Metformin is a medication that is used to treat type-2 diabetes. Metformin changes the way the body uses sugar and helps control blood sugar levels.
Metformin belongs to a class of drugs called biguanides. It works by decreasing glucose production in the liver and increasing insulin sensitivity in muscle cells, which allows for improved uptake of glucose into these cells and increased cellular uptake of insulin. This leads to decreased insulin resistance and less circulating glucose, which contributes to lowering blood sugar levels. Metformin does not cause weight gain or hypoglycemia. It is not the same drug as Glucophage (metformin hydrochloride).
Metformin is available in 500 mg, 850 mg and 1000 mg tablets. The dose of metformin is adjusted according to patient needs, taking into account factors like age, weight and the presence of other conditions. Metformin comes in generic form.
Some patients report GI side effects while taking metformin, such as abdominal discomfort and diarrhea. However, these side effects are generally mild and resolve when the dose of metformin is reduced or discontinued.
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