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Metformin vs. Metformin Extended Release

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by slimblackman1, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. slimblackman1

    slimblackman1 Type 2 · Member

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    My doctor prescribed Metformin for me but it has me feeling really unwell. Does anyone know if the Metformin Extended Release version has the same side effects such as stomach issues and just feeling like blah? I didn't have these symptoms until I started the Metformin.

    Sent from my VS987 using Diabetes.co.uk Forum mobile app
     
  2. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

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    My GP prescribed Metformin XR (extended release) for me, but as they were in short supply here in Australia so my pharmacist gave me the fast release Metformin instead.

    I did not have any problems with any upset stomach or the getting the scours other people say they get.

    Metformin XR are now available to me and I have gone on to them now, also without any side effects
     
  3. MrsGriffy

    MrsGriffy Type 2 · Newbie

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    Both myself and my husband found that the slow release Metformin is kinder on the stomach than the regular one, but we also found that different brands of Metformin affected us differently.

    We've both taken Sukkarto SR before, and that made us both ill with stomach problems, lots of rushing to the loo and generally feeling a bit ****. For me, it was so bad that I stopped taking it, and my blood sugar raised dangerously high as a result.

    When I spoke to the diabetic nurse she changed brands to Glucophage SR and, as long as I take it straight after a meal, my stomach problems are sorted. My husband later changed to Glucophage SR and his stomach, although not perfect, is a lot better than it was.

    The diabetic nurse said that if any medication is making us ill we must tell her as she can prescribe different ones till we find the right ones for our bodies.

    Good luck in finding something that is a little less evil on your stomach :)
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. slimblackman1

    slimblackman1 Type 2 · Member

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    Thanks for your prompt response. I am going ask my Doctor if I can try the extended release version. Hopefully, I can get some relief from the side effects.

    Sent from my VS987 using Diabetes.co.uk Forum mobile app
     
  5. euge

    euge Type 2 · Newbie

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    Hi I had a really bad time on metformin and my GP put me on insulin for a year until Glucophage SR came out, he asked me to try it an it's been great no side affects at all, so I'd say give it a go and good luck
     
  6. MrBungleBear

    MrBungleBear Type 2 · Newbie

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    I had been on Metformin from various brands with no real ill effects (well, not really bad ones, anyway) until about a year ago when I suddenly developed the most hideous symptoms that look totally like IBS - blowing, cramps, pressure and desperate, immediate need for a loo so bad that I really worried about being away from one for any length of time and began organising my life around proximity to facilities! I eventually stopped taking it and things got back to almost normal. I then was put on Slow Release, but it was no better.

    I am about to go back for a test and then meet the nurse again, and will ask for this Glucophage SR. I'll post back and let you know how it's going.

    The other option is that it might be nothing to do with the Metformin and that I maybe just have IBS now - yet another thing to contend with if that's the case...
     
  7. Barb1849

    Barb1849 Type 2 · Newbie

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    I used to take ordinary Metformin at a very high dosage for many years. It was changed because my stomach and bowels took on a hideous life of their own. It turns out I have Gastropaeresis, one of the long term complications, and the normal Metformin was aggravating it. I now take Glucophage SR. Things have improved quite a bit.
     
  8. steveis36

    steveis36 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    Yeah im on 1 aday metformin slow release with no side effects.
    However i did try 2 which has upset my gut
    The normal metformin was just super aggressive and i was on the poo house for ages
     
  9. Steve978

    Steve978 Type 2 · Member

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    Will have to enquire with my nurse next time I see her in regards to metformin extended release tablets ( never heard of them) .
     
  10. Moosepig

    Moosepig Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    initially I was on ordinary metformin but had awful cramps and was put on glucophage SR which suited me very well - then budgetary cuts meant I was put on sukkarto SRwhich I'm still on, and I've seen my blood glucose levels creep up a bit despite being very diligent with my diet. My daughter's a pharmacist and says metformin is metformin, they are just different names as produced by different companies but the same stuff inside.....I'm not totally convinced though - these dont seem as good as glucophage.
     
  11. Tipetoo

    Tipetoo Type 2 · Expert

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    Different countries different names, Metformin slow release (SR) or Metformin extended release (XR).
     
  12. malancy

    malancy Type 2 · Member

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    Normal metformin gave me terrible smelly flatulence which with IBS was a nightmare. I am now on Glucophage SR which is much kinder to my stomach. I take mine mid-breakfast as that works for me.
     
  13. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I was switched onto Sukkarto without my knowledge, and my bgl rose dramatically, When I looked into it, I found out that the enteric coating on Sukkarto (the time delay component) is shellac which is a lacquer / varnish, My body was not dissolving the tablet correctly, so whatever active ingredient in it went down the loo. I am back on standard release Metfomin now with few side effects.
     
