By Bristol-Myers Squibb

What is this medication for?

Metformin belongs to a class of medications called oral hypoglycemics (medications that lower blood sugar). It is used for the control of blood glucose (blood sugar) by people with type 2 diabetes. It is used when diet, exercise, and weight reduction have not lowered blood glucose well enough on their own. Metformin works by reducing the amount of glucose made by the liver and by making it easier for glucose to enter the tissues of the body.

Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.

Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.

What form(s) does this medication come in?

Glucophage® is available as:

  • tablets
    • 500 mg
    • 850 mg
    • 1,000 mg
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.

How should I use this medication?

The recommended adult dose of metformin ranges from 500 mg 3 or 4 times daily to 850 mg 2 or 3 times daily. The usual starting dose of metformin for adults is 500 mg twice daily or 850 mg once a day, given with meals. The usual starting dose of metformin for children (10 to 16 years of age) is 500 mg twice a day, given with meals. The maximum daily dose should not exceed 2,550 mg daily for adults and 2,000 mg for children.

Metformin may be used alone or with other medications that reduce blood glucose. To ensure the medication is working well, monitor your blood glucose on a regular basis as directed by your doctor or diabetes specialist.

Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.

It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Store this medication at room temperature, protect it from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.

Who should NOT take this medication?

Do not take this medication if you:

  • are allergic to metformin or any ingredients of the medication
  • are receiving injections of iodinated contrast materials for radiological studies
  • have acute or chronic metabolic acidosis, including diabetic ketoacidosis
  • have congestive heart failure requiring medication
  • have kidney disease or kidney dysfunction
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The contents of this health site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.

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