Glucophage || Understanding medicine of diabetes
I have been writing article about the important medicines used by diabetics around the world.
My main purpose to come up with the articles is to make everyone aware of the kind of drugs we are using in the daily basis. I hope you are getting some value out of it.
The purpose of the article is just to make you aware, please don’t self prescribe these drugs.
Human body works in a complex manner, it is better to leave everything on doctor as he is the one who took years in his craft.
Anyways, this article is about one of the most common drug used by Type 2 diabetics named as Glucophage.
What is Glucophage?
It is a medicine from metformin family widely used around the world to treat Type 2 diabetes.
Please keep in mind that Glucophage do not work in patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is completely different phenomenon in which you can only rely through insulin injections.
How Glucophage works?
People suffering from Type 2 diabetes face two problems
a. Produce insufficient insulin
b. the insulin produced is not effectively utilized
Glucophage does following work
a. Increase sensitivity of the cell to absorb more insulin
b. Reduce the sugar produced by liver
c. Slows absorption of sugar from intestine
In this way, it help the Type 2 diabetic patient to keep blood sugar level under control.
Keep in mind that there are different types of medicines available in the market which perform different functions. There is a class of medicine named Sulfonylureas which basically works with the pancreas to produce more insulin. But Glucophage (Metformin) is different, it just increase sensitivity of the cells for insulin.
Suggested Readings: Side effects of Sulfonylurea
Prescription of Glucophage
The medicine is usually prescribed two-three times a day with meals.
There is another variant named as Glucophage SR in the market which release metformin slowly and is present in the body for prolonged period.
The dose and variant of this metformin hcl should be prescribed by the professional doctor.
Generally the doctor starts with 500mg of dose which can increase upto 2550mg depending on the condition and body type.
Suggested Reading: Average Weight Loss on Metformin hcl
When to take?
The medicine should be taken with the meal or just after the meal.
Do not delay too much as the food may already start metabolizing and cause rise in blood sugar.
Also, i have seen people taking medicines and then forgetting to consume their meals. If you are taking Glucophage, make sure to stick to your diet routine.
There are side-effects of every medicine and Glucophage is not an exception.
Some of the side-effects include
a. Upset stomach
You may face diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and other stomach issues.
These are temporary in nature and may go away as your body get accustomed to metformin.
If you constant face the issue please take help of your doctor.
The best way to avoid this issue is to start with low dose of glucophage and then slowly increase the dose as per requirement.
b. Low Vitamin B12 level
Metformin hcl can reduce your Vitamin B12 level.
It has been proved in research that taking glucophage for long period of time can reduce Vitamin B12 level in the body.
This is very essential vitamin for your bone and brain health.
So, if you have been taking metformin hcl for long period of time, please get your vitamin B12 level checked.
Related Reading: Scientific Research linking Metformin and Vitamin B12 Deficiency
c. Lactic Acidosis
This is rare but deadly phenomenon. This mostly happens to patient who are also suffering with Kidney disorder.
The use of Metformin can raise lactic acid which the faulty kidney fails to remove. This lead to rise of acid in the body and lead to emergency like condition.
It is a very rare problem so do not get afraid.
Some symptoms of Lactic Acidosis includes dizziness, vomiting, feeling cold, trouble breathing, fast or slow heart rate etc.
1. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol can reduce your blood sugar and can make you hypoglycemic (low blood sugar).
Try to avoid alcohol drinking and if you still drink make sure you eat your meal and carry some sugar candies with you.
The problem with alcohol is that you may confuse hypolycemia with intoxication. You will think that the shaky feeling is the effect of alcohol and may avoid taking any glucose item, this can lead to medical emergency.
Similar Reading: Effect of drinking alcohol on diabetics
2. Glucophage and Pregnancy
Pregnant women have different in insulin requirement.
The best way to manage the blood sugar during pregnancy period is through insulin injections.
There is also a worry that the drug can get into mother’s milk and then indirectly to the newborn.
If you are going through pregnancy, please make your doctor aware of the situation.
Suggested Reading: Understanding Gestational Diabetes in Women
3. Kidney and Liver Issue
As i have said earlier, person suffering from Kidney or liver disorder are in the high risk of Lactic Acidosis. Please do not hide these condition from your doctor. If you are taking any form of medicines, it can be as common as antibiotic, make sure your doctor is aware of it.