Metformin Hydrochloride, as monotherapy, is indicated as an adjunct to diet to lower blood glucose especially in overweight patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or type 2 diabetes mellitus whose hyperglycemia cannot be satisfactorily managed on diet alone. Metformin Hydrochloride may be used concomitantly with a sulfonylurea when diet and metformin hydrochloride or sulfonylureas alone do not result in adequate glycemic control.
Metformin is an antihyperglycemic agent which improves glucose tolerance in patients with type 2 diabetes, lowering both basal and postprandial plasma glucose. Metformin reduces hepatic glucose production by inhibiting gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis, and stimulates intracellular glycogen synthesis by acting on glycogen synthase. In muscle, it increases insulin sensitivity, improving peripheral glucose uptake and utilization. Metformin also delays intestinal glucose absorption. Metformin increases the transport capacity of all types of membrane glucose transporters (GLUTs) known to date.
In humans, independently of its action on glycemia, metformin has favorable effects on lipid metabolism. This has been shown at therapeutic doses in controlled, medium-term or long-term clinical studies: Metformin reduces total cholesterol, LDL, cholesterol and triglycerides levels. Unlike sulfonylureas, metformin does not produce hypoglycemia in either patients with type 2 diabetes or normal subjects and does not cause hyperinsulinemia. With metformin therapy, insulin secretion remains unchanged while fasting insulin levels and daylong plasma insulin response may actually decrease.
Children and adolescents-
Monotherapy and combination with insulin
Metformin tablets can be used in children from 10 years of age and adolescents.
The usual starting dose is one tablet of 500 mg or 850 mg once daily, given during meals or after meals.
After 10 to 15 days the should be adjusted on the basis of blood glucose measurements. A slow increase of dose may improve gastrointestinal tolerability. The maximum recommended dose of metformin is 2 g daily, taken as 2 or 3 divided doses.
Combinations requiring precautions for use-
Certain drugs tend to produce hyperglycemia and may lead to loss of glycemic control. These drugs include thiazide and other diuretics, corticosteroids, phenothiazines, thyroid products, estrogens, oral contraceptives, phenytoin, nicotinic acid, sympathomimetics, calcium channel blocking drugs, and isoniazid. When such drugs are administered to a patient receiving Metformin HCl, the patient should be closely observed to maintain adequate glycemic control. Inform the patient and perform more frequent blood glucose monitoring, especially at the beginning of treatment. If necessary, adjust the dosage of the antidiabetic drug during therapy with the other drug and upon its discontinuation.
Nifedipine appears to enhance the absorption of Metformin. Metformin has minimal effects on nifedipine. ACE-inhibitors may decrease the blood glucose levels. If necessary, adjust the dosage of the antidiabetic drug during therapy with the other drug and upon its discontinuation.
Hypersensitivity to metformin hydrochloride or to any of the excipients of the medication.
Diabetic ketoacidosis, diabetic pre-coma Renal failure or renal dysfunction (creatinine clearance < 60 mL/min)
Acute conditions with the potential to alter renal function such as: dehydration, severe infection, shock, intravascular administration of iodinated contrast agents.
Acute or chronic disease which may cause tissue hypoxia such as: cardiac or respiratory failure, recent myocardial infarction, shock Hepatic insufficiency, acute alcohol intoxication, alcoholism Lactation
Metformin may cause gastro-intestinal adverse effects like diarrhoea, anorexia, nausea & vomiting. Lactic acidosis and malabsorption of vitamin B12 may be occurred. Patients may experience a metallic taste and there may be weight loss, which in some diabetics could be an advantage.
Hypoglycemia has not been seen with metformin doses up to 85g, although lactic acidosis has occurred in such circumstances. High overdose or concomitant risks of metformin may lead to lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is a medical emergency and must be treated in hospital. The most effective method to remove lactate and metformin is hemodialysis.
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