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METFORMIN QUESTIONS and ANSWERS

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

  1. kmwa

    kmwa · Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    I was taking metformin along with insulin for years without problems.
    Then after suffering from stomach cramps/pains and diarrhoea for a while, I had an endoscopy, they found nothing.
    Then after some time I realised it was the metformin after I had stopped taking it.
    Was advised to try again with just half a tablet, 2 hours later, back on the bog :)
    Eventually, my GP asked me to try slow/prolonged release metformin, and have had no problems since.

    Kev
     
  2. willowfarm

    willowfarm · Newbie

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    Re: Metformin Side Effects

    Average figures. I am also told to aim for an average of 7 -7.5 and also as long as you are under 10 at bedtime, thats fine - says my diabetic nurse. What are others being told?
    Sue
     
  3. doupen

    doupen · Newbie

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    I have been on Metformin for a good few years now 2x850 and 1x500 and the only side affect that has happened to me is I suffer from anemia caused by lack of vitamin B12 which my GP put down to being on Metformin for a long time.I had to have 6 off B12 injections initially followed by 1 off injections every 3 months for life.The lack of B12 found on routine blood test.Personally I am not sure this has caused my problem as I suggested to my GP maybe it was the Metformin and she said yes but to be honest I was told I would feel a new man after the injections but I still get tired.
     
  4. nabser

    nabser · Active Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    I was diagnosed with diabetes on xmas eve 2007 and came round in intensive care to be told the good news three days later,i was in such a mess that i cant recall any major side effects with metformin although i do have a bit of a wind problem which can be embarassing at times, i am also on byetta and between the two and eating healthy balanced meal (i do eat carbs) and exercise i lost nine stone, my last hba1c was 5.1 which is good by anybodys standards considering when in hospital it was 96.4.
     
  5. hybrid

    hybrid Type 2 · Member

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    Re: Metformin Side Effects

    Hi ! I'm on Glucophage 4x500mg daily plus Humalog 24 UNITS before breakfast 36 units before dinner 26 units before tea & then Glargine 66 units on the night time , HB1AC Has risen to 11% , I have cut out all sugars , bread , & stick to healthy meals pasta rice etc but still it rises , I use a wheel chair as I can't get around due to other problems . My Diabetes is hormone related & Not through Obesity .
     
  6. shpaul

    shpaul · Newbie

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    Re: Metformin Side Effects

    Hi there I am new to this board.

    My problems are around metformin side effects..... was on the regular metformin 3 times a day... but the nausea came in and changed to slow release 2000mg.

    But i am getting unpleasant stomach sensations, bad taste and according to my family smell breath which is making me very self conscious as I have no idea on that one.

    GP wants to add in another med in any case which I am resisting at the mo.

    Would welcome advice on the side effects and would like to understand what causes them. Told my nurse i seemed to have a reaction to milk or a tase similar to too much milk in my system... and have then just read about lactic acidosis which seems a more extreme reaction.

    Advice very welcome. I am getting a bit worried.

    Thanks
     
  7. Julz

    Julz · Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    I must be one of the rare ones after reading through this thread, as Metformin made me really ill within 6 days of taking one 500mg tablet daily. I started off by just feeling generally unwell, weak and tired on about day three of taking it, then the next day i noticed a slightly panicky feeling of flutterings in my chest which progressed throughout the day into full blown palpitations. I rang the doctors surgery at around 4pm, and was seen as an emergency by 6pm, where the GP diagnosed a cardiac arythmia and ectopic heartbeat. I needed further testing and was set up for a short ECG in the A&E of our local hospital, which confirmed that this was the case, and although it wasnt dangerous enough for admission, i was told that i should go home and rest, but continue with the Metformin.
    I had a very bad night feeling sick and unwell, by 6am my chest was thumping and i really did feel like i may be starting to have an heart attack, so rang NHS direct who put me through to the out of hours service. The doctor there had access to my ECG results, and had also delt with someone with similar symptoms after taking Metformin in the past. He ordered blood tests which confirmed me to be anaemic, and stopped the Metformin straight away. 10 days on and im feeling much better, my pulse has returned to a regular beat, and my DN today confirmed that although rare, what i had suffered was a severe reaction to Metformin. I am still awaiting an echocardiograph to check my heart is ok, and for now i have returned to following the NHS diabetic diet plan. I did ask about low carb diet, but was told that due to the heart problem, a high protien, high fat diet was not for me, and just to follow the diabetes Uk/Nhs diet like i had been doing before. My fasting BS is around 7.3 and two hours after meals it goes up to around 10.5, my BP is 150/90, cholesterol 4.2, and i have lost 1kg since i was last weighed 10 days ago.
    If all is clear with my heart tests and 24hr ECG planned for next week, then i will start to take another diabetes medication, but unsure what yet until they get all the results together.

    Julia
     
  8. leelun

    leelun · Newbie

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    I would't worry so much about when the side affects start! I would worry more about when they stop! IF EVER!
    I've been on 4 x 500mg modified release for almost a year now and still can't leave the house in the mornings without 3 -4 visits to the toilet. Have even been late for work because of the runs, sometimes don't even have time for breakfast! And then I know to expect more of the same around lunchtime!
    My nurse rang Thursday and said to come in on Tuesday and she wants to discuss some new treatment as my sugar levels are too high still!
    So good luck to you all on metformin, cos personally I think its a load of s#@t!!!
     
