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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam


Metformin is a prescription medication commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes. It helps lower blood sugar levels by decreasing the amount of glucose produced and absorbed by the liver, and increasing the sensitivity of your body's cells to insulin.

Today, metformin is one of the most widely prescribed medications for type 2 diabetes and is recommended as the first-line treatment by many health organizations, including the American Diabetes Association.

By decreasing the amount of glucose in the blood, metformin helps to prevent high blood sugar levels and the long-term complications of diabetes, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage.

How to Take Metformin

Metformin is usually taken orally, either as a tablet or an extended-release tablet, once or twice a day with meals. It is important to take metformin exactly as prescribed by your doctor and to never change your dose or stop taking the medication without first talking to your doctor.

Common Side Effects

Like all medications, metformin can cause side effects. Some of the most common side effects include:

  • Nausea and digestive issues, such as diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. These side effects often go away after a few weeks of taking the medication.

  • A metallic taste in the mouth.

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to anemia.

It is important to contact your doctor if you experience any side effects that are severe or persist for an extended period of time.

Contraindications and Precautions

Metformin is not for everyone. People with certain conditions should not take metformin or use it with caution. These include:

  • Kidney disease: Metformin can be harmful to people with kidney problems.

  • Alcohol use: Drinking alcohol can increase the risk of lactic acidosis, a serious side effect of metformin. It is important to talk to your doctor about the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption.

  • Surgery and Radiological Procedures: You should stop taking metformin 48 hours before a scheduled surgery or radiological procedure.

It is important to inform your doctor about all medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements, as they may interact with metformin.

Benefits of Metformin

In addition to its benefits for treating type 2 diabetes, metformin has been found to have other health benefits, such as:

  • Weight loss: Metformin has been shown to help with weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes and obesity.

  • Improved cardiovascular health: Some studies have suggested that metformin may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes.

  • Reduced cancer risk: Some studies have suggested that metformin may reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as breast, colon, and lung cancer.

It is important to talk to your doctor about the potential benefits of metformin for your specific health needs.

Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist

Kify Hospital



Phone : 85000 23456

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