  14. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Strictly speaking different manufacturers use different mechanisms for giving the modified release effect, One method uses polyethelene as the barrier coating so dissolves slowly (SR), others use cellulose to trap the active ingredient, thus slowing it down (XR) I found one (Sukkarto SR) that uses paint varnish (shellac) as the slow down coating
     
  15. cott97

    cott97 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I've had no problems with Sukkarto SR - it's really down to the individual but I always try the switch for a couple of weeks so that I can demonstrate any new side effects.
     
  16. Pinkcoat1965

    Pinkcoat1965 Type 2 · Member

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    I take 1gm of Metformin slow release. I have been on that dosage for a year now. At first I had no symptoms to speak of except a nasty taste in my mouth every morning. It did wear off. I can't say I like taking it because I have IBS also I do get bouts of the runs. I have had to cut down on foods with lots of fibre as they make things worse. At my recent diabetic review I was told I was just over the required levels and told go back in 6 months. I'm not convinced Metformin is the best medicine for me. Because it is cheap drug I expect that's why it's so widely prescribed. I have diabetes in the family. I get tired of being sneered at because I am T2. Yes I do need to lose weight but I am convinced Metformin is responsible for that. When I mention about the stomach upsets all I get is a shrug of the shoulders. I have been T2 for eight years.
     
  17. willmax

    willmax Type 1 · Member

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    Hello,
    I am type 1 diabetic of 68 years of duration. I have suffered from smelly flatulence and low bowel motility for at least 15 years. I was recently involved in a clinical trial to test whether Metformin improves carbohydrate metabolism and levels. The duration of the trial was 3 years. I lost about 4 kilos in weight and my HBa1c stabilised at 65-70mmol. I had never felt better. Last December (2016) the trial ended. My control worsened and HBa1c values increased too 90-100mmol. I tried to persuade my GP to give me Metformin but he consistently refused. There is a lack of correlation between clinical recommendations for NICE and in the USA and Canada where the latter two it has been reassessed and is recommended for therapy. But in the UK NICE guidelines state that use is not advised. I did a little research and after arranging for a colostomy where it was clear that I was constipated. I discovered that there are a group of enteric muscle/interneurons termed Golgi intrinsic cells. These are now considered to be the cells which drive/control/regulate gut motility or peristalsis. In long term type 1 diabetics the Golgi intrinsic cells are lost so that gut motility is reduced and or lost. The result is constipation and bloating. But my GP did not know anything of substance about the Golgi intrinsic cells - let alone how to treat patients who have reduced numbers of these cells in their gut wall. I admitted to hospital in February with cardiac failure from which I am partially recovering. But while in hospital I was proscribed Lactulose solution, about 15ml at each mealtime, and 2 Senna tablets at night. This has improved gut motility greatly and the stool is much softer and more passable two or three times a day. Also feel much less bloated and uncomfortable. Suggest try Lactulose solution which is available on proscription from your pharmacist in Scotland.

    Best wishes,

    William Maxwell
     
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  18. Goldielocks

    Goldielocks Type 2 · Newbie

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    I've been Type 2 for over 20 years and was put on Metformin immediately. I suffered through the years of taking Metformin but thought I just had to get on with it as I was told it was mega important for treatment of my diabetes. Symptoms worsened with terrible gut problems and, as another member mentioned, I was having to organise my life around proximity to the loo. Even then I wasn't very confident and wouldn't go out anywhere unless I had to because I also felt rubbish all the time. Eventually a couple of years ago I made the decision that I'd rather risk dying early of some complication than continuing to live feeling so ill so without consulting doctor (who never seemed that interested in my problems with Metformin) I stopped taking it. I noticed absolutely no difference in my blood glucose, but if I had I would have compensated by taking an increased dose of insulin anyway. However, what a difference to my life!!! After all those years of misery on Sukkarto, Glucophage, normal and extended release, moving to taking none of them brought me back to living a life instead of enduring it. So I'd say, if you're prescribed any of these things, take them for long enough to see if your body can cope. If not - ask for the extended release - ask for another manufacturer of Metformin - try them all if necessary BUT - if you really feel that bad, as I did, talk to your GP about NOT taking them. I can't tell you how much I regret having taken them for so long when they clearly didn't agree with me! Fortunately for me, having done the low carb high fat diet for quite a while, I've now lost loads of weight, feel terrific and, best of all, have stopped taking insulin too. Good luck with metformin.
     
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  19. Kyambala

    Kyambala Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Well done Goldielocks. I also am Type 2 of 20 years vintage. In my case the old Metformin gave me headaches & feeling sick so I stopped taking them. About 5 years ago I started on Insulin M1 and it gradually increased to 100 units per day. about 2 years ago the Doctor put me on Metformin slow release and my Insulin needs reduced to about 70 units per day. My HbA1c dropped from 9 to 8.6 then 7.3 then 7.6 last September. I started the LCHF diet in February this year and had my HbA1c 2 days ago and have just been informed that my HbA1c is now 6.8 WONDERFUL.
     
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