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METFORMIN QUESTIONS and ANSWERS

Discussion in 'Diabetes Medication and Drugs' started by landman, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    I can tell you that when I was put on the Max dose (3g daily) of Metformin many years ago I had very few, if any side effects. As to how long before you get them, I couldn't tell you as we are all very different and there is no set formula. They are not mandatory either !

    As for the time taken to have an effect on Bg readings again that is an unknown quantity, in any case Metformin typically only lowers Bg levels by around 1.5 mmol/l and that is when you are on the max dose. So, no real definite answers I'm afraid, just maybe's.... :wink:
     
  2. wallycorker

    wallycorker · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    Hi Neil,

    I certainly had side effects of rushing to the toilet - in fact, I hardly dared leave the house for a while. However, I can't exactly remember when the side effects started - fairly quickly I think. Eventually they disappeared altogether thankfully.

    As regards, metformin's effect on blood glucose levels that wasn't great in my experience and Ken (Cugila) has already indicated the same. Certainly, I don't recommend that you sit back waiting for the tablets to sort out your diabetic problems for you because they won't do that. They might slow down your progression on the path to having to inject insulin but they will not solve your problem.

    In my experience, the best way to improve your blood glucose levels is through the power of diet. Cutting back on the starchy carbohydrate that you eat - i.e. cereals, bread, potatoes, pasta and rice - usually leads to a dramatic improvement in blood glucose readings.

    In my opinion, dietary changes are far more powerful in sorting out a diabetic situation than either medication, weight loss or exercise. Moreover, the improvement through diet usually comes about very quickly indeed.

    Best wishes - John
     
  3. FordPrefect

    FordPrefect · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    I think for me they didnt kick in until week 2 when I went upto 1x500 tablet in the morning and evening. As for noticing the effects I never felt any difference apart from an upset stomach thats never been quite right since I first started over a year ago.
     
  4. jocat44

    jocat44 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    Hi,
    I've been on 1000mg Metformin SR since the end of July. I ahve been lucky in that I haven't had any side effects of note. I found cutting down a lot on sugars and a bit on carbohydrates has made the biggest difference to my bgl. You have to find what works for you because as others have said one size does not fit all.
    Good luck
    Jo
     
  5. mehdave

    mehdave Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    Started my dose of 1x500 for 1 week 2 days ago and so far each day had some pretty bad runs. But im hoping it will get better. So I would imagine if you dont get any in the first few days you might be okay.
     
  6. nmc

    nmc Type 2 · Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    Thanks for the replies, interesting reading.

    It's proving to be very easy to cut a load of sugar and carbohydrates out of my diet so I will be concentrating on this side of things for now. Of course this means that I was eating / drinking far too much sugar to start with.
     
  7. wallycorker

    wallycorker · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    Good luck with your improvement programme. It's well worth the effort.
     
  8. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    I've been on 2 or 3 x 500mg Metformin for 6 years[my choice]. I never had the tummy Grumbles and I know it doesn't do very much for BG control. I did a trial and did pretty much the same without any and with a TIGHT diet.
    Hana
    Ps I've got used to eating very little, although my diet is varied and includes a large proportion of veggies and salads.
    Most days you could get everything I eat onto one large dinner plate. It wouldn't add up to a 3 course meal. And NO, I'm NOT hungry!
    when I go out for a meal[rare!] I try to keep to plan. I'm really trying to get more weight off. It's slow and painful, but inching in the right direction.
     
  9. Synonym

    Synonym · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    So what is metformin supposed to do if it is not doing much for your bg? I ask as my doctor wants to put me on it if necessary at my next appointment and wonder why you would be on it if not for bg levels. :?
     
  10. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    Metformin helps lower blood sugar in three ways:
    •It lowers the amount of glucose absorbed from food.
    •It lowers the amount of glucose produced by the liver.
    •It increases the body’s response to insulin.
    It is not a 'magic bullet.' It is an aide to a good diet which will also assist in lowering Bg levels.

    It is the primary drug of choice if diet alone doesn't work. A natural progression.

    It has been shown to sometimes assist in weight loss although not everybody has the benefit of that, it usually just doesn't make you gain weight like some other Med's do !

    It has also been shown to have Cardivascular benefits, which all goes towards a healthy heart.
     
  11. chrissieworne

    chrissieworne · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    Hi Neil

    I started on one 500mg Metformin a day and was fine, however, when I stepped it up to two within 48 hours I had the most terrible stomach pains like painful gripes which refused to settle down. :( I stuck it out for a week but had to give up because I couldn't cope at work or at home with it.

    The GP said try one a day only but the DN nurse at my surgery overode him and went mad, put me straight on 2 x 500mg slow release at evening meal instead and I have been fine and feel better about things. So my advice would be if you strat to have probs I think it would be within the week and if it doesn't settle see if you can try the sr version. I know they don't want to do this due to cost! :evil:

    I don't think as the others say it makes a huge difference to bg but with a good diet can help, I hoped they would cut my appetite but they haven't and no...I haven't lost weight either..

    Good luck
    Chrissie :)
     
  12. TracyA

    TracyA · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    I am on x4 500mg aday and touch wood havent had any side effects.Hope I havent just tempted fate lol.
     
  13. Flossie

    Flossie · Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    For me side effectcs kicked in on the second dy with a gut like a volcano on one tablet per day . I had been warned to expect it was no shock. It calmed down at the end of a week then when I went onto two tablets per day, one night and evening when it flared up again for three days and at one point was scared to leave the house or be anywhere more that 12 foot from a loo but is almost back to normal now . :roll:
     
  14. nmc

    nmc Type 2 · Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    I've been using it since last Friday and seem to be tolerating it well so far, a bit of diarrhoea a couple of times but nothing to complain about.