  9. Giblet

    Giblet · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    Leelun, I suffered with Metformin SR for eighteen months before I went to see my doctor and begged her to change my medication. As my A1c was up 8.8 she has stopped metformin altogether and put me on Actos 15mg and Amaryl. I have to tell you its the first time in eighteen months that I've done a solid poo :shock: sorry but I'm so happy! hopefully these pills will work. why dont you go see your GP and tell them you need to change for your own sanity! :wink:
     
  10. zacwasmydog

    zacwasmydog · Newbie

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    Re: Metformin Side Effects

    I have been diagnosed type 2 for nearly 6 years I think and have just heard about the side effects through the forum. Sometimes the urge to go is quite desperate with diaorrhea like stools. I have mentioned this at the G.P`s but they have not changed my meds. 2 850mg metformin simvastatin for cholestoral atenolol for hypertension and levoxythirine forthyroid also gliclazade to help with hb1ac.
     
  11. jaxbrit

    jaxbrit · Newbie

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    Re: Metformin Side Effects

    Hiya Mr Streesed, go on the slow release, I've been on it from day one or there abouts due to side effects and it's really good. Don't do insulin, there's plenty of time for that and once on it you can never come off it. I take Byetta which is an injection of a lizard spit and it slows food down in your stomach, it makes you lose weight and can reverse diabetes, albeit very rarely. The injection is a nightmare especially if you are a busy man and you keep forgetting it etc, with insulin, you can't forget it etc etc.

    Stay calm and ask for the slow release one.

    Jackie Smith
     
  12. Janieb

    Janieb · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Metformin Side Effects

    Hello can I ask a question - been on Metformin for two days now - probably got a bug as it seems a big co-incidence but I've had a headache for two days, metalic taste in my mouth, funny tummy , very cold all the time and just generally feeling spacey.

    I assume its a bug but wondered what you all thought?
     
  13. Jim H

    Jim H · Active Member

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    Re: Metformin Side Effects

    I think those symptoms are side effects of Metformin especially if you have just started on them. However you may have found this out over the last month, since you posted this.

    For a month or 2 a got a upset stomach with wind, (particularly pungent ones) and occasionally diarrhoea. This strangely only happens on an evening. For the last month I have not had diarrhoea, although sometimes still wind.

    I have read that if people are getting side-effects all the time, changing to the Slow Release (SR) form of Metformin helps a lot.
     
  14. carty

    carty Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Metformin Side Effects

    I changed to slow release Glucophage an am much better
     
  15. adgriff

    adgriff · Newbie

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    Metformin and Carbohydrates

    I've been taking Metformin for 6 months (4x500mg daily) and my sugar levels are always between 4 and 5.5. I've been told to eat carbs regularly as part of my diet - bread, rice, pasta etc., but I want to lose weight and would prefer to eat more salads instead. What effect would it have if I don't eat carbs at every meal?
     
  16. cocacola

    cocacola Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Metformin and Carbohydrates

    Why not just eat less carbs? I have cut back on carbs and combined with the medication I am on I have lost weight.
    Do you test? This is the only way to know what foods push your BG levels up. Although your levels looks within guidelines. Are they morning fasting levels or Hb1Ac?
    I had fish and chips last night. One oven cod in batter and half a dozen oven chips :( my BG levels went up from 5.4 to 9.9 :shock: Sadly no more oven cod in batter for me :cry:
    You could also try more exercise, walking is good.
     
  17. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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    Re: Metformin and Carbohydrates

    The only way to find out this is to test before and two hours after a meal. This will tell you what effect the foods you are eating are having on you. Metformin is not a hypo inducing drug so should not be a problem reducing carbs at meal times.
     
  18. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    Re: Metformin and Carbohydrates

    adgrif
    on Metformin only, you are unlikely to have any problems if you skip the carbs.
    Hana
    [low carber who rarely eats carbs at all.]
     
  19. adgriff

    adgriff · Newbie

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    Re: Metformin and Carbohydrates

    Thanks for all your replies to my query. I don't really understand how Metformin works and I didn't know whether it needed carbs in order to do what it has to! My GP has told me not to bother testing but to wait instead for my half-yearly Hba1c to check how I'm doing!! I do test from time to time and can't detect any difference whether I eat carbs at a meal or not. I'm happy to accept that I've been diagnosed with Type 2, but my BG levels are, and always have been, in the 'normal' range - the only time I was slightly over was the first time I took the glucose tolerance test. At the induction course I attended, I felt rather guilty since everyone else in the room had high levels - 10, 11,12 etc and mine were 4-5! They just told me that I'd been caught early before any signs were showing - so, as you might appreciate, I'm finding the whole thing quite confusing.
     
  20. humph

    humph · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Metformin : How long before side effects start ?

    The side effect kick in pretty quickly, as I am finding out just now.

    I am on the full dose and over the last few months my sugars have gone right up, but I also noticed that I wasn't getting any of the usual side effect from Metformin.

    Working with my Consultant we have tried a few things, but it looks like we I have found the problem, generic drugs.

    My metformin from the pharmacy changed to a new manufacturer two scripts ago and this appears to be the problem. Three days ago I went back to some older tablets I have, and the side effects kicked in again and my sugars are coming back down.

    So I am now going through the process of my body getting used to Metformin all over again.

    To me this also highlights a problem with normal treatment. If I had gone to my GP, he would have just changed my medication, he certainly wouldn't have tried to find out if there was another reason. It makes me wonder how many people have been moved of a drug that worked well for them because of a bad batch or poor quality generic drugs.
     
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