What I wish I had known about metformin.

DISCLAIMER:  I am not a medical professional. If you have concerns about a medication or symptoms, you should contact your doctor. I only write about what works (and doesn’t work) for me in my diabetes care, so please realize that what works (and doesn’t work) for me may not work for you. Thank you.


This week marks six months since I started taking metformin. Happy with A1C results, not happy with the side effects.

Things I have learned about the drug:

  1. I take my recommended dose during or after a meal. Although I can handle taking my evening dose before dinner, I cannot tolerate taking my morning dose before breakfast.
  2. My fasting blood sugar readings are now almost consistently under 110, with only a day or two in the 130′s thanks to female hormones. Before metformin, even with strict diet and exercise, I was consistently in the 120′s, with an entire week in the 130′s and 140′s thanks to female hormones. I’ve seen similar success with post-prandials, with no more 100-point spikes after breakfast (and no more embarassing need to find a bathroom quickly with a full bladder).
  3. Three weeks out of the month, I have no issues with tolerating metformin. Again, thanks to female hormones, one week of the month is horrible with regards to side effects. I figured out that part of the problem might be with ibuprofen, after experiencing the same issue after taking it for hip pain in the middle of the month. Going without ibuprofen has helped some, but not completely.

I will be getting a full blood work-up early in 2008, so I will be curious to see how my cholesterol looks after several months on metformin. It was excellent back in July 2006, so I am hoping not much has changed.

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4 Responses to What I wish I had known about metformin.

  1. Glenn Cote says:

    readind blogs has helped me big time, as I live in a small town [ 5000 or so ] . Every now and then I have to bring down my bolus setting on my insulin pump. I told this to my doctor and C.D.E. and they both told me that I must be doing something wrong I was very upset and then some since I’ve been a diabetic for 38 years. Then one day I came across a blog and the person had the same problem, felt good knowing this . Thats what blogs are. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO PROVE and please don’t stop letting us know what works for you so that we can discuss it with our doctors Thanks Glenn

  2. inmysixties says:

    Thank you “Tales in my Thirties”, it is useful to know what kinds of side affects others are having with Metformin. I take so many meds it is difficult to know which one is doing what.
    I’ve been taking Metformin since 2000 and haven’t noticed the problems you mentioned however, I have just started taking my blood sugar readings (almost 2 months now) and have noticed my readings are still high, much higher than you mentioned.
    I have been having numerous dizzy spells; but I am not sure if it has anything to do with my blood sugar or with my blood pressure or maybe a combination, my heart rate seems to have increased as well. If my BP is normal or low, my heart rate is excessive and vice versa.
    Oh well, I see my doctor soon and we’ll see what he thinks, again! =) Best to you all.

  3. Mili says:

    I am taking metformin for 5 months, i don’t know is there any different because the last time i went for my follow up my blood pressure still high. Somtime i fell dizzy, floating on the air, so i asked my doctor about this, the doctor told, take my medicine different time, take during the dinner time, because i always take during breafast time with my high blood pressure medicine. sometime only gas, constipated can you tell me if you have these and what can i do.

  4. Mary says:

    I went to the doctor because my Metformin 500mg didn’t appear to be working. The first thing he told me was this was generic and those products have a 15% variance. In other words, I’m not truly getting the full dose! He said these are mixed in foreign countries that don’t have the controls put on them like our brand name drugs. I switched to Glucophase XR 500mg and life is perfect. For a while there, I thought I was going crazy. I told my pharmicist — no more generic for me.

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