    The lowest my sugar level has been is 8.0, I suggested doubling the dose (from 2 x 500mg / day) to my doctor but he said give it a couple of weeks before increasing it.

    I noticed my sugar level appears to be constantly between 4 and 5 points higher than it should be most of the time, rising to 14 or so if I eat something higher in carbs.

    Personally I would prefer to have some kind of quick acting insulin as well as these tablets to bring it down when required. I've been referred to some department (can't remember the name of it) so I should hear back from them shortly.
     
  15. wellwell1212

    wellwell1212 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    Side effects! tell me about it..... They clicked in pretty soon after starting as I recall. I had a rotten time in tolerating the standard version of Metformin. Tried and tried but, suffered endless doses of the runs to the extent that some days I just could not go to work and ended up with adverse UK Bradford points, to the point where my job was being threatened. Went to another doctor and got put on 750mg of Slow Release Metformin, twice a day. That regime seems to be doing the trick with a x3 month ave figures around 7. Take the odd Glicacide when I've been a naughty boy and want to bring things into order but, generally seem good with life style reform and 750mg of Slow Release Metformin regime.
     
  16. metallurgy

    metallurgy · Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    Many people have no side affects at all whereas others can experience them from the start, or sometime after taking them, or when the doseage is increased.

    There are two rarish side affects to be aware of. If after taking metformin for a while, you become very, very tired and sleep at the drop of a hat then you may be suffering from a Vitamin B12 deficiency. Metformin can inhibit the absorbtion of this vitamin. It mimics pernicious anemia. The test for that problem looks for the production of intrinsic antibodies. If you do not have this, then it is the Metformin. It can be treated by more tablets or, in extreme cases, with a serious of injections over a short time and then followed by quarterly injections.

    GP's are not always aware of this side affect.

    The second is that it can cause pancreatitis. You will certainly know if you have this as it can be one of the most painful conditions known to mankind. At it's most serious pancreatitis can be life threatening. This in turn can cause pancreatic insufficiency. This means that the pancreatitis has damaged the pancreas and it can no longer produce the enzymes to digest food. Once it has been diagnosed pig pancreatin will have to be taken 3 times a day before food for the rest of your life.

    So, be aware of this drug and the damage it could do.
     
  17. willowhisper

    willowhisper · Member

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    Re: Metformin Side Effects

    Drink water and never get dehydrated on Metformin. Not drinking enough will definately get you head aches and muscle pains. I have to drink even during the night, which is very annoting, but is the only way to avoid headaches. Salt meals will make this much worse. Control salt intake.
     
  18. willowhisper

    willowhisper · Member

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    Re: Metformin Side Effects

    You have to stay off insulin as long as you can. Type 2 is often insulin resistance of the cells. The Metformin allows the cells to receive the insulin and use it well. It's a whole different kettle of fish taking more insulin when the issue is one of resistance. I asked the Nurse why people are given insulin in the end if the issue is one of resistance and her answer was 'there is nothing else'! They do it because it's a 'last ditch' choice. Get your HBA1C down. Yours is far too high. Try not to drink because you are taking Metformin. It's a chemical..why mix chemicals and alcohol? Isn't it asking for trouble?
    HBA1C is your key to feeling better. Mine has been a constant 4.7 4.2.4.7 for years. How do I obtain these results? Complex carbs and also cutting down on the amount. I have a way to go with my weight so I am not perfect by any means. NOTE: I also have asthma which used to be controlled with steriods but I watched my body carefully and stopped eating anything with dairy. Now 7 years down the road I do NOT take steriods. My Dr said it 'was not a good idea to stop taking steroids (inhaler), but has had to 'eat his hat' since I have lived quite asthma free all this time. The ONLY time I have trouble with Asthma nowadays is if I get a chest infection..or if I try to eat too much dairy again, I get conjunctivitis and a cough and mucous and my breathing then gets worse. I go back to removing dairy and it all goes away. Milk for anyone with lung problems should be avoided at all costs. Just depends on if you are brave enough to try it. You can prove it yourself at no cost. Try for say 2 months. No bicsuits with milk or butter..no products with butter or margaines with milk. No creamy sauces. You can have soya/oat milk and cream and even help lower your cholesterol. Cheese is not so easy to substitute...but if you want to lower your need for medication do without cheese..(except for a small amount one day at the weekend as a treat. Believe me it works.

    It is no fun being Asthmatic and Diabetic....so treat them both with the respect they demand and you will start to improve dramatically. Your diet does NOt have to be changed drastically..just change white carbs for complex.. lessen the amount. Avoid most sugar (not all) and don't drink. Health is more important than alcohol. Booze and meds are dangerous. You may even lower all your meds just from doing the above. Good luck.. and love yourself :)
     
  19. scotswarrior2000

    scotswarrior2000 · Newbie

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    Re: Metformin Side Effects

    Since then I've been battling with seemingly endless tiredness, terrible wind [burping] and in particular headaches and nausea.

    hi there mate may i suggest you ask you doc for SR METFORMIN its a slow realese form of the drug and i used to suffer really bad from wind and burping and it has now stopped there a bit dearer to prescribre but if you ask youll get ............... from a windy free scotswarrior lol :D
     
  20. bruce

    bruce · Newbie

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    Re: Metformin Side Effects

    Hi

    Both my GP and Nurse say that a couple of occasional beers will do me no harm. Just make sure I have had a snack before going to bed.
     
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