Metformin hydrochloride is type of medicine called a biguanide. Metformin is used when diet alone has failed to fully control blood sugar. It may be used on its own, in combination with other oral antidiabetic medicines, or with insulin.
Metformin is a generic medicine that is available as tablets, modified or slow-release tablets, liquid and sachets of powder. Metformin standard tablets (500mg and 850mg) are also available under the brand name Glucophage.
Here's everything you need to know about the dosage of Metformin and how to take the different types available:
● The dosage of metformin will depend on your blood sugar levels, your dosage will be personalized for you. The dose is usually increased gradually over a few weeks, until the optimum dose for your is reached. These instructions should be printed on the medication label.
● Metformin is usually given once daily for the first few weeks of treatment. This is then increased to twice or three times a day. The dose of metformin will be adjusted depending on blood sugar levels.
● Metformin should be taken with food or a meal to reduce the side effects. When starting treatment with metformin, taking it with your main meal helps to reduce side effects.
What forms of metformin are available?
● Metformin comes as tablets, liquid or sachets of powder that are mixed with water.
● If you have been given metformin sachets, pour the powder from the sachet into a glass and add 150 ml of water. Stir the solution to mix it, and then drink it straightaway.
● Metformin also comes as 'modified-release' or 'slow-release' tablets, that are designed to release the metformin slowly and continuously over several hours as the tablet passes through the gut. This produces a steady blood level of the medicine throughout the day. These tablets often have MR, SR or XL in their name.
● Modified-release metformin tablets are designed to be taken either once or twice a day - follow the instructions given by your doctor. This type of tablet must be swallowed whole with a drink. Don't break, chew or crush these tablets, as this would damage the modified-release action. The shells of some slow-release metformin tablets such as Glucophage SR may pass through your gut undigested and be visible in your faeces. This is normal.
● All forms of metformin should be taken with a food - either your main meal or a snack.
What should I do if I miss a dose of metformin?
If you forget to take a dose of metformin, take it as soon as you remember with some food, or take it with your next meal, unless you were due to take a dose then anyway. In this case, leave out the missed dose and carry on as usual. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.
Read more about metformin:
Last updated: 02.05.2019
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