Glucophage and its generic version, Metformin, are both prescription drugs administered to control blood sugar. It is primarily prescribed to those suffering from type 2 diabetes and who suffer from hyperglycemia, which is more commonly known as high blood sugar. Glucophage is a medication taken by mouth as directed by a doctor. It helps to repair the body’s proper response to the insulin that is intuitively produced by the body.
Those suffering from type 1 diabetes will not benefit from Glucophage.
Glucophage is a white to off-white crystalline compound. It is available in different dosage forms including a film coated tablet and an extended-release tablet. They are oral antihyperglycemic drugs.
Glucophage must be prescribed specifically for each individual patient. There is no set dosage due to differing tolerance and effectiveness levels. The maximum daily recommended dose is 2550 mg in adults and 2000 mg in pediatric patients (10-16 years of age).
Why Is Glucophage Prescribed?
Glucophage is used to treat type 2 diabetes for those whose pancreas glands are unable to regulate the production of glucose. It reduces the amount of glucose produced by the liver, and that is then absorbed by the intestines and the stomach. By controlling blood sugar and glucose levels, Glucophage also controls and prevents the following:
- Nerve problems
- Loss of limbs
- Sexual function problems
- Kidney damage
The risk of heart attack and stroke are also lessened through the effective control of diabetes.
What Symptoms Does Glucophage Treat?
Glucophage treats the symptoms associated with high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes, including the following:
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Increased thirst
- Trouble concentrating
- Weight loss
- Blood sugar level more than 180 mg/dL
What Potential Risks Are Associated with Glucophage
As with all medications, Glucophage presents risks side effects that patients should be aware of prior to beginning the drug. Keep in mind that doctors prescribe this medication with full knowledge that the dangers of the health condition outweigh the risks of the drug.
Common side effects include, but are not limited to:
- Upset stomach
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Metallic taste in mouth
- Trouble breathing
- Numb or cold feeling in arms and legs
- Slow or uneven heart rate
If stomach symptoms continue beyond the first few days of treatment, it may the warning signs of lactic acidosis. Seek medical help right away and do not continue to take the medication.
Those with severe kidney disease or who are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis should not take Glucophage.
Patients aged 65 or older should be cautious when taking this medication as additional side effects may occur.
Interactions With Other Medications
Check with your doctor to ensure all medications work safely together and that there are no unsafe interactions prior to beginning Glucophage. Other interactions to be aware of include:
|Alcohol Interaction||Alcoholic beverages can increase the risk of lactic acidosis as well as raise or lower blood sugar levels.|
|Diabetes Drugs||Insulin and medications that release insulin may lower blood sugar levels.|
|Heart or blood pressure medication||Diuretics or calcium channel blockers, such as nifedipine, may lessen the effectiveness of Glucophage and will not treat type 2 diabetes.|
|Cholesterol drugs||Using cholesterol drugs, such as nitronic acid, may minimize the effectiveness of Glucophage in lowering the blood sugar levels in the body.|
|Glaucoma drugs||Drugs such as acetazolamide, dorzolamide, methazolamide, and brinzolamide may increase the risk of lactic acidosis.|
|Antibiotics||Levels of medications such as trimethoprim and vancomycin may be increased in the body when used in conjunction with Glucophage.|
|Pain medications||Glucophage may increase the degree of pain medications, such as morphine, in the body which in turn enhances the risk of side effects.|
|Thyroid drugs||Drugs to treat thyroid conditions, such as levothyroxine, desiccated thyroid, liothyronine, and liotrix, may make Glucophage less effective in lowering blood pressure.|
|Hormone drugs||The effectiveness of Glucophage in lowering blood pressure is diminished when used in conjunction with hormone drugs such as corticosteroids, both inhaled and oral.|
|Stomach problem drugs||Levels of stomach problem drugs such as cimetidine and ranitidine may be increased when used with Glucophage.|