What signs indicate that your metformin is working? (3+ green flags of metformin use) 

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Page last updated: 23/09/2022

In this blog post, we are going to talk about the obvious signs that indicate the efficiency of metformin. It is an antidiabetic agent and one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the entire world. We will also discuss the basic facts about metformin and how to use this med properly. 

What signs indicate that your metformin is working?

The signs that indicate your metformin is working include:

  • Your blood sugar level remains balanced 
  • You have better energy levels and less lethargy 
  • Your hands and feet feel less numb
  • You don’t urinate frequently 

Your blood sugar level remains balanced 

The most important sign that indicates the efficiency of your metformin is the management of your blood glucose level. Metformin is an antidiabetic drug which belongs to the class of biguanides. 

It is used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and significantly lowers the levels of elevated blood sugar levels. Metformin actively inhibits the process of gluconeogenesis (breakdown of glycogen into glucose) in the liver. 

This process is triggered by the hormone glucagon, which acts opposite to insulin. In type 2 diabetes, patients have enough insulin but the receptors have lost the sensitivity to insulin which triggers the action. 

If you properly take this medication and you notice your blood sugar levels in control, it indicates that metformin is working. 

You have better energy levels and less lethargy 

Another important sign is related to your energy levels. Diabetes is well known to cause lethargy and low energy levels and such patients sometimes find even the smallest of tasks difficult. 

This is because the excess amount of glucose in the blood does not leave enough room for oxygen to bind. This makes the blood deficient in oxygen which results in all the cells and organs receiving less amount of this oxygen. 

As a result, your cells become tired and their efficiency is reduced. Enough energy is not produced in your muscles as well which is why the contraction and movement becomes hard. 

If you continue to take metformin and you feel light, energised and less tired, it means metformin is actively reducing the concentration of glucose in your blood and is making more oxygen available for your cells and tissues. 

Your hands and feet feel less numb

Diabetes is also associated with numbness in hands and feet. This is another symptom which is related to the blood. Excess glucose levels in the blood increases the viscosity. 

As a result, blood flow is obstructed, especially in lower extremities. Small capillaries fail to carry the thick blood effectively and it causes numbness, tingling or pins-and-needles sensation. 

If you find relief from this side effect and feel that your blood circulation has become better, it indicates that metformin is working. 

You don’t urinate frequently 

Polyuria (increased urination) and Polydipsia (increased thirst) are the most common and early signs of diabetes mellitus. 

When you start to notice that you’re not that thirsty and you don’t feel the need to urinate that often, it indicates that metformin is actively making the symptoms associated with diabetes better and it’s working. 

What signs indicate that your metformin is working? (3+ green flags of metformin use) 

Is metformin used for the treatment of some other health condition? 

Metformin is most commonly included in the treatment regimen of polycystic ovary syndrome. Although this medication is an Antidiabetic agent, it can still be used to help relieve some of the symptoms associated with PCOS. 

It can decrease the effects of male hormones, help regulate your monthly menstrual cycle and can also reduce the incidence of diabetes caused by insulin resistance. 

Some studies also suggest that this medication can help lose some of the weight that you could possibly have gained during your PCOS.

What are the side effects associated with the use of metformin? 

Metformin is associated with multiple side effects, just like every other medication on this planet. These include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Flatulence 
  • Dizziness
  • Bacterial infections 
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency 
  • Lactic acidosis 
  • Constipation 
  • Bloating 
  • Increased stomach acidity 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Metallic taste

Some serious and rare side effects include:

  • Allergic reaction associated with symptoms like redness of skin, itching, burning sensation, blisters, blue-purple patches. 
  • Respiratory side effects including tightness of chest, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, hoarseness etc. 

How to ensure the proper use of metformin? 

It is extremely important to ensure the proper use of metformin. This medication is considered a safe one, but it can trigger a rare and serious condition called lactic acidosis. 

It is important to inform your doctor about your pre-existing health conditions and any medication that you might be using. Metformin can interact with certain medications and can increase the risk of lactic acidosis. 

Make sure you are not using this med with any other prescription medication that may interact and make your condition worse. Metformin may interact with:

  • Keveyis (Dichlorphenamide) 
  • Diamox (Acetazolamide) 
  • Topamax (Topiramate) 
  • Neptazane (Methazolamide) 
  • Zonegran (Zonisamide) 

Drug interactions should be an important consideration before taking two or more medicines together. Yes, drugs in combination are often used to achieve better therapeutic response but this is not the case with every interaction. 

