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metformin and alcohol

Discussion in 'Metformin/Biguanides' started by Buttons11, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. Buttons11

    Buttons11 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I've just been prescribed metformin reading the leaflet it says not to drink any alcohol. It's not that I'm an alcoholic or anything :) but does this mean I can't even have the occasional drink and what will happen if I do?
     
  2. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    It means what it says - no alcohol.
    The consequences can be lactic acidosis, which is a serious matter and requires urgent treatment.
     
  3. SueNSW

    SueNSW Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm the naughty one on here I think - I still drink - not excessively (normally) but certainly a glass of wine (or even 2 - shock - horror) with dinner some evenings and a Baileys and milk during the evening too sometimes - doesn't seem to be causing me any problems.

    Also over indulged a little on cocktails (including creamy ones!) while on holiday in Bali in December, as well as drinking light beer - again no problem for me whatsoever - but of course everyone is different.

    Interestingly here in Australia we don't seem to get the info sheet in with meds anymore - or not the ones I'm taking anyway - and only once had a pharmacist print off a copy as I had some specific questions - looking up the consumer medicine information leaflet for the one I take (Metex XR) it says:

    Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol while you are being treated with the medicine may also lead to serious side effects

    Let's face it though, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is always likely to cause some problem or other!!
     
    #3 SueNSW, Mar 30, 2017 at 1:27 AM
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  4. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

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    There is a app for android and apple phones called MedAdvisor that once activated at your pharmacy of choice, It will list all of your scripts, and any repeats that are held at the pharmacy.

    Digging deep in the MedAdvisor info of the brand of Metformin I take it said much the same.

    It's free, and worth the effort of setting it up.
     
  5. SueNSW

    SueNSW Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that, I don't tend to use just one pharmacy though - get prescriptions made up generally wherever is convenient at the time - so probably wouldn't work for me at the moment. I find the website http://www.nps.org.au/ pretty good for checking any info I need
     
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  6. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

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    Thanks for the link.
     
  7. SueNSW

    SueNSW Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Looking a bit deeper into this (as a moderate drinker on metformin XR) there was a paper (OK published back in 2003) - that apparently concluded - "A systematic review concluded no data exists to definitively link metformin to lactic acidosis"

    Salpeter S, Greyber E, Pasternak G, Salpeter E. Risk of fatal and nonfatal lactic acidosis with metformin use in type 2 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(21):2594–602. doi:10.1001/archinte.163.21.2594. PMID 14638559.

    Not sure if there is anything more recent though.
     
  8. carty

    carty Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    When I was diagnosed with diabetes I asked the pharmacist about alcohol and Metformin He told me that pharmaceutical companies are careful to cover all the possibilities of interaction and it is very rare to have lactic acidosis and moderate drinking should be ok . I have wine with my meal.at weekend and have never had problems but that is ME
    CAROL
     
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  9. lovinglife

    lovinglife Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I have a drink now again my GP. says it's fine in moderation - I asked what is moderation and he said stick to the recommended units per week and you'll be fine - lactic acidosis is very rare - speak to your GP or nurse if you are at all worried.
     
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  10. sarah_chadwick

    sarah_chadwick Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I enjoy a few drinks now and then too, wine, cider, Gin & slim line tonic or even a couple of cocktails and had no problems, I also ensure that I eat either just before or while I'm drinking alcohol though. x
     
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  11. Buttons11

    Buttons11 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone. I don't want to go out and get bladdered every night, just the occasional drink would be nice
     
  12. foxy_t13

    foxy_t13 Type 2 · Newbie

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    I enjoy a few beers on a Friday night and don't have any bad affects while drinking eg dizzy or light headed to a point.After a good few I find I can't remember the night before. So just goes easy . Cheers
     
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  13. Lyndseyx

    Lyndseyx Type 1 · Member

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    I'm T1 for 40yrs.....been on Metformin for last 8/9 years,as well as Insulin. I drink every weekend! I am a person.....not just a diabetic! Just monitor your blood glucose. Being on Metformin doesn't cause hypo's like Insulin does whilst drinking alcohol.....Cheers x
     
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  14. ColS

    ColS · Member

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    I was given the same advice. Not been on Metformin since 2013.
     
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  15. Ultramum

    Ultramum Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I have on occasion washed my evening metformin down with a nice glass of red
     
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  16. smudges dad

    smudges dad Type 2 · Member

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    I've had no problems having a drink or two with metformin, but then I've never had any of the side effects other people have. In fact, I find my morning glucose is lower after a couple glasses of red.
     
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  17. Reddog

    Reddog Type 2 · Member

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    I always assumed the warning of not drinking whilst taking medicatication was that the alcohol[in moderation] actually lowers BG

    When I have a couple of glasses of wine I useually get a lower BG reading?
     
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  18. Toffer

    Toffer Type 1 · Member

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    Would like to add my two p'worth. Yes the Lite does say do not drink alcohol because of the (supposedly) link with acidosis. But there has been other studies showing zero correlation between Metformin intake, alcohol and acidosis. For me, I drink in pubs if I eat in pubs I take insulin for the food I've eaten, but if I've been drinking heavily then I'll take Metformin the next morning with breakfast.
     
  19. sugarshy

    sugarshy Type 2 · Active Member

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    I take a 1000 mg of Metformin a day, I started this dose about three months ago. The difference now is that if I drink alcohol it makes me drunk very quickly and that I get what I think is the symptoms of hypoglycaemia in the early hours of the morning: Anxiety, shakiness, nausea and racing thoughts etc. I have discovered that this can be rectified by a swig of Lucozade kept by the side of my bed. I have successfully reduced my blood sugar levels down to normal levels and I'm left wondering if I should start withdrawing from Metformin slowly? Alcohol reduces blood sugar levels so I presume this is why in conjunction with alcohol I get the symptoms I have described above?
     
  20. SueNSW

    SueNSW Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Ha ha - glad I'm not the only naughty one - mine slide down very nicely accompanied by a glass of Baileys and milk - not every night though, I hasten to add.
     
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