Comparison of online pharmacies by Drug: Generic Glucophage (Metformin)
What Is Glucophage (Metformin)?
Glucophage (metformin) is one of six types of diabetes pills currently available to treat type 2 diabetes. It helps keep your blood glucose within your target range.
Remember, the cornerstone of diabetes control remains unchanged: it is important to follow a meal plan and exercise regularly. Diabetes pills are simply another tool to help you manage your blood glucose.
How does Glucophage work?
- Glucophage helps your body produce less glucose from the liver. It does not cause the body to make more insulin, therefore, it rarely causes low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) when used alone. Hypoglycemia may occur when Glucophage is taken in combination with insulin or other diabetes pills such as Prandin or sulfonylureas.
- Glucophage has been found to lower blood fat levels and possibly contribute to minor weight loss.
Guidelines for use:
- Take with meals, once, twice, or up to three times a day. Be sure to check with your health care provider about how often and how much to take.
- Your health care provider may want you to combine Glucophage with another type of diabetes pill or insulin to further improve your control. Since it works differently than the other diabetes medications, it will not interfere with their action. Your health care provider will determine the best treatment for you.
What should I do if I forget to take my dose?
If you have forgotten to take your diabetes pills and it is less than 2 hours from the time that you should have taken them, then take them. If it is more than 2 hours, contact your health care provider. Do not take 2 doses at the next meal. If you miss a dose, note it in your record book.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Do not take any other medicine unless prescribed or approved by your doctor. When you are taking metformin, your health care professional must know if you are taking any of the following:
- Alcohol. Small amounts of alcohol taken with meals do not usually cause a problem; however, either larger amounts of alcohol taken for a long time or a large amount of alcohol taken in one sitting without food can increase the effect of metformin. This can keep the blood sugar low for a longer time than normal.
- Amiloride (e.g., Midamor) or
- Calcium channel blocking agents (amlodipine [e.g., Norvasc], bepridil [e.g., Bepadin], diltiazem [e.g., Cardizem], felodipine [e.g., Plendil], flunarizine [e.g., Sibelium], isradipine [e.g., DynaCirc], nicardipine [e.g., Cardene], nifedipine [e.g., Procardia], nimodipine [e.g., Nimotop], verapamil [e.g., Calan]) or * Cimetidine (e.g., Tagamet) or
- Digoxin (heart medicine) or
- Furosemide (e.g., Lasix) or
- Morphine (e.g., M S Contin) or
- Procainamide (e.g., Pronestyl) or
- Quinidine (e.g., Quinidex) or
- Quinine (malaria medicine) or
- Ranitidine (e.g., Zantac) or
- Triamterene (e.g., Dyrenium) or
- Trimethoprim (e.g., Proloprim) or
- Vancomycin (e.g., Vancocin) use with metformin may cause high blood levels of metformin, which may increase the chance of low blood sugar or side effects
Before taking Glucophage,
– tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Glucophage or any other drugs.
– tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially cimetidine (Tagamet), diuretics (‘water pills’), nifedipine (Procardia), and vitamins. in addition to the conditions listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, tell your doctor if you have or have ever had heart, pituitary, or thyroid disease; adrenal insufficiency; a severe infection; or hormone problems.
– tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking Metformin hydrochloride, call your doctor.
– if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking Glucophage.
What are the side effects of Glucophage?
Minor side effects:
These side effects usually go away after your body gets used to taking the medicine for several weeks. These include mild diarrhea, nausea, or upset stomach. Taking Glucophage with meals can lessen the side effects. Call your health care provider if you experience severe discomfort or if the side effects last longer than a few weeks.
Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) is less likely to occur when Glucophage is taken alone. Hypoglycemia may occur when Glucophage is taken in combination with insulin, sulfonylurea agents, or Prandin (repaglinide). (Sulfonylurea agents and Prandin are other types of diabetes pills.)
Major side effects:
Serious side effects are very rare and occur mostly in people whose kidneys or liver are not working normally. The most serious side effect is lactic acidosis. It may be life-threatening. Your health care provider will check your kidney and liver function to determine if you are at risk.
Are there situations where it is necessary to temporarily stop taking Glucophage?
Yes, there are situations that may affect your kidneys or liver function and thus put you at risk for developing lactic acidosis. To reduce this risk, your health care provider may need to stop the medication for a period of time. It is important that your health care provider know when the following problems or situations occur:
- You have an illness resulting in dehydration (significant loss of body fluid): severe vomiting, diarrhea and/or fever, inability to keep fluids down.
- You are going to have any surgery or special x-ray procedures that require an injection of iodine contrast dye.
Who should NOT take Glucophage?
- People who have kidney or liver problems
- People who drink alcohol excessively
- People with serious conditions such as a heart attack or severe infection
- The safety of using Glucophage in pregnant women has not been established. Women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy should tell their healthcare provider immediately so the right medication can be prescribed.
How will I know if it is working?
Check your blood glucose at the times specified by your health care provider. If your blood glucose or HbA1c is within target most of the time, the dose is working. If not, review the amount and types of food eaten or if you have forgotten to take the right dose of your medication. If glucose remains high for a few weeks, contact your health care provider. A change in dose may be needed.