Some drugs are highly incompatible with one another. They often cancel out each other’s effects or antagonise them. Some drugs are so incompatible that they end up changing the entire chemical composition of one another. 

Some interfere with metabolism or bioavailability (the rate and extent at which the active drug moiety enters systemic circulation/blood). This can lead to drug accumulation in different parts of the body. 

It is always advised to inform your healthcare provider of any medicine you take before getting a new prescription. Your doctor will make sure not to prescribe any such drug which might interfere with those you are already taking. 

Age is a crucial factor to consider before prescribing a dose. Children and elderly are more susceptible to adverse effects as their bodies are weak and so is their immunity. 

For adults, it is easy to simply prescribe a dose, but for paediatric and geriatric population, a lot of factors are considered first. 

What are the important points to remember while taking metformin? 

  • Report any problems with bleeding or bruising to your doctor. If you see any unexplained blisters or rashes on your body, or experience any problems with urination, or if you feel changes in your vision, immediately report to your healthcare provider. 
  • Do not suggest medications, unless you are a healthcare professional yourself. Do not share medications. You might think your conditions match but oftentimes they don’t. It’s actually pretty dangerous.
  • If you fail to understand how to use the drug properly or have any other question, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
  • In case of overdose, immediately reach out to the hospital. Make sure you properly guide them about how much drug you have taken and when. 
  • If you have missed a dose and you’re way past the usual time at which you take your med, do not take it. It will cause you to overdose when you take your next dose, which is not too far away. It’s better to skip the missed dose and take the next one. If you remember your missed dose earlier, it’s safe for you to take it.

Conclusion 

In this blog post, we have discussed signs that indicate the efficiency of metformin. It is one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the entire world. The most important sign that indicates the efficiency of your metformin is the management of your blood glucose level. 

Metformin is an antidiabetic drug which belongs to the class of biguanides. It is used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and significantly lowers the levels of elevated blood sugar levels. 

Metformin actively inhibits the process of gluconeogenesis (breakdown of glycogen into glucose) in the liver. This process is triggered by the hormone glucagon, which acts opposite to insulin. 

If you continue to take metformin and you feel light, energised and less tired, it means metformin is actively reducing the concentration of glucose in your blood and is making more oxygen available for your cells and tissues.

FAQs: Signs metformin is working  

How do I know if metformin is working?

The most important sign that indicates the efficiency of your metformin is the management of your blood glucose level. Metformin is an antidiabetic drug which belongs to the class of biguanides. It is used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and significantly lowers the levels of elevated blood sugar levels. 

Metformin actively inhibits the process of gluconeogenesis (breakdown of glycogen into glucose) in the liver. Another important sign is related to your energy levels. If you continue to take metformin and you feel light, energised and less tired, it means metformin is actively reducing the concentration of glucose in your blood and is making more oxygen available for your cells and tissues. 

It can also reduce your pins-and-needles sensation, excessive thirst and frequent urination. Make sure you properly use this medication. 

How do you feel when you take metformin?

You begin to feel better when you start taking metformin. It helps in counteracting the disturbing and disabling symptoms associated with diabetes. Your blood sugar levels get better. You have better energy levels and less lethargy. Your hands and feet feel less numb and you don’t urinate frequently. 

What should I avoid while taking metformin?

Drug interactions should be an important consideration before taking two or more medicines together. Make sure you are not using this med with any other prescription medication that may interact and make your condition worse. Metformin may interact with:

  • Keveyis (Dichlorphenamide) 
  • Diamox (Acetazolamide) 
  • Topamax (Topiramate) and other anticonvulsants 
  • Neptazane (Methazolamide) 
  • Zonegran (Zonisamide) 
  • Norvasc (Amlodipine) 
  • Corticosteroids 
  • Antihypertensives

Do I need to check blood sugar while taking metformin?

Frequent testing may be needed when you are new to metformin. This helps you determine if your medicine is working well or not. When you know how it makes you feel and your appropriate daily dosage is determined, then there is no need to monitor your blood sugar levels on a daily basis. 

What are the side effects of metformin? 

Metformin is associated with multiple side effects, just like every other medication on this planet. These include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Flatulence 
  • Dizziness
  • Bacterial infections 
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency 
  • Lactic acidosis 
  • Constipation 
  • Bloating 
  • Increased stomach acidity 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Metallic taste

References 

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