Metformin, next to sulfonylureas (e.g. glipizide), is the primary treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes. This medication has several important drawbacks that most patients don’t know about. Here, I’ll list the 25 most unpleasant metformin side effects that every patient who takes this medication should know.
Metformin side effects
- Acidic blood
- Belly pain
- Build up of gas in the intestine (more common)
- Chest discomfort
- Cold-like symptoms
- Diarrhea (more common)
- Flu-like symptoms (more common)
- Infection (more common)
- Low blood sugar
- Low blood vitamin B12 level
- Muscle pain
- Muscle weakness
- Nail disease
- Nausea (more common)
- Reduced ability to taste
- Runny nose
- Vomiting (more common)
The uses of metformin
Metformin is a medication that lowers blood sugar, yet clinicians prescribe this medication to treat other conditions as well.
Promoting weight loss
Metformin is a medication that could help with losing weight.
Patients on antipsychotics, especially, are prone to weight gain; metformin could help these patients in losing weight, or at least stabilizing it.
In general, metformin could induce approximately 5% weight loss.
Prevention of type 2 diabetes
Metformin therapy could potentially help select patients who have high risks of acquiring type 2 diabetes, especially in those with slightly high blood sugar levels (who are still not meeting the criteria for type 2 diabetes) and patients who are obese.
Don’t forget, taking metformin must work in conjunction with additional lifestyle changes.
Menstrual abnormality as part of PCOS
Patients with polycystic ovarian disease or PCOS, who suffer from menstrual abnormalities, could benefit from taking metformin.
Patients with PCOS suffer from ovarian malfunction and high androgen (too much testosterone production) level. This disease (PCOS), is the most common cause of infertility in women.
Thankfully, metformin improves insulin sensitivity and reduces androgen levels and it helps with restoring the menstrual cycle.
However, metformin doesn’t help with hirsutism (male pattern growth of hair in women).
I’m going to update this comprehensive list of metformin side effects regularly. Please let me know if you find out of any new adverse effects you like to share.
Now is your turn. What’s your experience with metformin? Go to the comments section (down below) and tell me what you think.
I’d love to hear from you.