Metformin may be associated with a reduced risk of liver cancer in type 2 diabetes


Effectiveness and features of Metformin administration in diabetes mellitus


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Metformin is a vital drug for people with diabetes. The drug has a glucose-lowering effect that regulates blood sugar levels, reduces appetite and promotes active fat burning.

The effect of Metformin in type 1 and type 2 diabetes
How do I take Metformin?
The principle of action of the drug
Indications for use
Contraindications and side effects
Metformin during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Can I take Metformin if I don’t have diabetes?

The effect of Metformin in type 1 and type 2 diabetes

The drug is currently one of the most effective drugs, the action of which is aimed at fighting type 2 diabetes. A positive point is that this medication can be taken together with insulin therapy (for secondary insulin resistance). The recommended dose is prescribed by the attending physician, based on blood glucose. But with type 1 diabetes, this drug is usually not prescribed, since this form of the disease only needs insulin.

The action of the drug is aimed at reducing the production of glucose. However, it does not affect the amount of insulin.

Metformin also enhances the process of hematopoiesis, which is carried out in the liver. Thanks to this, glucose is more actively transformed into glycogen, which is useful for the body.

The drug for type 2 diabetes is prescribed for a long time (possibly for life). At this stage of diabetes, in addition to Metformin, other hypoglycemic drugs are prescribed. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly monitor the level of glucose in the blood, so that treatment does not lead to hypoglycemia (low glucose concentration).

How do I take Metformin?

The doctor will prescribe the necessary dose of the drug. The optimal amount is considered to be from 1500 mg to 2 grams per day.

The amount of medication depends on blood glucose levels. Start taking 500-1000 mg (1-2 tablets). During treatment, the dose can be changed up or down. The maximum dose is 3000 mg per day. The reduction in the amount of the drug is affected by the side effects that have occurred.

The rules of admission are as follows: the medicine is consumed 2-3 times a day after meals. You can not chew the tablet, it should be swallowed whole, washed down with water.

If a diabetic patient is scheduled for elective surgery, the medication should be discontinued no later than 48 hours before surgery. Also, you need to stop taking the product before radiography with contrast.
The principle of action of the drug

What happens when Metformin is ingested?

increases the sensitivity of cells to the hormone insulin;
glucose and cholesterol levels are decreasing;
the active substances of the drug reduce the absorption of carbohydrates, therefore, the body stops storing excess fat;
Metformin reduces appetite.

Indications for use

Metformin is prescribed to people who have a history of type 2 diabetes. Self-medication in this case is contraindicated, so you need to consult a doctor to prescribe the drug.

Indications for use are the following factors:

type 2 diabetes with clear signs of obesity;
type 2 diabetes when additional insulin therapy is required;
the therapeutic diet does not bring the desired results.

Taking Metformin should be accompanied by periodic kidney diagnostics, as well as monitoring the level of lactate and creatinine in the blood. If these indicators deviate from the norm, the medication should be stopped immediately.

Contraindications and side effects

Like any other medication, Metformin has a number of contraindications. Its reception is undesirable in the following cases:

chronic liver and/or kidney diseases;
for myocardial infarction and other acute conditions;
with elevated levels of lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis);
manifestation of allergic reactions to the components of the drug;
diabetic over 60 years of age who works in conditions of constant heavy physical activity;
following a low-calorie diet;
pregnancy, breast-feeding.

To ensure that treatment goes according to plan, before prescribing Metformin, you must indicate to the doctor all medications and medications taken at the time of treatment, hormonal pills, dietary Supplements and vitamins.


The use of Metformin can negatively affect the patient’s condition. The medication may cause the following side effects:

dysfunction of the gastrointestinal tract, which leads to diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal pain;
nausea, vomiting;
the appearance of a metallic taste in the mouth;
hypoglycemia may occur;
skin allergic reaction.

The risk of side effects increases in the elderly and those who are addicted to alcoholic beverages. Therefore, this is also taken into account when prescribing treatment.


Metformin overdose is rare, but possible. In this case, the symptoms will be as follows:

state of nausea with vomiting;
pain in the abdominal area;
hurried breathing;
dizziness, loss of consciousness, and even the development of a coma.

If you still have an overdose of the drug, accompanied by the above symptoms, you need to immediately call an ambulance, because the result of an overdose can be fatal.
Metformin during pregnancy and breastfeeding

A woman suffering from diabetes should be careful about taking the drug during pregnancy. Consultation with the attending physician is necessary, because during the examination, the specialist will determine the possible risks of the effect of Metformin on the developing fetus. If the risks are high, the medication will be replaced with insulin.

During pregnancy planning, the drug is often prescribed for polycystic ovaries. Scientific controlled experiments were not conducted, but from personal practice, many gynecologists note that there was no negative impact on the development of pregnancy in the future.

During breastfeeding, it is better to cancel the medication, since there is no data on whether the drug penetrates into the milk and how it affects the child.

Can I take Metformin if I don’t have diabetes?

For weight loss

Metformin has proven to be effective as a weight loss treatment. But even in this case, when taking it, you must follow the following precautions:

reduce sugar intake and completely eliminate any alcohol intake;
do not bring your body to starvation and physical exhaustion (exercise should be moderate and more like exercise, light gymnastics);
consume at least 2 liters of water daily;
in no case should you exceed the dosage and frequency of administration specified in the instructions;
if nausea occurs after taking the drug, the dosage should be reduced;
every six months, undergo a survey to assess the performance of the kidneys (at the slightest violation of the kidneys — cancel the drug);
donate blood for lactate and creatinine every 6 months;
additionally, take vitamin B12.

Douglas Badenoch
I am an information scientist with an interest in making knowledge from systematic research more accessible to people who need it. This means you. I've been attempting this in the area of Evidence-Based Health Care since 1995. So far the results have been mixed. For some reason we expected busy clinicians to search databases and appraise papers instead of seeing patients. We also expected publishers to make the research freely available to the people who paid for it.. Ha! Hence The National Elf service.

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