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Is there an alternative to Metformin?

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by chocoholic, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. chocoholic

    chocoholic · Well-Known Member

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    Please may I ask if anyone knows if there is an alternative to Metformin? I have a 73-year-old friend who is a Type 2 and Metformin is making his life a misery. His stomach is constantly upset. I think he takes Gliclazide too but his readings seem constantly too high and I am worried for him.This past week he has had a flu type virus that has sent his readings up to sitting around 23 and I persuaded him those levels were becoming dangerously high, so he did phone for advice and a doctor met him at the out-of-hours clinic at the hospital but promptly sent him home with instructions just to double his Metformin.Now his stomach is so upset he cannot even leave the house.
    Personally, I think he'd be better off on insulin now as even on a good day his readings only seem to sit around the 9 mark and I feel he'll be heading for complications if his doctor won't help him get his readings down.His doctor just said there is no alternative to Metformin, so if he can't tolerate it, he cannot give him anything else at all.Full stop.I've told him there must be something else he can take to help.
    I think he thinks I'm just a fuss-pot, so what can I do to help? If I had a definite suggestion of an alternative to Metformin, at least that might ease his constantly upset stomach and make his life more bearable.
     
  2. Pilgrim22

    Pilgrim22 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Get your friend to get his GP to perscribe metformin SR ( slow release) most people who cannot tolerate normal metformin can tolerate this



    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. dawnmc

    dawnmc Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Horrible doctor they don't listen do they!!! SR or MR Metformin is the one to ask for. Can you be there with him?
     
  4. chocoholic

    chocoholic · Well-Known Member

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    I believe he is already on the slow release Metformin. It just doesn't seem to agree with him in any form. :(
     
  5. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. There is no equivalent to Metformin. If this and Gliclazide aren't working well enough then insulin becomes a possibility. I've just gone onto it as I couldn't get control even with three drugs. I'm assuming your friend is having a sensible low-carb diet? If not then this must be the highest priority. Insulin is much easier than I expected and does work so do press the doc if the right diet and the two meds don't work. There are other possible non-insulin injections if your friend is overweight.
     
  6. MCMLXXIII

    MCMLXXIII Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    There are herbal "alternatives".
    If you wish I will share, but not at the expense of starting an argument on the forum.
    I'm too chilled on red wine and don't want to spoil it- hic:grin:
     
  7. connie104

    connie104 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I had a similar problem with metformin and my doctor changed me to galvus and have good results and no side effects

    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  8. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Connie104 mentions Galvus which is one of the Gliptin family of drugs. I'm also on Sitaglitpin, as welol as Met & Glic in the same family. It doesn't work in the same way as Metformin but may be worth a try. The Gliptins work by extending the time the pancreas produces insulin after a meal. I've had no side effects but after 2 years sadly it no longer helps me much.
     
  9. chocoholic

    chocoholic · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for your replies. I have passed the suggestion of Galvus on to my friend and hope he'll speak to his doctor and suggest this to him.
     
  10. suejat

    suejat Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I am allergic to Metformin. When this became apparent I was put on one of the Sulfonylurea drugs --- in my case glibenclamide, which has worked well for the last eight years with little or no noticable side effects. Downside is that because it stimulates insulin production, without increasing insulin sensitivity, there are more chances of "lows".
     
  11. master mouse

    master mouse Type 2 · Active Member

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    I have tried the slow acting metaformin, and it gve me the most painfull stomach ache of my life followed by diahorria.I had been put on it after usual metaformin was giving me constant diahorria.Now I am just taking my insulin and watching carefully my blood tests.I have cardiomyopathy as well and have been shocked to find I shouldnt have been taking it because of that.
     
  12. Trunin

    Trunin · Member

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    I accompanied my friend yesterday at her endocrinologist's visit. She couldn't tolerate Metformin and he switched her to Glumetza, an alternative to Metformin. She said this morning that she had not side effects at all, no upset stomach, no diarrhea etc.

    "Although other long-acting forms of metformin are available (such as Glucophage XR® and Fortamet®), Glumetza is not equivalent to these products. Glumetza is specially designed to release the medication in the stomach, not in the intestines (as with other metformin products). This may decrease the intestinal-related side effects (such as diarrhea and gas).


    Who Makes It?
    Glumetza is manufactured by Depomed, Inc.

    How Does Glumetza Work?
    Glumetza is part of a class of diabetes medications known as biguanide medications. Glumetza works in several ways. It decreases the amount of sugar (glucose) made by the liver. It can also decrease the amount of sugar absorbed into the body from the diet and can make insulin receptors more sensitive, helping the body respond to its own insulin better. All of these effects cause a decrease in blood sugar levels and lead to better control of diabetes.

    Because Glumetza does not increase the amount of insulin produced by the body, it is less likely to cause dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), like many other diabetes medications can."
     
  13. Hobs

    Hobs Type 2 · Master

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    Glumetza is just another branded version of metformin :!:
     
  14. sue cope

    sue cope Type 2 · Active Member

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    I am Type 2, and am on high amount of units of Novorapid and Lantus Insulins, and also on 1 x 500mg tablet of slow release Metformin. I have been on higher doses but they upset my stomach so now I can only tolerate 1 tablet. Apparently they protect you for other things so it is best to take just 1 than not at all. I think the person who asked the question's friend needs to reduce their Metformin, which must be slow release, and start Insulin.
     
  15. Trunin

    Trunin · Member

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    I know, but:

    Glumetza is specially designed to release the medication in the stomach, not in the intestines (as with other metformin products). This may decrease the intestinal-related side effects (such as diarrhea and gas).

    I guess it is worth trying, my friend didn't have any of the bad side effects she had with Metformin.

    Just trying to help.
     
  16. Vijendra India

    Vijendra India Type 2 · Newbie

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  17. life goes on

    life goes on Type 2 · Newbie

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    I have found by taking half the prescribed dose of slow release metformin in the morning, and the other half before bed it does not have such a bad reaction to my stomach. Certain foods seem to also be problematic: Sundried tomatoes and anything at all spicy seem to cause me enormous problems.- which hadn't been the case when I was not taking metformin. My Dr said by taking slow release there should be no need to take the tablet in two stages, but the effect is significantly better.
     
  18. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    The clue is in the title of these tablets. S.R. means that they are slowly released over a prolonger period Cutting them will mean that half a tablet will release all of it's potency in a short space of time @life goes on
    If you are doing this then you would be better off taking the Metformin that is not labelled S.R. as you are defeating the object of S.R.
     
  19. kimbo1962

    kimbo1962 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    When diagnosed last June I was given metformin, after a week it was obvious I couldn't tolerate it and expected to be given the Sr version, instead the nurse practitioner gave me forxiga and I had no problems at all with it, it's still fairly new- may not be suitable for all of us, like most things it's down to individuals. I'm now, since mid January meds free and diet exercise only
     
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  20. caring-for-mum

    caring-for-mum Family member · Active Member

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    Dear Kimbo1962, I see from your post that you could not tolerate the Metformin medication. May I ask you what symptoms you had as my mum is also not coping too well with it. xx
     
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