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metformin side effect

Discussion in 'Diabetes Medication and Drugs' started by kellieb, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. kellieb

    kellieb · Member

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    i am now on my second week of metformin, week 1 was 1 500mg each day. week 2 is 2 x 500mg per day. i have been experiencing sickness, diarreah, headaches, dizzy spells/lightheadness, racing heart, dry mouth. has anyone else experienced this amount of side effects?? i have been reading the other posts and see that some are experience one or two side effects, but i seem to have a few, should i be concerned or try and ride it out? im not trying to be wimpish and one good thing is i seem to have lost about 4lb since taking the metformin!
     
  2. hallii

    hallii · Well-Known Member

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    I only had dry mouth and unusually, constipation.

    The constipation was easily delt with but the dry mouth, mainly at night persists.

    I had headaches in the early days and also felt dizzy a few times now you mention it!

    The good news is you just stick with it for at least a month and things settle down, apart from the damned dry mouth at night that is.

    If it has not settled down after a month or so ask your doc for the extended release version, more expensive but gentler on your system.

    H
     
  3. carty

    carty Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My advice would be dont wait a month tell your GP or DN how bad you feel you dont need to put up with this .The SR metformin are more expensive than the usual met that they give you at first .Thats why you get them.
    CAROL
     
  4. angieG

    angieG Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I found that if I kept sipping water during the day that I didn't get headaches and didn't feel so dizzy. They seem to cause a bit of dehydration with me so lots of water is good (helps the constipation factor too).
    HTH
    Angie
     
  5. ashaw

    ashaw · Newbie

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    When I was first diagnosed with type 2 (6 years ago now) I was put onto metformin SR and gliclazide. These did seem to control the sugar levels but I didn't lose any weight. Eventually I was taking 4 metform SR and had really severe diarrhoea, nausea, thirst and headaches (also very tired because I had to keep getting up at night) and this effect didn't wear off. With my doctor's approval, I was taking Immodium every day to try to control it. Then I had to have surgery for bowel cancer and was taken off the metformin "temporarily" and put onto insulin injections. Since then, I was never allowed to come off of the insulin but was kept off the metformin and gliclazide with disastrous effect on my sugar levels.

    Last year I was put back on to the metformin and pioglitazone with disastrous effects on my weight as I blew up like a balloon, weighing in at 16.5 stones eventually. I was taken off the pioglitazone but left on the metformin and my 2 insulins - Humilin S and Levemir (total of 118 units in total each day).

    I still have trouble with my bowels, but it is less severe now and less frequent, so after a year I seem to be adapting to the medication. It still doesn't work though, and now I have to get rid of all this extra weight. I am currently on 900 cals a day using a full range of food types, but it doesn't work and I still maintain this awful weight. Much against the wishes of my medical advisors, it's heigh ho for a low carb diet for me.

    Anyway, metformin is a pain but you can get used to it, even if it takes months, and I suppose it's better than risking the side effects of poor control of sugars - that's if it works at all.
     
  6. Deon

    Deon · Member

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    Hi All

    Metformin, or Glucophage as it is known here in South Africa has given me nothing but trouble. I suffered all of the side effects mentioned in this thread (and others), but worst was the headaches and tummy upsets - at one stage I even considered fitting a seat belt to the loo (lol) 'cause at times it felt as if I'd blast off into space without some form of restraint - seriously, it was terrible. Eventually I was taken off Glucophage and moved onto Levemir & NovoRapid. Metformin in my opinion is dreadful drug and does more harm in terms of the side effects it causes than the little bit of good it does.
     
  7. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Deon

    Were you on the SR (Slow Release) version of Metformin e.g. Glucophage SR? This has reduced side-effects and might have helped you but is often not mentioned because it costs a bit more.
     
  8. Deon

    Deon · Member

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    @ Daibell

    It was not a SR version. Originally I started off on 350mg and ended on 1000mg. I enjoyed medical aid benefits at the time and I doubt if cost would have been a factor. I of course do not discount its value as a first treatment option for many, but I just simply reacted very badly to metformin.
     
  9. halesb

    halesb · Member

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    Hi i have experianced the dry mouth but not much of the other side effects (i have been taking them for a month now)
    Good Luck :thumbup: :thumbup:
     
  10. sheels60

    sheels60 · Newbie

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    I had terrible side effects, could not control my bowel most of the time on 2000 glycozide a day, the doctor put me on insulin injections (humulin) and my life has changed so much, it is so easy to inject once a day and no side effects, take my advice and ask your doctor if you can go on insulin injections instead
     
  11. brunodog25

    brunodog25 Type 2 · Active Member

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    HI CAPS FOR MY BENIFIT. I AM ON METFORMIN WAS ON NORMAL METFORMIN BUT HAD HORRENDOUS TROTS TO SAY THE LEAST THE OTHER SIDE EFFECTS DIDN'T MATTER WHEN I HAD THE TROTS I COULDN'T GO ANY WHERE THE GP CHANGED ME TO THE SR I HAVE HAD WORSE SIDE EFFECTS I HAVEN'T SLEPT A FULL NIGHT DUE TO REALLY BAD STOMACH CRAMPS THAT BAD AT TIMES I THOUGHT MY PANCREATITIS WAS KICKING OFF AGAIN HAVE PUT UP WITH ALL THE SIDE EFFECTS FOR OVER 2 MONTHS SAW CONSULTANT AT MY FIRST CLINIC TODAY AND HE IS WRITING TO MY GP FOR HIM TO PUT ME ON ANOTHER MEDICATION IF YOU SAY NOTHING TO YOUR GP OR GET NO WHERE SEE ANOTHER BUT YOU HAVE TO GIVE THE MEDICATION TIME TO WORK AND THE BODY ADJUSTI DO WISH YOU LUCK THOUGH I HAVE ANOTHER 2 WEEKS APPROX ON METMORFIN TO GO BUT BELIEVE ME I HAVE READ ABOUT IT AND IT IS TO MOST A VERY GOOD DRUG
     
