GLUCOPHAGE XR - Metformin HCL
Glucophage Used For
Glucophage XR - Metformin Hcl extended release tablets are used to regulate blood glucose (sugar) levels. This medication works in three ways: it reduces the amount of glucose produced by the liver; second, it reduces the amount of glucose absorbed from food through the stomach; and third, it makes the insulin produced by the body work better to reduce the amount of glucose already in the blood. Glucophage is used to treat type 2 diabetes and can be used alone or in combination with insulin or other diabetes medication.
Directions for Glucophage
Adults and teenagers being treated with Glucophage XR alone can be started at 500 milligrams (mg) once daily with the evening meal with gradual/weekly increase in doses as decided by your doctor. Same for treatment with Glucophage with insulin. For children up to 17 years of age, the dose must be decided by the doctor.
How Glucophage medication works
If prescribed Glucophage, inform you doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, congestive heart failure, acute or chronic metabolic acidosis, including diabetic ketoacidosis, have had a heart attack or a stroke; a serious infection, illness, or injury; need to have surgery; x-rays or other procedures using injectable contrast agents, are dehydrated (have lost water from your body) due to diarrhea, vomiting, fever, heat stroke, decreased fluid intake, or any other cause, drink alcohol or are 80 years of age or older and have not had your kidney function tested. All of these conditions warrant special dose and monitoring. The active ingredient in Glucophage, Metformin, is known to pass into breast milk and may affect a nursing baby. If you are breast feeding a baby, make sure you inform your doctor about it before starting on this medication. If you are over 65 years of age, the chances of developing lactic acidosis due to a natural decline in kidney function with advancing age are increased. A lower dose or special monitoring may be necessary during your treatment. Alcohol combines with Glucophage to increase the risk of lactic acidosis and hypoglycemia and so should be strongly avoided.
Side effects of Glucophage
A small number of people who have taken metformin developed a serious condition called lactic acidosis that can be fatal in up to 50% of cases. Lactic acidosis occurs most often in people with reduced kidney functions. Liver problems also increase the risk of developing lactic acidosis. Stop taking metformin and call your doctor immediately if you experience a feeling of general discomfort or sickness, weakness, sore or aching muscles, trouble breathing, unusual drowsiness, dizziness or lightheadedness, unusual or unexplained stomach upset (after the initial stomach upset that may occur at the start of therapy with metformin), or the sudden development of a slow or irregular heartbeat. All of these are signs of possible lactic acidosis. Glucophage is not known to cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), but the possibility of it happening remains if meals are skipped, due to excessive exercise or alcohol consumption. Signs of low blood sugar include hunger, headache, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, a fast heartbeat, sweating, tremor, and nausea. It is advisable to carry a non-dietetic candy or glucose tablets to treat episodes of low blood sugar. Patients may also experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea at the start of therapy, abdominal bloating or increased gas production, or decreased appetite or changes in taste (metallic taste in your mouth).
Other Glucophage Information
Swallow the Glucophage XR tablets whole, without crushing, chewing, or breaking them. They are specially formulated to release the medication slowly in the body. Occasionally, inactive ingredients in the extended-release tablets may pass through your body un-dissolved and appear in the stool as a soft mass. This is harmless and the medication has already been absorbed by your body.