1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2020 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. 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
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Side effects of drugs for T2 diabetes

Discussion in 'Metformin/Biguanides' started by Wellers, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. Wellers

    Wellers · Newbie

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Hi, I’ve had T2 for over 10 years with no medication but now my blood sugar has gone up so the Doc put me on Metformin 500 mg twice a day. Horrible side effects. Anyone know what the side effects are on the other dugs available. PS I’m 74 and a woman (not that this makes a difference I suppose!)
     
    • Hug Hug x 1
  2. sno0opy

    sno0opy Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    218
    Trophy Points:
    83
    The side affects of metformin doe for most drop off after a week or 2. Howl ong have your been on them?

    There are examples of people who dont have the symptoms off at all, but if you have been on it less then a week or two it might be worth gutting it out.

    I have bad guts when increasing dose of metformin, lucky for me only a few days. Some people a week, some two weeks - however some do keep getting them.

    You can also request a "slow release" metformin which does not hit you as hard that some people on the forum say helped allot.
     
  3. JoKalsbeek

    JoKalsbeek Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,130
    Likes Received:
    3,061
    Trophy Points:
    198
    As @sno0opy stated, there's also a slow release kind of metformin to try, if you want to stay on it. Also, you really shouldn't take it on an empty stomach, that just makes it worse. For me, I'm one of those lucky people for whom the side effects stuck around. I never left the loo anymore, and by the time I finally saw the nurse (was diagnosed when everyone was on holiday, so that took about a month) I was already having intestinal bleeding, among other things. I was switched to gliclazide, which is a completely different drug, (Metformin keeps your liver from dumping too much glucose in the morning. Gliclazide however, forces your pancreas to produce more insulin) but by that time I had also changed my diet, which meant I had hypo's regularly.

    If you feel like you don't want any medication at all, thus cancelling out the concern for side effects, you might want to try the low carb diet. It worked for me (I was rid of all medication in no time at all, including statins for cholesterol), and have been in the non diabetic range for the past three and a half years, or thereabouts. And it has worked for a lot of people here. https://josekalsbeek.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-nutritional-thingy.html <--have a read, see whether it makes sense. It's not a diet you need an expensive subscription for or anything like that. Just learn what is good for your blood sugars and what isn't. Heck, I know my groceries are less expensive than they used to be, so it could actually save you money in the end.

    Good luck!
    Jo
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Wellers

    Wellers · Newbie

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks very much for responding. I’ve only been on Metformin since yesterday and spent the entire night in the loo! I’m looking into the low carb diet as I want to get back to no medication at all. If the side effects are ongoing I might ask to move onto the slow release stuff. Pain in the bum! Literally!!
     
    • Hug Hug x 1
  5. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    20,944
    Likes Received:
    34,584
    Trophy Points:
    298

    Hi and welcome @Wellers

    Side effects are, unfortunately a possibility for any medication, food or herb.
    Fortunately, we can all check up on them using online resources nowadays.
    Your profile hasn't been completed to say which country you are from, but here is a link to a website that can list side effects for commonly used medications.
    https://bnf.nice.org.uk/guidance/adverse-reactions-to-drugs.html
    Simply search for the drug name using the A-Z

    The important thing to remember is that we don't automatically get any of the listed side effects. We could take a drug for years, with no side effects, or we could get one or more of the side effects may appear or disappear over time. In the case of Metformin, reactions vary significantly, and the symptoms may reduce and/or disappear with consistent use.

    Another way to check for potential side effects is to look at the Patient Information Leaflet. These are the sheets of paper that come with the packaging of any medication. They can also be found online, either posted by members of the public, the drug manufacturer, or the healthcare system. A google search for (for example) 'Metformin patient information' yields this:
    https://www.google.com/search?
    q=metformin+patient+information+leaflet+nhs&rlz=1C1CHZL_enGB711GB711&oq=metformin+patient+information&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j0l5.9100j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8


    Hope that helps!
     
  6. JoKalsbeek

    JoKalsbeek Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,130
    Likes Received:
    3,061
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Oooh yes, it is! Well, you could pause taking it now, if it's taking too much of a toll, and get yourself a blood glucose monitor instead. Test your meals as you go low carb, and you won't have to wait until your next HbA1c is done to find out whether a change in diet is working for you.

    I don't know whether the doc'll put you on slow release after "just" one day of locked-in-the-loo-ism, they'll often ask you to try it for little over two weeks to see whether it subsides. But you could certainly try it, especially as it's costing you sleep; throw that in there as you ask for it eh.

    Whatever path you choose... I hope you'll feel better soon!
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  7. TriciaWs

    TriciaWs Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    598
    Likes Received:
    352
    Trophy Points:
    123
    I decided I was not going on metformin after seeing what it did to my mother.

    While there is a lot of information and support here, I joined the lowcarbprogram (if you are lucky you live in one of the areas where your local NHS will fund it for you). The programme includes weekly videos, meal plans, a discussion forum where you can get some help (not medical advice) from their staff, loads of recipes, articles, information about research, etc, etc). I found it a great help in motivating me and providing the support I needed, and I used their carb/nutrition diary for the first year - you enter the food by name and weight/volume for each meal.
    I think you can sample it for free to check if it is right for you?

    https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/low-carb-program/
     
  8. mouseee

    mouseee · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    466
    Likes Received:
    492
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Metformin had side effects for me, but only for a week or two. Since then, it's been fine. I now don't even worry about having it after food. I just have them morning and evening.

    I am certain they have had the effect of reducing my appetite. Which I'm not complaining about as LC and reduced appetite have helped lose the weight I needed to.
     
  9. EggsEggsEggs

    EggsEggsEggs Type 2 · Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    28
    GPs usually start T2 patients with Metformin, which 25% of patients have horrendous rear-end incidents with. Ask your GP for slow release Metformin. That's usually tolerated better. I guess it must be more expensive.
     
  10. Andydragon

    Andydragon Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    460
    Trophy Points:
    83
    All of the potential drugs they can offer you have differing side effects. Some are worse than others, I believe Metformin is usually tolerated quite well for most people and yes the stomach issues are common and SR is better but for some they can't tolerate at all

    I am guessing that realistically you can't just pick and choose from the Dr anyway. There is a clear pathway from NICE guidelines. Best way is to talk to your surgery and see what is possible. Slow release Metformin may be what they try next
     
  11. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

    Messages:
    7,839
    Likes Received:
    4,783
    Trophy Points:
    198
    I was so ill taking the tablets - with no idea that there was any alternative.
    I threw them away as I was so miserable, and found I did not need them.
    If it was a choice between Metformin and frogspawn - sorry frogs.
    Fortunately low carb foods do the trick.
     
  12. Andydragon

    Andydragon Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    460
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I do understand that you had issues and that an alternate of diet worked for you. I also hope to be on diet alone too if I can keep on the weight loss

    It is important to know that there can be side effects, as there are for any drug, but for many Metformin is okay. It's not a wonder drug obviously but some of the alternatives can be worse.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  • 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