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METFORMIN QUESTIONS and ANSWERS

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

  1. Thunderbird 4

    Thunderbird 4 · Member

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    Metformin and dry mouth

    Hi,
    Started my Metformin over a week ago and up to know no dreaded stomach problems to report (hope not tempting fate here..??).

    Anyway, the only real side effect I have developed in the last few days is a very dry mouth / throat which is causing me to drink more than usual.

    Prior to dignoisis of T2, which was only two weeks ago I never suffered from the classic signs such as raging thirst, weight loss etc. However since on the meds I am more inclined to feel thirsty. I have read that this can be a common side effect and should ease, however anyone else found this a problem?

    I suppose out of the side effects some people report I should be lucky.....better to spend time at the tap in the kitchen getting a drink...against time in the loo..!!
     
  2. Janieb

    Janieb · Well-Known Member

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    Re: metformin side effects

    Well I have been on the slow release Metformin for two weeks and I am pleased to say i have no side effects what so ever.

    Went to see the Diabetic nursey today and shes dead pleased with my weight and blood sugars.
    She said that shes relieved that the tablets suit me as shes been very worried - bless her ( and that I was her guinea pig in trying these tablets apparently I'm the first one in the surgery to go on them hee hee )
     
  3. sugarman72

    sugarman72 · Newbie

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    Re: Metformin and dry mouth

    :) Hello,the way i found out i have diabetes type 2 was due to a dry mouth,so thats what made me go to my doctor,he put me on 1 500mg of metformin a day around a month ago and it stopped my dry mouth!? But saying that ive seen my local nurse and my doctor today and they have told me i have to have an appointment with my local hospital and the diabetes specialists to find out more.
    Jim Cole.
     
  4. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
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    Re: metformin side effects

    I have been taking Metformin since last summer and also since last summer my hair has been falling out. Is this a side effect of Metformin? Does anyone know what I can do about it? I don't want to stop taking Metformin as I have no (other?) side effects and it has also helped me to lose weight. Would be grateful for advice.
     
  5. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Re: metformin side effects


    Hair loss is not a known side effect of Metformin according to the BNF59

    Side-effects anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea (usually transient), abdominal pain, taste disturbance, rarely lactic acidosis (withdraw treatment), decreased vitamin-B12 absorption, erythema, pruritus and urticaria; hepatitis also reported.

    Hair loss can be caused by other drugs, check out the PIL's (patient information leaflets). You might also ask your hairdresser....a recent question about hair problems turned out to have been caused by hair shampoo. Not everything is down to Diabetes or drugs side effects.

    Abnormal hair loss can be due to many different causes, but about 50 percent of the population experience normal hair loss by the time they reach 50. People who notice their hair shedding in large amounts after combing or brushing, or whose hair becomes thinner or falls out should consult a dermatologist.

    Get a referral from your GP.

    Ken
     
  6. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
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    Re: metformin side effects

    Thanks Ken I will ask my Doctor next time I am there. I did ask my hairdresser and she suggested like you that it might be some medication I am taking. She also suggested I take Priorin pills (not sure if you have this in the UK?) but they cost a lot and did nothing. I am taking many other medications apart from Metformin but all of them from well before last summer. I shall have to research their side effects but they aren't medications I could stop.
     
  7. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Re: metformin side effects

    There is also this to consider as I noticed you have lost a lot of weight and low carb........

    Might also check it out with a dietician. As I said there are many causes, so it needs further investigation.

    Ken
     
  8. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
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    Re: metformin side effects

    That's interesting. However I do eat a lot of protein - that's the food I eat the most of. Perhaps I don't eat enough vegetables. But perhaps the hair loss could simply be due to the weight loss. In that case I will have to put up with the hair loss as getting and keeping my weight down is more important to my health.
     
  9. cugila

    cugila · Master

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  10. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
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    Re: metformin side effects

    Thanks very much for all your help Ken. Will read info thoroughly.
    Cathy
     
  11. PickledPepper

    PickledPepper · Well-Known Member

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    Re: metformin side effects

    Has anyone not experienced weight loss? I'm happy with my weight now.

    I've just started taking Metformin today (1x500mg tablet) as my doctor and nurse stressed me about it.

    What wanted to know was whether the reducing effect endures after ceasing taking the tablets? Can I take these for a few months and then stop when they have reduced the bs levels a bit - and keep the gains?
     
  12. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Re: metformin side effects

    PP.

    First of all not everybody loses weight on Metformin, it is only a possible side effect. The Bg lowering effect only happens while you are taking the drug, it doesn't build up and remain in the system. In any case it typically only lowers Bg levels by 1-2 mmol/l and that is when you are on the max dose, 2 g daily.

    You can always try stopping the tabs after discussing with your GP. Once you stop taking the Met there will be a short time while it gets out of your system but the effect only lasts a short while, around twelve hours or so I think, depending on the dosage. Might take a little longer. It doesn't have a long term effect.

