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Glucophage

Generic Name: metformin (met FOR min)
Brand Names: Fortamet, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza. Riomet
Glucophage (metformin) is used in patients with type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes. Includes Glucophage side effects, interactions and indications.

Average Savings for metformin hydrochloride (generic): 33.85%
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Drug Information:
Glucophage (metformin) is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels. Glucophage is used together with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Glucophage is sometimes used together with insulin or other medications, but metformin is not for treating type 1 diabetes. You should not use Glucophage if you have severe kidney disease, metabolic acidosis, or diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment). If you need to have any type of x-ray or CT scan using a dye that is injected into your veins, you may need to temporarily stop taking Glucophage. Learn more

Glucophage Side Effects

Glucophage Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about metformin. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Glucophage.

In Summary

Common side effects of Glucophage include: lactic acidosis, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Other side effects include: decreased vitamin b12 serum concentrate. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to metformin: oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release

Warning

Oral route (Tablet; Tablet, Extended Release; Solution)

Death, hypothermia, hypotension, and resistant bradyarrhythmias have been reported due to metformin-associated lactic acidosis. Onset may be subtle and include nonspecific symptoms such as malaise, myalgia, respiratory distress, somnolence, and abdominal distress; laboratory abnormalities include low pH, increased anion gap and elevated blood lactate. The risk of lactic acidosis increases with renal or hepatic impairment, aged 65 years or older, having a radiological study with contrast, surgery, or other procedures, hypoxic states, and excessive alcohol intake. If lactic acidosis is suspected, metformin hydrochloride should be discontinued, supportive measures started in a hospital setting. Prompt hemodialysis is recommended.

Along with its needed effects, metformin (the active ingredient contained in Glucophage) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking metformin:

More common

  • Abdominal or stomach discomfort
  • cough or hoarseness
  • decreased appetite
  • diarrhea
  • fast or shallow breathing
  • fever or chills
  • general feeling of discomfort
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle pain or cramping
  • painful or difficult urination
  • sleepiness

Less common

  • Anxiety
  • blurred vision
  • chest discomfort
  • cold sweats
  • coma
  • confusion
  • cool, pale skin
  • depression
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • dizziness
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • feeling of warmth
  • headache
  • increased hunger
  • increased sweating
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • nightmares
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • seizures
  • shakiness
  • shortness of breath
  • slurred speech
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Rare

  • Behavior change similar to being drunk
  • difficulty with concentrating
  • drowsiness
  • lack or loss of strength
  • restless sleep
  • unusual sleepiness

Some side effects of metformin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • bloated
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • full feeling
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • loss of appetite
  • metallic taste in the mouth
  • passing of gas
  • stomachache
  • stomach upset or pain
  • vomiting
  • weight loss

Less common

  • Abnormal stools
  • bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
  • change in taste
  • difficulty with moving
  • discoloration of the fingernails or toenails
  • flu-like symptoms
  • joint pain
  • metallic taste in mouth
  • rash
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • stuffy nose
  • swollen joints

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to metformin: compounding powder, oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release

General

Gastrointestinal events such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite have been frequently reported during therapy initiation and resolve spontaneously in most cases.

Adverse events in the pediatric population appear to be similar in nature and severity to that published in adults.

Metabolic

Common (1% to 10%): Hypoglycemia

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Lactic acidosis

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (53.2%), nausea/vomiting (25.5%), flatulence (12.1%)

Common (1% to 10%): Indigestion, abdominal discomfort, abnormal stools, dyspepsia, loss of appetite

Hematologic

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Subnormal vitamin B12 levels

Other

Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia, chills, flu syndrome, accidental injury

Hepatic

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Liver function test abnormalities, hepatitis

Cardiovascular

Common (1% to 10%): Chest discomfort, flushing, palpitation

Dermatologic

Common (1% to 10%): Rash, nail disorder, increased sweating

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Erythema, pruritus, urticaria

Endocrine

Frequency not reported: Reduction in thyrotropin (TSH) levels

Immunologic

Very common (10% or more): Infection (20.5%)

Musculoskeletal

Common (1% to 10%): Myalgia

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Lightheadedness, taste disturbances

Psychiatric

Common (1% to 10%): Headache

Respiratory

Common (1% to 10%): Rhinitis

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by USARx EDITORIAL TEAM Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Glucophage (www.drugs.com/glucophage.html).