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Metformin and Vitamin B12

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by maverickuk, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. maverickuk

    maverickuk Type 2 · Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I just wanted to let you know, because your doctor probably wont tell you that the use of Metformin PREVENTS the absorption of Vitamin B12. I was shocked to find this out, as my doctor never told me. I took Metformin for 2 years and now I have symptoms of B12 deficiency, confirmed after blood tests.

    Consider taking a B12 supplement if you take this drug. And if you require evidence, check out any web site or Google Metfomin and Vitamin B12.

    I am disgusted that my doctor never told me this, because if I can find this out, so can he.

    I will be posting separately about my symptoms.
     
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  2. Johnjoe13

    Johnjoe13 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello @maverickuk It does mention this in the possible side effects section of the drug information that comes with the box. The DN did say there were possible side affects and that I had to tell them if any became a problem, but no the B12 deficiency was not specifically mentioned. I looked on the internet and read up on the side effects in more detail and I decided to start taking a supplement myself, should the medics offer B12 as standard with metformin then yes I think they should certainly discuss this with the patient in more detail
     
  3. maverickuk

    maverickuk Type 2 · Member

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    Hi You might not know that you have any side effects until it is too late. I have some of them already and I am very concerned that I was not told, in particular as this info is on numerous web sites. Good thing is that you cannot overdose on b12 as it is water soluble, so a supplement is well worth taking. I hope that I have no nerve damage.
     
  4. chalup

    chalup Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My doctor told me to supplement B12 because I was taking metformin and now my B12 levels are way too high. Everyone is different.
     
  5. Johnjoe13

    Johnjoe13 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I can see where you are coming from with this, but like any medication you are supposed to read the information that comes with it. The medics do rely on patients to self monitor and notice any changes, but yes there are some side effects from certain drugs that can cause serious problems and some may not be easily reversible. From reading some NICE info that was provided by @Brunneria on a thread yesterday (link below if you haven't read it) Metformin seems to be the first primary drug of choice that is to be prescribed for reducing blood glucose in type 2 diabetes, so it looks like they consider this first option to be the most effective to start with. Obviously they have looked at the side effects like they do any drug and have concluded this is a safe option whether you agree with it or not

    As I said, it was me who took the decision to read up on this and take the supplements. Now i'm not defending the medical profession here just expressing what I believe is the case, that GP's can't sit with us after prescribing a drug and go through 'every' possible scenario and side effect and then ask us to decide whether to go ahead. Obviously drugs with more serious side effects are the exception and must me discussed. I think they look at the statistical information on known side effects and base their decision on prescribing and what side effects could be a particular issue, but like I said they consider metformin safe and so no need to go through everything with the patient. Personally I think it would be a whole lot easier just to hand out B12 supplements with it as standard and save all the hassle and possible B12 deficiency problem in the patient. If you read below you will see that it seems to be a good idea, but like a lot of things the medical profession can't seem to agree and two major groups for diabetes treatment and I quote from link below:

    'Metformin is a valuable tool in diabetes management, but while both the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) recognize the risk vitamin B12 deficiency associated with this drug, neither organization--nor any other major medical organization for that matter—have advocated B12 supplementation or provided screening and supplementation guidelines'.

    https://www.holisticprimarycare.net...d-metformin-come-with-a-b12-prescription.html

    On a more serious note on the next link you will see the next set of drugs which should be prescribed if metformin alone has proven ineffective. Now these on the other hand are more worrying and I'm seriously hoping that I can turn this around and not have the GP suggest Pioglitazone, which as you can see has some very nasty possible side effects and i'll probably refuse to take it, so on that basis i'm sticking with the metformin. Then again should I succeed in lowering by BG through diet and excercise (fingers & toes crossed) then they can sod off with all of these drugs.

    https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs...d-glucose-lowering-therapy-in-type-2-diabetes

    Sorry I've go on a bit but when i'm on a role I just go all out with information. But what I will say finally is that the internet is a very good place for reference material and I think invaluable when dealing with these serious subjects and our own health and wellbeing
     
  6. Bogie

    Bogie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Most doctors don't know squiddly about drugs. The education that most get on drugs are from pharmaceutical sales reps whose best interest is selling their drug offerings. Best advice would be to ask your pharmacist. Here in Canada they have been kicking around the idea of having the pharmacist do the prescribing from the doctor providing diagnosis and symptoms.
     
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