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Metformin

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Updated December 08, 2009

Definition:

Metformin, which is usually thought of as a treatment of diabetes, increases the body’s response to insulin. This not only regulates blood sugar, but has also been shown to increase ovulation in women who were previously anovulatory. A dose of at at least 1000mg of metformin is usually required to see an effect, and dosages up to 2250mg are commonly given. It is important to take metformin exactly as prescribed, as titration is usually required while initiating treatment. That means that you may take one pill a day for a short amount of time, then increase the dose to two pills a day for a short while, then continue to increase in short increments until the prescribed dose is achieved.

Side effects that you may experience while taking metformin include diarrhea, nausea or vomiting and abdominal cramping. If you cannot tolerate these side effects, notify your doctor as he might be able to change the medication or dose that you take. You may need a blood test prior to starting metformin, and periodically during treatment to assess liver and kidney function. Finally, if you are fasting, or not eating over an extended period of time (greater then six hours), please skip your dose of medication. Metformin may lower your blood sugar, and if you are not eating (taking in sugar), it may make you sick.

Also Known As: Glucophage, Metformin ER
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