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Treating Type 2 Diabetes with Metformin HCL Tablets

Metformin is a generic drug which is marketed under the brand name Glucophage. It is considered a first line therapy due to its efficiency, clinical evidence and safety. It is used in the treatment of type 2 Diabetes mostly in overweight people. It is also helpful in the medication of Polycystic ovary syndrome. As well tolerated by patient, it does not show much side effects.

Metformin Mechanism

Glucometer to check levels of glucose in blood

Liver produces glucose. Insulin helps in glucose uptake . Together they show great role in sugar maintenance in the body . In diabetic patients both the processes are disturbed. They show increased glucose production and lower glucose uptake. To help this metformin show good results. It suppresses liver glucose production. It also increases insulin sensitivity, so that the peripheral glucose uptake from gastrointestinal tract is raised. Diabetes type 2  patient generally show three times the normal glucose production rate . The above drug decreases the rate nearly to one third. It shows multiple mechanism. All are not explained completely. It helps in the activation of AMPK enzyme for its inhibitory effect on liver glucose production.  This mechanism take place due to improved insulin binding to insulin receptors .   It also increases peripheral insulin sensitivity. Thus, results to insulin independent glucose uptake. Moreover it is not metabolized (i.e. it is excreted unchanged in the urine). It can also be used in combination with other medicines like sulfonylureas.

Metformin Advantages

Metformin shows many advantages as compared to other drugs. Such as :

  1. Highly used as prescribed medicine for the treatment of Diabetes type 2.
  2. Also used in polycystic ovary syndrome treatment, increase in live birth rate among women.
  3. It does not cause weight gain. often leads to slight weight loss.
  4. It is cheaper than other brand name product used to treat Diabetes type 2.
  5. mortality rate related to diabetes is reduced to 36%.
  6. Some presentation was put in forward to American Diabetes Association. It shows that the drug is likely to show a protective effect in degenerative nerve disease like Alzheimer’s disease.
  7. Shows very mild and tolerable side effects.
  8. This medicine is being used for a period of 4 decades. This proves its effectiveness by passing the test of time
  9. Michael Pollak, MD , McGill university noted in earlier findings that the people taking metformin show low rates of death due to cancer.

Metformin Common Side Effects

The medicine is very effective with rare and tolerable side effects as described below,

  • Some people may experience indigestion and diarrhea.
  • Patient can suffer from hypoglycemia  ,if medicine is not taken with food.
  • Some others may face cramps and feeling of fullness.
  • It may cause deficiency of vitamin B12 and folic acid .
  • Other side effects are nausea, metallic taste in mouth ,vomiting sensation and abdominal bloating.
  • In rare case a person may face problem called lactic acidosis.

Metformin Dosages

It is available in two strengths i.e. 500mg and 850 mg. Starting with 500 mg twice a day it is slowly raised to 850 mg twice a day.

Metformin Precautions

  • It is necessary to take precaution in certain conditions like :
  • It is under prescribed in patient with kidney problems and type one diabetes .
  • Medicine should be taken with food to avoid hypoglycemia.
  • There are contradiction about use of this drug if serum createnine levels exceed 1.4mg/dL in women and 1.5 mg/dL in men.
  • Patient should follow guidelines given doctor so as not to suffer from lactic acidoses.but again it is negligible.
  • Use of this drug in polycystic ovary syndrome as there is sufficient evidence .
  • It may be dangerous in patient undergoing X-ray or scanning procedures that require an injectable iodinated contrast drug.
  • It should not be prescribed for children and pregnant women.

Overall description shows that Metformin is really safe and effective as compared to other diabetes medicines prescribed .It is available in the United States since may 1995 ,whereas it is being used in other countries for decades .It promotes weight loss ,improves lipid level , decrease hyperglycemia .It also includes normalizing fasting and after meal glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin .Metformin along with sulfonylureas show a good ability to decreases diabetes type 2. Hence it offers clear advantages.

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