Metformin Side Effects – Diabetes is a silent killer. People suffering from diabetes have too much sugar in their bloodstream, which can negatively impact every organ in the body, including the heart, kidney, lungs, eyes, etc.
Even though medical science has improved so much in the last few decades, there is no cure available for diabetes. Your doctor may use different medicine to control the side effects of diabetes by maintaining the sugar levels, but there is no cure for it, and the person who got infected with diabetes has to live with it.
There are different medicines available on the market, and your doctor might use one or a combination of more medicines to maintain the blood sugar levels. One of those medicines is Metformin.
No medicine in the world is simple and without any consequences or side effects. Metformin also has some side effects and warnings. Today, we will talk about it in-depth so that you can learn and stay safe.
Side effects of Metformin
Before we talk about anything else, let’s discuss the major side effects of Metformin. Even though the drug was approved by the United States Food and Drug administration back in 1995, it is still among the most popular first-line oral treatment for type 2 diabetes.
Diarrhea is among the most common side effects of taking medicine. In most clinical trials, diarrhea dominates every other side effect of taking medicine. As per the data points, around 53% of people who are going to take Metformin, Are also going to experience diarrhea.
The intensity of diarrhea might depend on person to person. Most people in the clinical trial get mild diarrhea, but there were a few cases where patients experienced severe cases of diarrhea. In case of severe diarrhea, you might require additional medical attention.
If you are also among those people who are experiencing severe cases of diarrhea, then you should consult with your doctor. At the same time, people who are experiencing mild to moderate diarrhea do not require any additional medication.
Vomiting and Nausea
The next most common side effect of Metformin is vomiting and nausea. As per the data points released in several clinical trials, around 25% of people who are going to take medicine are also going to experience vomiting and nausea.
There is also a probability that you will keep feeling like you are about to vomit. In cases where you just feel like vomiting but do not vomit, additional medical attention is not necessary. On the other hand, people who are experiencing vomiting and nausea constantly may require additional medical attention.
Health experts usually suggest everyone consult every single side effect with their doctor, whether it’s mild or moderate. Your doctor might have to adjust the dosage to lower the intensity of vomiting and nausea.
Metformin is also known to cause digestive issues when you first start taking medicine. In most clinical trials, around 12 percent of the participants experience digestive issues once they start taking medicine.
As we have already discussed, people might experience diarrhea after taking Metformin. Apart from that, patients might also experience gas and food intolerance at the same time.
Most health experts believe that these side effects are temporary, and after a few days, your body will adjust, and these side effects will go away. To be on the safer side, you can consult these digestive issues with your doctor.
Lack of Energy
Lack of energy and weakness are also associated with Metformin. Around 10% of the people who are going to take medicine will experience a lack of energy and weakness. You might not be able to do your daily work, and it is also going to hamper your quality of life.
Lastly, Once you start taking medicine, you might also experience pain throughout your body. The statistics of several studies indicate that around 6.5% of people are going to experience abdominal discomfort, which includes abdominal cramps and pain.
Apart from abdominal discomfort, there are 6% chances that you might also experience headaches. The intensity of headaches is going to be mild to moderate, and before you take any other medicine, you should consult with your doctor.
Other Common Side Effects
Apart from all the above-given side effects of Metformin, There are 5% chances that you might also experience abnormal stool movements and low blood sugar levels. Usually, the chances of getting these side effects are low, and the intensity of these side effects is also going to be very low.
At the same time, you might also experience rash, increased sweating, just discomfort, and taste disorders. All of these side effects are temporary, and they might go away within four to five days since you start taking Metformin.
Precautions of Metformin
Metformin Also comes with several precautions other than the common side effects of taking medicine. Even though the chances of getting severe side effects from taking the drug are very low, we cannot neglect it.
There is a probability that you might experience lactic acidosis after taking medicine. People who are already suffering from kidney or liver disease have more chances of getting lactic acidosis.
Apart from that, if you drink too much alcohol or you have severe congestive heart failure, you are also at higher risk of lactic acidosis. You should keep an eye on every side effect of taking medicine and consult with your doctor.
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Apart from lactic acidosis, you might also experience vitamin B12 deficiency as a serious side effect of taking medicine. Vitamin B12 word deficiency can happen to anyone, but people who are taking their drugs are at higher risk of getting it.
Doctors usually check your vitamin B12 levels regularly if you have been prescribed Metformin. If your doctors are not checking it, then you should consult them and ask them to do it. You can also add some food rich in vitamin B12 to your diet.
Metformin is not completely safe to use if you have any kind of allergy. The medicine is known to trigger an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to any ingredient used in the medicine.
If you are allergic to any ingredient used in the medicine or you are allergic to any other food item, then kindly tell your doctor about it.
If you are experiencing swelling on your face, skin rash, and difficulty in breathing after taking medicine, then you should either call 911 or seek immediate medical attention. These are the classical signs of having an allergic reaction.
Warnings of Metformin
Apart from common side effects and precautions, Metformin also comes with a black box warning.
Doctors suggest everyone not use the medicine if they have severe kidney or acidic metabolic disorder. Metformin Is known to Make the condition worse than ever before. At the same time, it can also impose life-threatening risks.
You should temporarily stop taking medicine if you are going through a treatment where you have to take any type of X-ray or CT scan using a dye that is injected into your veins. Metformin is known to interact with the die and cause severe illness.
Kindly do not hide any physical condition from your doctor before you start taking Metformin. If you have kidney disease, urinary tract infection, heart disease, liver disease, or diabetes, you should let it be known to your doctor.
Metformin Is known to interact with several medications and cause life-threatening conditions. Even if you are taking simple supplements such as vitamins, you should let your doctor know.
Lastly, you should also lower the consumption of alcohol while you are taking medicine. Mixing alcohol and the drug may cause a higher risk of lactic acidosis.
Who is at greater risk of getting side effects of Metformin?
Most people are at greater risk of getting side effects of Metformin. Usually, people experience diabetes once they are above the age of 50, and Metformin is known to cause side effects in people with advanced age. As per most doctors, people above 65 are at greater risk of lactic acidosis. At the same time, people who consume too many alcoholic beverages regularly along with the medicine are also at greater risk for lactic acidosis.
Is Metformin safe to consume?
Metformin is among the most popular choices for doctors to treat patients with diabetes. Back in June 2020, the Food and Drug Administration of the United States announced that several drugmakers recalled certain extended-release batches of Metformin. Since then, several companies have recalled the medicine, and the contamination of NDMA is known to be the cause of the recall.