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Generic Name: Metformin

Brands: Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Fortamet, Riomet

Class: Biguanides

Availability: Prescription required

Molecular Formula: C4H11N5

Substance UNII: 9100L32L2N

What is Metformin?

Metformin is a biguanide hypoglycemic agent. It is often sold under the trade names Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Fortamet, and Riomet.

What is Metformin Used For?

Metformin is an antidiabetic used in the treatment of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus that does not respond to dietary changes. 

How Does Metformin Work?

Insulin is a hormone that controls how much sugar cells absorb. For some people, the cells become resistant to insulin, so sugar remains in the bloodstream and causes damage. Metformin decreases cells’ insulin resistance. That allows the cells to absorb sugar more readily, removing it from the blood. 

How Long Does it Take for Metformin to Work?

Most people see some effect within 48 hours. 

Do Not Use Metformin If:

There are several situations where this medication may not be the right choice for you. According to the FDA, the following should not use metformin:

  • Kidney impairment
  • Liver impairment
  • Metabolic acidosis
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Hypersensitivity to metformin hydrochloride

Please note that this list may not be complete, and there may be other situations where the use of this drug is not advisable.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.


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