Thursday, November 13, 2014

10 Things About Metformin

- Metformin is currently the most commonly prescribed medication for type 2 diabetes; at least 4% of all Americans are taking it.

- Metformin is the only diabetes medication shown to reduce risk of heart disease vs no medication at all.

- Metformin is also prescribed for polycystic ovarian syndrome.

- Metformin interferes with digestion and often causes diarrhea.

- Roughly 5% of type 1 diabetics are taking metformin. In type 1 diabetics, metformin reduces insulin needs but those on metformin generally don't have lower A1cs or any difference in hypoglycemia rates.

- Metformin can be prescribed to prevent type 2 diabetes, and sometimes is.

- Metformin is available in brand and generic form, in pills and liquid.

- Metformin is in the medication class called "biguanides" and because another of the biguanides caused an awful lot of lactic acidosis when people took it and drank alcohol, drinking alcohol with metformin is not recommended. However, only about a dozen cases of lactic acidosis on metformin are known to have occurred. Ever.

- Although it's not an officially recognized side effect, I have met two people who've told me that taking metformin gave them brain fog. Metformin IS known to exacerbate vitamin B12 deficiencies, and a few studies have had inconclusive results when trying to figure out what effect metformin may have on dementia.

-Metformin was first described in an article in 1922, but was not FDA approved until 1995.

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