Metformin is used to treat Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, disease of ovaries with cysts (PCOS), and gestational diabetes. Metformin, when taken with a balanced diet, and complemented with an exercise regimen is most effective in combating type 2 diabetes. This is also helpful in preventing diabetes in people who are at high risk. Metformin helps to lower blood sugar and makes menstrual cycles more regular and improves fertility in women.

Metformin may cross-react with other medications such as vitamins or other supplements such as herbs. If you are allergic to Metformin, do mention the same to your doctor or pharmacist before taking the medication. Metformin medication contains some inactive ingredients that may elicit allergic reactions in some individuals. Breathing trouble, swelling of your throat, or tongue hives are some of the symptoms of severe allergic reactions to metformin consumption.

Metformin interacts with alcohol. Ingestion of alcohol with metformin can increase your risk of lactic acidosis from metformin.

Patients with moderate to severe kidney problems are at high risk of lactic acidosis, so they should not be administered metformin. Similarly, people with liver problem should not be prescribed metformin, as liver disease is a risk factor for lactic acidosis, and metformin will only exacerbate the risk.

Consult your physician to alter the dosage of metformin that you are taking orally in case you have infection or fever or some injury or are planning to undergo a surgery or some other medical procedure.

People with diabetic ketoacidosis are strongly recommended not to use metformin to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.

The metformin side effects are
disturbance to the gut,
abdominal pain,
loss of appetite,
elevated levels of lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis),
decreased absorption of vitamin B12 during long-term use, and
skin reactions such as rash, itching or flushing.

If any of the side effects is too severe you should immediately contact your physician.
After taking Metformin if you find it difficult to breathe, feel drowsy or dizzy, you should immediately stop taking Metformin and seek immediate attention from a physician. If have have had a recent heart attack or have a history of heart diseases, then you should ask your doctor whether metformin consumption is safe for you.

Metformin cannot cure type 1 diabetes and should never be used to treat the same. Women who are at risk of gestational diabetes use insulin to control their blood sugar level. Use metformin during your pregnancy only if recommended by your physician.

Lactating women should never take metformin, as the drug may pass into breast milk, and cause side effects in the child who is being breast feed. Consult your physician urgently and either stop breast-feeding or discontinue taking metformin.

People above 80 years of age or older should not take metformin as they are at very high risk of lactic acidosis. And if they must take metformin they should never take the maximum dose, and as always must follow the recommendations of their physicians.

Always remember an overdose of metformin may be fatal due to lactic acidosis.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Mahesh Jayaraman and I am a health and wellness practitioner. My endeavor is to help people with chronic conditions recover complete health. My multi-pronged practice is time-intensive and I have worked with scores of satisfied clients till date. I have gained a unique perspective of the intricate workings of the bioengineering marvel that is the human body through my 15-plus years of study and training. I use my knowledge from various modalities of alternative medicine in combination with my understanding of mainstream lab tests and clinical diagnosis technique. I have combined both to develop a holistic method of healing.

I have completed my Certification in Functional Nutrition from Washington State University with the highest grades. I am a certified practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming and Advanced Reflexology. I hold a Diploma in magnet-based acupressure and am a practicing Bach Flower Therapist. I conduct Faster EFT sessions with select clients. I have received Advanced Training in the ancient Indian art of acupressure called “varmam.”

I have co-founded a health advisory called Sepalika which focusses on the science of taking dietary supplements to reverse chronic diseases.

Dietary supplements, when used properly, at researched dosages, can help support people suffering from a whole array of chronic diseases. I aim to help people all over the world deal with chronic illness and mitigate the side effects of using prescription medications for the same.