Common Metformin Side Effects To Watch Out For

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Diabetes Mellitus is mostly a lifestyle related condition and dealing with it also requires lifestyle changes. Basically, there are two forms of Diabetes Mellitus—one is the insulin dependent type (IDDM/Type I) and the other is the non-insulin dependent type (NIDDM/ Type II). In patients with Type I DM, there is an absolute absence of the hormone insulin, the hormone responsible for pushing glucose molecules inside our cells, where they should be. In Type II DM, there is a limited amount of insulin supply which is not sufficient enough to sustain the entrance of glucose inside cells.

Management of Diabetes Mellitus as mentioned earlier is mostly related to lifestyle changes, however, specific treatment options also depend on the Type of DM a person suffers from. Patients with DM Type II definitely needs constant insulin supply, while patients with Type II DM will need to control the DM in possible non-medication means before resorting to the use of drugs.

One of the drugs commonly used by patients with Type II DM is Metformin. Metformin is a generic classification and it may be sold in various brand names all over the globe. Metformin, like other drugs is not an exemption from side effects so it may also present with such effects when used by patients. Here is a quick rundown and explanation of the common metformin side effects:

Hair Loss. Thinning of the hair, receding hairline, alopecia are some of the metformin side effects that one needs to watch for.  As such, one needs to notice his or her scalp regularly, i.e. checking the pillows  for hair strands upon waking up, checking the amount of clump hair upon sweeping or in the shower drain, and the likes. If it has been found out that hair loss is caused by metformin, an alternative hypoglycemic agent may be prescribed.

Lactic Acidosis. An overdose of metformin cannot be taken nor metabolized by the body effectively. This leads to the side effect of lactic acidosis. This happens because one of the by-products of this drug is lactic acid an accumulation of this acid in our bloodstream can lead to such occurrence. One of the primary interventions to correct acidosis is to give intravenous injections of buffering drugs like bicarbonate (which is alkaline in nature).

Hyperglycemia. Too much metformin may lead to rebound metformin side effects like hyperglycemia. That instead of lowering the blood sugar, the body becomes resistant and does not respond to the drug’s supposed action. In this occurrence, hyperglycemia may occur. As such, signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia like abdominal pain, dizziness and vomiting can occur.

Diarrhea. Metformin can also trigger the gastrointestinal motility of the body and as such, diarrhea or the hypermotility of the intestines may take place. In fact, this incidence is found to happen in more than half of all taking metformin in a specific drug study.

When metformin is taken properly, i.e. in correct dosages, intervals and with the necessary precautions, such metformin side effects may be lessened.




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