Often considered first-line treatment, this medicine improves how your body responds to insulin. It is taken as a pill and is usually taken once a day with dinner. After a week or two, your doctor will ask you to take another dose of the medicine with breakfast, in addition to the dose with dinner. The dose of the medicine might change every few weeks until the proper dose is found.

Side effects

The most common unwanted effects of metformin are nausea, diarrhea, gas, and upset stomach. These problems are usually not severe, especially if you take Metformin with food. These problems could subside after a few weeks.

Who shouldn’t take metformin

People with severe kidney, liver, and heart disease, and those who drink alcohol in excess, should not take Metformin. Situations in which you should stop taking Metformin include: if you suddenly develop or have unstable heart rate or heart issues, get a bad infection causing low blood pressure, become dehydrated, or have decreased kidney function. Also, you might have to stop Metformin before having surgery of any kind.

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1Wexler DJ, Nathan DM, and Mulder JE. Patient education: Type 2 diabetes: Treatment (Beyond the Basics). UpToDate. Wolters Kluwer, 2020