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Prescribing Information for Glucophage (Metformin):
What is Glucophage (Metformin)?
Glucophage is an oral medication used to improve blood sugar control in people suffering from diabetes.
Glucophage (Metformin) is prescribed for treatment of type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes. It can be combined with insulin or other medicines but it is not effective for treatment of type 1 diabetes.
Glucophage can also be prescribed for other uses.
What is important to know about Glucophage (Metformin)?
Avoid using Glucophage (Metformin) if you develop a kidney disease, or if you have diabetic ketoacidosis (you should contact your doctor for treatment with insulin).
Before you start using Glucophage (Metformin), inform your doctor if you have liver problems or if you have ever had heart disease.
There were cases when life-threatening lactic acidosis occurred in people using Glucophage (Metformin). Seek emergency medical attention if you experience any the following signs of lactic acidosis: cold feeling, muscle pain, slow heart rate, shortness of breath, weakness, stomach pain, feeling light-headed, increasing sleepiness, and fainting.
If you are going to have any type of x-ray or CT scan using a dye injected into a vein, you may be recommended to stop using Glucophage (Metformin) for some period of time. Inform your doctor well in advance that you are taking the medication.
You should know the symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and be able to notice them. These symptoms include seizure (convulsions), sweating, fainting, irritability, weakness, headache, hunger, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, tremors, fast heartbeat, or coma (severe hypoglycemia can be mortal). If you have signs of low blood sugar, you should have a source of sugar permanently available.
How should Glucophage (Metformin) be used?
Follow the prescriptions of your doctor and the instructions which come with the medication carefully. Do not change your dose and do not use Glucophage for a longer period than prescribed.
Your healthcare provider may need to adjust your dose to ensure you are getting the most benefit from your treatment.
You are recommended to take Glucophage with food unless your doctor prescribes you another use. Some forms of Glucophage should be used once a day during supper. Follow the prescriptions of your doctor. You should combine using Glucophage with diet, exercise, and weight control. Use the medication regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled when you have the medication left yet.
Avoid chewing, crushing or breaking the sustained-action pill (Glucophage XR). You should swallow it whole to prevent releasing of too much medicine at once. To ensure that the medication helps you, your doctor may need to check your blood and kidney function regularly. Do not miss any scheduled appointments to your doctor.
Your doctor may recommend you to stop using Glucophage if you become sick or injured, if you have a serious infection, or if you have any type of surgery.
It is important for you not to let your blood sugar lower too much. It can get low and provoke hypoglycemia if you miss s meal, do too many exercises, drink alcohol, or if you are in a stressful situation.You should know the symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and be able to recognize them:
- seizure (convulsions);
- drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, tremors;
- fainting, coma (severe hypoglycemia can be fatal);
- hunger, headache, confusion, irritability; or
- sweating, fast heartbeat.
If you have signs of low blood sugar, you should have a source of sugar (for example orange juice, glucose gel, candy, or milk) permanently available. If you are not able to eat or drink and are having a severe hypoglycemia, you should give an injection of glucagon. Your doctor may prescribe you a kit for emergency injections and teach you to give injections.
Your healthcare provider may recommend you to take more vitamin B12 while treatment with Glucophage. Follow the prescription of your doctor carefully, do not change your dose of the vitamin.
If you are going to have any type of x-ray or CT scan using a dye injected into a vein, you may be recommended to stop using Glucophage for some period of time. Inform your doctor well in advance that you are taking the medication.
Keep Glucophage at room temperature protected from moisture, heat, and light.
What side effects can Glucophage (Metformin) cause?Seek emergency medical attention if you develop any of the following signs of lactic acidosis: feeling light-headed, increasing sleepiness, shortness of breath, slow heart rate, cold feeling, muscle pain, stomach pain, weakness, and fainting. Stop taking the medication and seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms of allergy: trouble breathing; hives; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. You should call your doctor promptly if you develop any of the following serious conditions:
- fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
- swelling or rapid weight gain; or
- feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion.
- mild nausesa, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, stomach pain;
- weakness; or
- headache or muscle pain.
Glucophage (Metformin) may also cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any uncommon or painful side effects.