Metformin: Uses and Side Effects

Metformin is a popular diabetes medication that is taken orally and is sold as a generic drug. Metformin comes from the Galega officinalis plant that was used during the dark ages to treat frequent urination which is also a symptom of diabetes.

Galegine was found to be the effective element of the Galega plant and was first shown to lower blood pressure in 1927. The FDA approved Metformin for use in 1998, and 15 years later, they declared Metformin as the first line treatment for Type 2 Diabetes.

How Metformin works?

When you have diabetes, your body loses the ability to use insulin to metabolize food. When you eat carbohydrates or sugar that the body can't metabolize, your blood sugar levels will be higher. Metformin adequately helps your body metabolize food so that your body can have healthy sugar levels.

Metformin lowers glucose production in the liver, which as a result reduces glucose levels in the blood. Metformin drug also changes the way your blood reacts to insulin by making blood cells more sensitive to insulin. More sensitive blood cell makes the amount of insulin in your body work more effectively as well as transport insulin to tissue cells more efficiently. Metformin may have a preventive function in your health as well. New scientific research has shown that using metformin in the long term is very useful in preventing type 2 diabetes in women who once had gestational diabetes.

Moreover, Metformin is one of active ingredients of Janumet.

What is Janumet and how does it work?

Janumet is a prescription drug available in tablet form and is given to people with type 2 diabetes whose blood sugar is not controlled by metformin alone.

Janumet tablets contain two active ingredients: Metformin and Sitagliptin.      Metformin helps reduce the amount of sugar produced in the liver. Metformin also increases the sensitivity levels of cells to insulin. The sensitivity increase allows the cells to metabolize sugar in the blood more efficiently. The drug also slows down sugar absorption from the intestine into the bloodstream.

Sitagliptin is a drug that helps decrease blood sugar levels by preventing the breakdown of the GLP-1 and GIP hormones which are typically released after a meal to stimulate the release of insulin in the pancreas. These actions help regulate blood sugar levels in the body. This combination of medicines helps regulate blood sugar levels both after meals and in-between meals.

What is Metformin used for?

Because Metformin alters the way the body utilizes insulin, it is not used to treat Type 1 diabetes, which is a state in which the body produces no insulin at all. Metformin is used to treat Type II diabetes Mellitus.

Metformin is used to regulate high blood sugar as well. Managing high blood sugar helps prevent sexual function issues, nerve problems, kidney damage, loss of limbs and blindness. Accurately controlling diabetes may also reduce your chances of getting a stroke or a heart attack.

Metformin’s Side Effects.

Metformin side effects can affect different people in various ways. The following are some of the side effects that are associated with Metformin. Just because a side effect is listed here does not mean that everyone who uses Metformin will have that side effect.

More common Metformin side effects:

  • drowsiness
  • fast or shallow breathing
  • reduced appetite
  • lower back or side pain
  • cough or hoarseness
  • muscle pain or cramping
  • general feeling of uneasiness
  • abdominal or stomach pain
  • fever or chills
  • painful or difficult urination
  • diarrhea

Less common Metformin side effects:

  • fast, irregular, racing or pounding heartbeat
  • shortness of breath
  • nervousness
  • cold sweats
  • redness of the face, arms, neck, and the upper chest
  • anxiety
  • nightmares
  • feeling of warmth
  • tightness in the chest
  • cold, pale skin
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • seizures
  • blurred vision
  • shakiness
  • slurred speech
  • depression
  • chest discomfort
  • increased sweating
  • coma
  • nausea
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • increased hunger
  • confusion

Rare Metformin side effects:

  • unusual sleepiness
  • drowsiness
  • lack or loss of strength
  • behavior change similar to being drunk
  • restless sleep
  • difficulty with concentrating

Some of the side effects do not usually need medical treatments. The side effects may go away as you adjust to the medicine. Your doctor may tell you how to reduce or prevent some of the side effects. You should check with your healthcare expert if the side effects are troublesome or you have any questions regarding the side effects.

Janumet uses.

This combination prescription medicine is used together with diet and exercise and other medications to control high blood sugar. The drug is used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes. However, Janumet is not used to treat type 1 diabetes.

What are the side effects of Janumet?

The following are some of the possible side effects of Janumet. Patients taking this drug may not experience any of the side effects.

More common Janumet side effects:

  • vomiting
  • lack or loss of strength
  • bloated or feeling of fullness
  • passing gas
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • muscle aches
  • indigestion
  • sore throat

Less common Janumet side effects:

  • stomach discomfort
  • loss of consciousness
  • chills
  • abnormal tiredness or weakness
  • mumbled speech
  • cold, pale skin
  • anxiety
  • fast heartbeat
  • not thinking clearly
  • depression
  • convulsions
  • increased hunger
  • blurred vision
  • nausea
  • mental cloudiness
  • cold sweats
  • shakiness
  • confusion
  • nightmares
  • headache
  • dizziness

Rare Janumet Side Effects:

  • fast, shallow breathing
  • sleepiness
  • general feeling of discomfort
  • decreased appetite
  • diarrhea
  • muscle pain or cramping

Some side effects of Janumet that may occur do not require immediate attention because some the side effects are just your body getting used to the drugs. Your doctor or medical experts may also give you some ways of preventing or reducing some of these side effects. You should check with your medical expert if you have any questions about any of the side effects.

Is Janumet the same as Metformin?

Janumet is usually prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes and whose high blood sugar levels are not controlled by the maximum dose possible of Metformin alone.

Although they work in different ways, when Metformin and Janumet drugs are taken together the health effects are greater especially if the single drug is not sufficient enough.

Both Janumet and Metformin help the body maintain healthy sugar levels in the blood.

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