 hour intervals.
    You could perhaps argue for a medication free interval to see if you actually need to take tablets.
     
  5. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It's also pretty safe long term, having been discovered in 1922 and used medically since 1960. (It's a a treatment for PCOS as well as T2). For the 90%, it's a safe drug.

    By the way, @TheMillerMan have you tried the slow release version? (It's more expensive, so you have to fail with the normal version first, but is worth trying before you give up with the drug.)
     
  6. ert

    ert Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    How quickly did you increase the dose? When I was first diagnosed, as I refused insulin, they started me on Metformin. As advised by my GP, I took one 500 mg tablet once every third day and slowly increased it to every second day over a week. I was taking one a day three weeks after I started.
     
  7. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    Thought of changing what you eat and avoiding medication altogether?

    Has worked well for many of us just read the success stories thread and is a lot easier than you might think if you like eggs and bacon...
     
  8. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. There is no alternative to Metformin but there are various other diabetes drugs. You need to ask the GP for Metformin SR (Slow Release). It is much kinder but costs the NHS slightly more and hence NICE doesn't recommend it for initial treatment.
     
  9. Mbaker

    Mbaker Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Some have used Berberine or baobab. I weaned myself off of Metformin and do the lifestyle changes to provide an alternative, to guard against heart disease, insulin resistance and liver dumping. Lifestyle alternatives are a Ketogenic eating pattern, walking after meals (proven to lower post prandial rises better than Metformin) and resistance training, which does not need to be like a body builder.
     
  10. TheMillerMan

    TheMillerMan · Member

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    To make my question clearer, the alternatives to Metformin available are:
    1. Actos
    2. Prandin
    3. Precose
    4. Januvia
    5. Invokana
    I am simply asking of experiences with these, so that I am aware of issues before the nurse makes any decisions for me. With ten percent of Metformin users being intolerant of it, there must be a fair number of users of these - but maybe not on this forum?

    John
     
  11. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. I took Januvia (Sitagliptin) for a couple of years as well as Metformin. The only minor problem was a mild headache for a week. This drug is a DPP4 inhibitor which suppresses the enzyme that supresses insulin output after a meal i.e. it therefore increases insulin after a meal. It reduces spikes. I found it helped a bit but may not help a T2 with insulin resistance and excess insulin.
     
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