Often when you’re on medication for a condition, you hear a lot about the benefits and the side effects. You’ve probably heard the words “generic” and “brand” and “low blood sugar” thrown around, and you’ve probably been warned about the dangers of taking Metformin. What they didn’t want you to know about Metformin is that it may cause a condition called Lactic acidosis. It can cause blood sugar levels to drop too low, which may lead to anemia. You may also develop an allergic reaction to the drug.
Low blood sugar
Taking Metformin for diabetes is an effective way to lower your blood sugar. It is an inexpensive drug that has been around for decades. However, it is not without its complications.
Metformin works by inhibiting the liver from producing glucose. In some people, it can lead to severe kidney damage and lactic acidosis. It also improves insulin sensitivity, which can help lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.
Metformin is usually prescribed when diet and exercise alone are not enough to keep blood sugar under control. Metformin may also be used in combination with other diabetes drugs. However, it should not be taken on its own. If you’re experiencing side effects, talk to your doctor about adjusting your dose.
Metformin is available in liquid, pill, and extended-release forms. It is often prescribed for patients with type 2 diabetes, but it can also be used to treat gestational diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome. It is also covered by most health insurance plans.
The FDA has not approved Metformin for the treatment of prediabetes, but it may be able to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. Taking Metformin for diabetes can also reduce your risk of a heart attack and stroke.
When taking Metformin, it is best to start with a low dose. This will help you to get used to the drug. If you experience nausea, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal side effects, speak to your doctor about changing your dose.
If you’re considering taking Metformin for diabetes, talk to your doctor about the other medications you may be taking. Some drugs may interfere with Metformin and reduce its efficacy.
Glucose/lactate metabolism is impaired by metformin, which is a drug commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes. The drug inhibits complex I of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Its accumulation in patients with impaired hepatic or renal function, along with alcohol use, can lead to lactic acidosis.
Lactic acidosis is a serious medical condition that can cause a rapid onset of symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, nausea, and vomiting. More severe cases can present with respiratory failure and arrhythmia. In addition to symptoms, a patient with lactic acidosis may also exhibit low blood sugar. Symptoms can also be triggered by certain drug interactions.
Metformin-associated lactic acidosis (MALA) is a rare but serious adverse effect of metformin. While cases are rare, mortality rates can be high. In the largest case series, mortality was between 10.8% and 45 percent.
The relationship between metformin and lactic acidosis is complex and is subject to controversy. Some studies have shown no association between the plasma metformin concentration and the severity of lactic acidosis in patients with MALA. Other studies have shown an association between high plasma metformin concentrations and metformin-associated lactic acidosis. However, these studies may not be representative of actual rates in clinical practice.
Despite the lack of evidence to support a causal relationship between metformin and lactic acidosis, metformin is contraindicated in patients with severe hepatic or renal impairment, as well as very elderly patients. It also has an adverse effect on glucose/lactate metabolism, including increased glucose uptake. It may lead to hypoglycemia.
Diagnosis of metformin-associated lactic acidosis is not easy. Nonspecific signs and symptoms can make it difficult to distinguish between lactic acidosis and other disorders. Symptoms may be triggered by other conditions such as hypoxic states, severe dehydration, cardiac disease, or sepsis.
Using metformin to treat diabetes mellitus leads to an increased risk of moderate anemia. It is unclear what mechanisms are responsible. Among the many hypotheses, one is that the metformin affects red blood cell production. It is not known if the increased risk is due to an immediate effect on Hb or to a longer-term decrease in red blood cells.
In the UKPDS, a real-world study of type 2 diabetes patients, anemia was more common among individuals taking metformin than insulin. Anemia event rates ranged from 2.8% to 5.7% over a 5-year period. In the diet-only group, anemia event rates ranged from 1% to 9. Also, individuals who had received sulfonylureas had anemia event rates of 9.
In the ADOPT study, participants with type 2 diabetes were exposed to metformin and thiazolidinediones. Compared with those who had no exposure, the risk of anemia was four times higher in those who had taken thiazolidinediones.
The rate of anemia was highest in the first year. After a year, the rate decreased to 41.8%. In addition, a higher rate of microcytic anemia was observed in the metformin group compared to the non-metformin group. The rate of macrocytic anemia was not significantly different.
The UKPDS study included 1473 individuals with type 2 diabetes. It had a maximum follow-up of nine years. Among those participants, 52 were anemic at baseline.
The GoDARTS study also included participants with type 2 diabetes. The median study duration was 8.3 years. However, the population was older at diagnosis. This suggests that the anemia risk was more related to the older population. The absolute hemoglobin reduction was 0.5 g/dL at three years.
Taking metformin for diabetes can be very useful, but it can also cause unwanted side effects. Although the side effects of metformin are not serious, they can be bothersome and sometimes require medical attention.
Metformin is a type 2 diabetes medication. It works by reducing the amount of glucose in the blood. It also improves the body’s ability to produce insulin, which carries sugar into the cells. But it can cause some unwanted side effects, and it should not be taken with other drugs.
Metformin has been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. However, the connection has not been confirmed. Some studies also indicate that metformin can decrease the risk of cancer.
While a majority of people take metformin without experiencing any side effects, a small percentage of people have experienced some of the following symptoms.
Nausea and vomiting are the most common side effects. This can occur in as little as 26% of people taking the drug, and it usually goes away within a few weeks.
Some people also experience rashes or nail problems. Others have experienced heart palpitations or sweating. If these symptoms appear, contact your doctor immediately.
Metformin may also interact with certain drugs and herbal supplements. It should be taken with food, which can help to offset some of the side effects. You should also avoid excessive alcohol consumption, including binge drinking episodes. Alcohol boosts lactic acid in the body, which increases the risk of lactic acidosis.
Metformin should also be taken with caution in patients with chronic heart failure or liver disease. If the drug is not working properly, the lactic acidosis risk increases.
Generic vs brand
Among the many medications prescribed for patients with type 2 diabetes, metformin is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs. It helps improve insulin sensitivity by increasing the uptake of glucose into tissues. It also reduces the amount of glucose that is absorbed in the intestines.
There is a lot of debate on whether or not generics are as safe as their branded counterparts. However, the cost-effectiveness of generic drugs is hard to ignore. In fact, a recent study found savings of $1 billion per year for Medicare patients. These savings are a result of the fact that generic drugs do not have to undergo costly clinical trials.
Generally, generic medications are as effective as their brand name counterparts. However, there are some exceptions. In many cases, the generic is actually more effective than its branded counterpart. Depending on the formulation, some of these medications may absorb better and last longer than their brand name counterparts.
A recent study compared the quality of generic medicines with their more expensive counterparts. Although the study was not exhaustive, it does suggest that the best generic medicines are worth a try. The best generic drugs have a price tag of about 80% to 85% less than their brand name counterparts. This makes them an obvious choice for millions of Americans.
While the generic and its brand name counterparts may differ in the quality of their ingredients, the resulting product is as safe and effective as its branded counterparts. It’s not unusual for a brand name drug manufacturer to charge a premium for its product.
However, the cost-effectiveness of generics has helped millions of patients receive the medicines they need at an affordable price.