  12. Superchip

    Superchip · Well-Known Member

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    Tis true that when you first start Metformin you go through a period of the Mozarts and the Mumbai revenge.

    After a couple of months ( 10 years ago ) mine settled down and all was fine, except when I drank red wine, my passion and addiction. Then, all hell breaks loose and I feel that I could quite easily pebble dash the side of a house ( sorry ! but that description fits so well ! )

    So my answer is to ease up on the Metformin ! and a close eye on BG levels. I was on 3x30mg Gliclazide but since stopping them 3 months ago ( my choice ) my levels haven't changed.Got another HBA1C at Papworth in March so need to see if I've managed to shift it up from 36 (5.4%) a bit low in my book.

    GLA keep taking the pills !

    Superchip
     
  13. connie104

    connie104 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Had the same trouble finally got my doctor to put me on vildagliptin and changed my life no more trots and I could actually leave the house again after three months of not leading sight of a loo.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using DCUK Forum mobile app
     
  14. pav

    pav Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    After 13 years on the stuff the biggest problem for me is the amount of exhaust gas, which can occur at the wrong times. Don't normally need to be in sight of the loo if off colour then its wise to know where they are.
     
  15. Lynnbro

    Lynnbro · Member

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    Type 2 recently diagnosed on 25th March. Started 1x500g metaformin the following day and for 5 days was throwing up. Seeing my DN this week she immediately changed me to the SR version. Now no sickness but metal taste in mouth. So I'd press for a change of prescription sooner rather than later. I have had a constant headache since 25th march which varies from a dull ache to very strong - is this due to the high sugar levels? When might I expect it to go?

    Also the only dietary advice I've had so far is 'just eat healthily' which is not all that helpful - the forum is helping here so Thanks. But I do find the comments from my DN quite patronising e.g. She constantly says things like 'don't eat sausages, pies, pastry' - things I don't eat very often anyway (not had any in at least 6 months). Access to dietary support is not forthcoming. Have others found this?



    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  16. sujeet

    sujeet · Member

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    Diagonised with T-2, a year ago. Initially was on Jalra M 500 (Vildagliptin +Metformin) for @ 8-9 months. It was bit costly. For last 4 months I am having Metformin HCL 500. But for 2-3 weeks, I am experiencing headache, heavy headness, indigestion and weakness. I consulted doctor for it, but doc says these are not side effects of Metformin.
    I am really confused as to continue Metformin or revert to Jalra M 500 (Vildagliptin + Metformin) though bit costly.
     
  17. borderter

    borderter Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Have been back on met for two weeks now and have stomach cramps as before but have put on 3lb in weight, thought met helped you to lose weight !
     
  18. Bouress

    Bouress Type 2 · Newbie

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    If you are not in the u.s you can get metformin here without a prior prescription you just do their online consultation form http://www.europetabs.com
     
    #18 Bouress, Feb 13, 2015 at 3:19 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2015
  19. masonbason63

    masonbason63 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear about everyone's problems using metformin there does seem a consensus that it's quite a problematic drug side effect wise, but an essential part of treating diabetes, I've been on Met for 11 yrs I was put on it 11 yrs ago for insulin resistance and weight loss reasons, I've never checked to see if I'm on SR or not but I've never had diaohrea in fact the total opposite to the extreme of not going for a couple of weeks I'm now on two form of laxatives which help slightly, I do get bad headaches and a real heavy head but I've always put that down to gastroporiasis now I'm wondering is it the metformin contributing?
     
    • Creative Creative x 1
  20. gary.williams197

    gary.williams197 Type 2 · Member

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    Was on metformin then diabetes control was excellent probably due to some drastic lifestyle changes and was then back to diet and exercise control. Then I fell off the wagon started eating rubbish again, probably stress related eating, and a year later i was put back on metformin - then the problems began... I became very bloated and was concerned about my stomach so went to the docs (about two weeks after I started metformin for the second time), saw a doc who I never saw before he sent me for a sigmoidoscopy. It never occured to me that it could be the metformin because I tolerated it so well the first time. anyway after having the old camera shoved up the rear and getting the all clear went back to the docs and this time saw a very good GP who is now the diabetic GP and she pinpointed it straight away and put me on the slow release metformin.
    Whilst this has helped I still suffer with bloating, but not as bad, and I work really hard in trying to reduce this naturally by trying to increase my dietary fibre. Is there anything else I could do? I have wondered about gastroparesis...
    I'm now taking 2 x 1000mg metformin a day and 100mg sitagliptin. Last HbA1C was 44 in new money (can't remember the units mol/mmol?)

    Thanks.
     
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