Metformin or Glucophage, brand name), is one of the most popular drugs that doctors will prescribe for type 2 diabetes treatment. It belongs in the class of drugs referred to as biguanides. Biguanides are medications that will bring down the blood sugars by helping your body manage your insulin resistance. Glucophage also helps the liver by preventing it from producing the large amount of glucose and in turn, fat cells are more sensitized for insulin that is there.

This drug also helps with the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, a common problem in type 2 diabetic people. This drug does not cause weight gain issues as in insulins or other diabetes pills. Another advantage is that Metformin also does not cause low blood sugar, (hypoglycemia).

The drug is taken usually in two or three doses daily, alongside meals. If you are taking the Glucophage XR, (brand name), extended release, it is needed only with supper.

The side effects of Glucophage can be upset stomach or diarrhea. These usually will disappear over time the longer you take the drug.

A potentially serious effect of the drug however, is lactic acidosis. This can be deadly if not treated quickly. Persons that have liver or kidney problems are more prone to this side effect taking Glucophage. Also, people who consume alcholic beverages are at a risk for this problem. Early signs of lactic acidosis are:


Upset stomach

No appetite


Trouble in breathing

Muscle pains

If you are feeling any of these symptoms, seek your doctor's advice quickly.

Glucophage, which was approved in 1994 by the FDA, changed the picture of treatment for type 2 diabetes for many doctors. Since that time after this drug was developed, other drugs followed suit shortly, offering more options to doctors for treatment.