Metformin

Definition - What does Metformin mean?

Metformin is an oral medication indicated to treat diabetes mellitus that is also used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and promote fertility. Metformin works to stabilize blood sugar by reducing liver glucose production, reducing intestinal glucose absorption, and increase insulin sensitivity. Unlike other diabetes medications, metformin does not cause hypoglycemia or weight gain.

Metformin is also known as Glucophage.

FertilitySmarts explains Metformin

PCOS is an endocrine disorder classified by insulin resistance and hormone imbalance. Irregular hormone levels lead to irregular menstruation, anovulation (lack of ovulation), and infertility. Some women with PCOS also have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and endometrial hyperplasia (overly thick lining of the uterus). Metformin is effective in improving insulin sensitivity thus improving hormonal balance and restoring fertility.

Metformin is usually taken twice daily. It should be taken with meals to avoid gastrointestinal side effects. Extended release tablets should be swallowed whole and are preferred to be taken with an evening meal. Common side effects include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Flatulence
  • Asthenia (weakness)
  • Headache

Metformin should not be given within 48 hours of receiving contrast imaging dye. Patients with renal or hepatic failure should be warned of a potential serious side effect called lactic acidosis.

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