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Metformin (Glucophage) Uses

Metformin (Glucophage) Uses

What is Metformin (Glucophage) used for?

Metformin is an oral diabetes drug that is used with proper exercise and diet program to help people control their blood sugar levels. Metformin is the brand name of glucophage which is created by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Glucophage is normally prescribed by a doctor when diet and exercise were not successful in lowering your blood sugar levels. Metformin is used to treat people who have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes refers to a medical condition where your body cannot make enough amount of insulin or use it properly. Insulin is a natural hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas. This is a naturally occurring hormone that is used to transport glucose to the body tissue where it is used for energy. Without insulin, glucose cannot enter the body cells for energy, hence they stay in the bloodstream. Too much glucose in the bloodstream is dangerous because it can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. When you take this medicine, it lowers your blood glucose levels by improving how your body uses insulin.

How does Metformin work?

It works by reducing the amount of glucose that is released by your liver into the bloodstream. Also, this medication works by improving how your body responds to insulin, and reducing the amount of glucose that is absorbed by the intestines. As a result, it helps to reduce high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.

Who should not take it

People with severe kidney problems should not take metformin. This is because when the kidney doesn’t function properly, it leads to an increased risk of lactic acidosis. Your doctor will conduct tests on your kidneys before you begin taking this diabetes medicine. If you have severe liver problems, you should not take the drug. Normally, your liver clears lactic acid from the body. In case of severe liver problems, it will lead to a build up of lactic acid. This increases the risk of having lactic acidosis. Therefore, it is dangerous to take these tablets while you have liver problems.

How long does it take for this medication to work?

For you to feel the full effect of metformin, it will take you 4 to 5 days depending on your dose.

How fast does the drug work?

When you start taking Metformin you will see some effects within 48 hours. However, this depends on your dosage and number of times you are taking this medication.


Glucophage should be kept in a closed container at room temperature. Make sure the drug stays away from moisture or heat. Also, avoid freezing the drug. Keep the medicine out of children reach, preferably in a locked cupboard that is one and a half meters above the ground. Ask your doctor how you should dispose outdated medicine.


Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.
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