1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2019 »
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Metformin side effects

Discussion in 'Metformin/Biguanides' started by Dizz, Jul 11, 2015.

  1. Dizz

    Dizz Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Was started on the normal Metformin on diagnosis just over a month ago, had the common side effects of bouts of stomach cramps and diarrhoea. Eventually had had enough and asked to be switched to SR version which my GP agreed to. Changed to the new tablets on Wednesday and thought I was going to be OK, but unfortunately had another really bad tummy today, so I'm just wondering if I'm going to have trouble tolerating these as well. Has anyone else found that it still took a little while for their tummy to settle after switching?
     
  2. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    I'll bump your post up @Dizz for a reply.
     
  3. Patricia21

    Patricia21 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,764
    Likes Received:
    6,896
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Hello.
    I was put on Metformin SR,I had problems for about three months,feeling sick ,stomach pains,and I was only on 1 x 500mg.
    I did search other meds but decided to continue.
    Reading round the forum I dont think 1 x 500mg does a lot for blood sugar,but I didnt know any better at the time,now I am used to them and have no problems I will continue to take them.
    Changing the way I eat has done wonders,I have gone from 58 to 44 HbA1c in a year,following a lower carb diet.
    I could come off the Metformin now,but decided to continue because If I ever had to go on them again at a later date I would have to go through the problems again.
    All the best
     
  4. Dvotee

    Dvotee Type 2 · Newbie

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I was diagnosed just over a month ago and put on metformin. From the first pill and the first 8 days I suffered from diarrhoea. At the time I was taking 1 500mg twice a day. The nurse advised I drop down to 1 per day for a couple of weeks to help my body adjust to metformin.

    I have been back on 2 per day just over a week and no issues so far so may be worth asking your doctor about reducing but don't just decide to do it of course get advice
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Dizz

    Dizz Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Thanks for your replies. Don't want to speak to soon as it were, but tummy seems to have settled a bit - fingers crossed, touch wood, etc!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. BigAl57

    BigAl57 Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    171
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Hi been on Metformin 500 mg twice a day. Yes I have had bouts of diarrhoea , but ensuring I take with food it does cut them down .It does not stop it 100 percent though
     
  7. Dizz

    Dizz Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Knew I'd spoken too soon.......:depressed: Is there any alternative to Metformin?
     
  8. jacotomy

    jacotomy Type 2 · Newbie

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I was put on Metformin 850mg a month ago and my quality of life has halved, I controlled my diabetes with diet and exercise for over 10 years but at my last annual assessment (July 2015) iwas put on medication, since taking Metformin I have aches and pains all the time, feel letharcic constantly and have to force myself to keep up with my exercise routine which involves playing golf every other day and 2 to 3 mile walks with the dogs every evening. The only digestive tract problem has been a noticeable increase in flatulance. Any advice would be welcome as would sugestions for alternatives to Metformin.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. ButtterflyLady

    ButtterflyLady Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,291
    Likes Received:
    4,025
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Unfortunately it's the only available drug of its type. The alternative drugs work in a different way and have their own benefits vs risks profiles. One alternative to metformin is diet and exercise, worth a try for say 3 months in most cases. Also keep in mind that side effects may improve with time, so if you can persevere a bit longer things might settle.
     
  10. Dizz

    Dizz Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I actually stopped taking them for a few days as I was going away to a big social event and there was no way I wanted to be spending half my time on the loo! Since then (around 2 weeks now) I've just been taking one a day and my tummy hasn't been too bad. Saw my DN on Monday and she was really happy with my progress, she didn't try to persuade me to go back up to 2 a day, so I'll persevere with just the one for now.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. mazowe

    mazowe Type 2 · Newbie

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    I as diagnosed with diabetes 2 July 2015 after the NHS health Check but had no symptoms of diabetes apart from high blood sugars. I was put on normal Metformin and with 2 days I got every side effect listed on the information leaflet and felt awful the longer I was on the tablets. Not actually been able to see my doctor or anybody at the practice since (long story). Had to contact my doctor by letter and then she phoned and changed me over to Metformin SR - 1 day. Was fine for 2 weeks but then I got muscle/joint pains, cramps, sweats, painful stomach, constipation and put weight ON, despite eating less and exercising more. Have stopped taking any tablets now for about three weeks and feel a lot better, and back to losing weight as I was before.
     
  12. Debs1970

    Debs1970 Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Hi everyone. I was put on metformin 500mg 1 a day, slow release 6 weeks ago. I have had nausea and diarrheoa every day. I have no quality of life anymore, I have no social life anymore as I can't risk leaving the house. I have been following a low carb diet and have stuck to it 100% for the past 6 weeks and have lost no weight either. Just feel so fed up and emotional. Want to stop taking them, but scared too at the same time.
     
  13. Dizz

    Dizz Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Debs, stop taking them and go see your GP or DN, you don't have to put up with that and I'm sure they wouldn't expect you to. Have you been monitoring your blood glucose levels? If so, how are they doing?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. ButtterflyLady

    ButtterflyLady Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,291
    Likes Received:
    4,025
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I agree with Dizz, you are allowed to stop taking a drug when the side effects are this bad. There are other ways to control diabetes and lose weight. Also, if you find after a few weeks that your BGs are not coming down, there are other drugs to try. Don't lose hope, there are still plenty of options.
     
  15. Dizz

    Dizz Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I'm still on 1 a day and had been OK until this morning when the old problem returned. Having a read around the forum I'm now wondering if it's worth taking 1 a day, if it's not doing me much good it's really not worth suffering the side effects. Any thoughts?
     
  16. ButtterflyLady

    ButtterflyLady Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,291
    Likes Received:
    4,025
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Did you have a fortnight or so where you took 500mg of Metformin SR a day without bad side effects then today you had diarrhoea? If so, that doesn't sound like the typical pattern of Metformin side effects and maybe something else caused the diarrhoea?

    I suggest discussing it with your doctor. IMO Metformin is a useful drug, if you can tolerate it. If you can't, then most people can get their BGs under control with dietary changes. If you can't do that, then the other non-insulin drugs have varied benefits, side effects and risks, and insulin might be better in the long run.

    How are things going with your eating patterns and BGs?
     
  17. Dizz

    Dizz Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I did wonder if it was something else, but it was exactly the same as before, cramping, etc. My BG's have come down considerably, my seven day average is around 7. I'm also on 3 Gliclazide a day and have cut down on carbs. My DN was really happy with my progress a couple of weeks ago and said if I could tolerate one Metformin a day that would be better than nothing, but just been reading around and from what I can see that low a dose might not be effective at all.
     
  18. ButtterflyLady

    ButtterflyLady Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,291
    Likes Received:
    4,025
    Trophy Points:
    178
    How long have you been taking Gliclazide? Could that have been a factor?
     
  19. Dizz

    Dizz Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    83
    No, I've been on the Gliclazide since diagnosis around 3 months ago, so I don't think it's that.
     
  20. Debs1970

    Debs1970 Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    43
    For the last 4-5 weeks on metformin my bloods were ranging from 8-6.8/7, however, 3 days ago I stopped taking it, it was ruining my life, I just couldn't take anymore. In those 3'days my bloods have been 6.3,6.5,6.8 and once they were 7.2. I haven't taken metformin in 3 days and I feel fab.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook