Preventing the Side Effects of Metformin

Metformin is an oral medication which is classified as a biguanide. It is most often used for the management of type 2 diabetes when diet and exercise are not adequate in controlling high blood sugar levels. Pill Hand SmallMetformin has an extensive safety record and medical research has proven that the medication is as good or better at controlling blood sugar levels when compared to other oral antidiabetic medication. When regularly taken, it decreases the amounts of glucose produced by the liver so that the body’s blood sugar levels are lowered. This medication also leads to a decrease in glucose absorption from the intestines and increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin so that it can be used more efficiently and effectively. However, as with all good news, there is a caveat. This medication comes with a lot of bothersome side effects which can be hard to manage. But there are many ways to lessen the side effects of Metformin or, in some cases, avoid them altogether so you can benefit from its stabilizing abilities without any unnecessary trouble.

 

Common Side Effects

The most common side effects of Metformin are gastrointestinal. Nausea and/or vomiting may occur in around seven to twenty-six percent of patients while diarrhea is usually experienced by fifty-three percent of patients. These gastrointestinal side effects are usually temporary and lessen over a few weeks’ time, eventually going away on their own.

Metformin may possibly reduce the absorption of the vitamin B 12. An estimated seven percent of individuals who are undergoing treatment with Metformin experience reduced levels of vitamin B 12. A physician can easily monitor your vitamin levels, keeping a close eye on your B 12 levels, and determine if you might require a B 12 injection.

Headaches are experienced as a side effect by six percent of individuals taking Metformin. Dizziness and/or lightheadedness are experienced by five percent of patients while nine percent of patients report some weakness as a result of the medication. Because of these particular side effects, you ought to use caution while driving or performing other activities requiring alertness until you are more familiar with how the medication affects your body. And if any of these particular symptoms become increasingly severe or are accompanied by a fever then contact your doctor immediately.

When you first start taking Metformin, you will likely lose some weight as the medication can cause feelings of fullness and a loss of appetite. If you start taking the medication while following a strict diet and exercise plan, then you may see a significant reduction in weight. This is a more desirous side effect as it is strongly suggested that diabetics lose weight so that their bodies have better control of their glucose levels and an improved insulin resistance.

 

Rare Side Effects

  • Heartburn
  • Rhinitis
  • Low blood sugar
  • Itching or hives
  • Discoloration of the nails
  • Hoarseness

 

Minimizing the Negative Side Effects

  • To reduce all gastrointestinal side effects, take your Metformin with meals. If you need to take it at a time when you don’t usually eat, then fit a snack in that has some protein in it.
  • Chewing gum can help alleviate various gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea and stomach pain. Keep some gum on hand.
  • If you feel nauseous after taking Metformin, try to eat a little bit especially if you took it without a meal. Even if you don’t feel like eating when you are experiencing nausea, you will feel far better if you do.
  • Discuss the option of the extended release version of Metformin as the XR has been known to cause far less gastrointestinal side effects than the regular immediate release does. The extended release may decrease a lot of the side effects that you are currently experiencing.
  • If the side effects feel particularly severe, then consider discussing the possibility of decreasing your dose temporarily and slowly increasing it over time so that your body can adjust. If you are taking 1000 mg and experiencing severe nausea, then consider taking 500 mg instead and build back up to 1000 mg.
  • If you are experiencing vitamin B 12 deficiency, then start taking B 12 supplements or ask your doctor for B 12 injections.
  • Each pharmacy stocks different generic and name brand medications and even the smallest chemical variance can make a big difference in how our body reacts. Try out several different brands with various manufacturers, testing out the immediate and extended release so you can find the particular medication that works best for you and causes the least amount of side effects.

 

Sources:

http://pcosra.com/surviving-metformin/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/261274-metformin-side-effects-on-the-heart/

http://www.rxeconsult.com/healthcare-articles/How-To-Prevent-And-Manage-Metformin-Side-Effects-974/

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