    As for stopping when your Bg levels are better controlled......it may be that you might have to continue with them as it is possibly mainly down to the Meds that your control is better. It's one of those 'how long's a piece of string' questions.......maybe....maybe not.

    Ken
     
  13. Magill

    Magill · Well-Known Member

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    Is It Metformin causing this Reaction?

    3 weeks ago I had an odd episode. Muscles in both legs were solid - was not too worried by this as I have a spinal injury and have a constant cramp in both legs as a result of nerve damage - however, this was worse than usual. Cramp spread to the extent that it was from the waist down and I felt shaky, nauseous and was breathing rapidly. I got out of bed and gentle exercising eventually caused the symptoms to subside. My BG had also shot up to 14.7 (I hadn't eaten anything for about 5 hours) and then dropped just as rapidly overnight. I had also been unwell for 2 days previously.

    Everything was fine until yesterday. I've been low carbing (this is my second week) and my BG figures are falling. Been feeling good as well until last night. I usually try to spread my metformin throughout the day as I don't feel brilliant taking 2 x500mg together. Yesterday I was a bit behind so I took the 2 x 500 together. Meals yesterday were very low carb. About 3 hours after I took the 2 metformin and had the meal the same solid cramps occurred in my lower body.

    I felt nauseous again but this time I was sick (only acid). Prior to being sick I felt cold, shaky and had minor numbness in both arms and mouth. I was also breathing rapidly again but I suspect some of this could be panic. I kept moving about, drunk a lot of water and after about 1hour it passed over. I just felt generally exhausted. I didn't take my last metformin + my statin at that stage as I still didn't feel good. Got up around 2.30am to go to the loo (I had drunk a lot of water), felt a bit better so took the tablets then and went back to bed.

    This morning I felt a bit better - at least I did until I took my first metformin. About a couple of hours later I started to get the same symptoms as yesterday but not as severe and again they have mostly passed over. Trouble is I am now scared to take my other metformin tablets for today in case it happens again. I can't get my GP until tomorrow morning. I checked my BG when it happened last night and it was down at 6.9 (best it has been in ages). Currently it is at 8.1 and falling but that is post food and only 1 metformin (normally I would be taking number 3 around now).

    I suspect I need to speak to my GP as soon as but could this be the metformin? I've been taking it for 2 years without any problems and only changes are the addition of Sitagliptin and the low carb diet. However, they were not in the equation 3 weeks ago when this first happened. This is quite scary when it happens and I really don't know what to do with the rest of todays meds.
    Has anyone ever experienced anything like this?
     
  14. Janieb

    Janieb · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Is It Metformin causing this Reaction?

    Hello,
    it could be that you are allergic to the tablets.
    I had similar issues sickness, falling over, dizzyness, cold all the time and stomach issues.
    Just generally feeling terrible.
    I phoned the Diabetic nurse and she told me to come off the tablets immediately so you need to phone yours and check.
    I was then placed on the SR version and since then i have been fine.
     
  15. Magill

    Magill · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Is It Metformin causing this Reaction?

    Thanks for that. I think I am convinced not to take the rest of today's tablets. What I find odd though is that I have taken them for 2 years with no reaction.
     
  16. Janieb

    Janieb · Well-Known Member

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    Re: metformin side effects

    Wish I had that side effect of loosing weight ha ha.

    Pleased to report that I am still have no side effects ( ZILCH) to SR metformin - feel so much better :p
     
  17. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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    Re: Is It Metformin causing this Reaction?

    Please consult a doctor immediately. There is a condition relating to Metformin that can be serious.
     
  18. Magill

    Magill · Well-Known Member

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    Re: Is It Metformin causing this Reaction?

    I assume you are talking about lactic acidosis? It occurred to me too. I have just spoken to one of the GP's and I am going in this afternoon to see my own GP and get my bloods done now. He agreed to stay off the Metformin for now and stick with the Sitagliptin and low carb diet. He is puzzled too since, as I said, I've been on Metformin for 2 years without major problems so a reaction would be unusual now (although he admits not impossible).
    Even weirder, with only 1 Metformin yesterday my BG by evening was 6.7 the lowest it has been in ages. I did go very low carb yesterday though to try to compensate for the lack of Metformin. Still will see what happens this afternoon. I have had no more "episodes" either but still feel a bit Yuk.
     
  19. PickledPepper

    PickledPepper · Well-Known Member

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    Metformin and whisky

    As some of us have discovered a wee dram of whisky or two in the evening can help lower our bs levels nicely.

    I have just started taking Metformin and am wondering if continuing the whisky would be idiotic?

    I started viewing whisky (or whiskey) as some lovely medicine, plus it seems to work a lot better that Metformin?

    Can the two mix?
     
  20. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Re: Metformin and whisky

    Let's put it this way....medical advice states, depending where you look, that you should avoid alcohol, or drinking excessive alcohol whilst on Metformin.

    Now I know from personal experience that a small tot of Whisky or other alcohol has done me no harm after several years on Metformin, however it is YOUR choice in this matter.

    Ken
     
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