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The Metformin Side Effects You Should Know About

Metformin is a common drug used to manage high blood sugar brought on by type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, but it does come with some side effects. Metformin is typically prescribed with other medications including insulin. Medications are an important part of diabetes management as well as a healthy diet and regular exercise. If you have any metformin side effects, contact your doctor.

Metformin side effects

infographic showing common side effects of metformin


Less common Metformin side effects

Less common Metformin side effects include lactic acidosis, which is a dangerous buildup of lactic acid in the body. Lactic acidosis is a serious condition that requires medical attention. Lactic acidosis symptoms include:

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Trouble breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Abnormal heartrate
  • Stomach pain

Another Metformin side effect is hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. If you experience low blood sugar while taking Metformin, take glucose tablets, drink one cup of juice or non-diet soda, or eat one tablespoon of sugar, honey, or corn syrup to get your blood sugar levels back to normal.

If you experience any Metformin side effects, talk to your doctor to decide if you should continue taking it. It’s important that you don’t stop taking Metformin without first checking with your doctor, as stopping Metformin suddenly could increase your blood sugar and cause diabetes complications.

Rare metformin side effects

There are several rare Metformin side effects, including kidney, heart and liver problems. If you have any of these health conditions, you should talk to your doctor about how Metformin might interact

If you plan to have surgery, you should stop taking your metformin at least 48 hours before the procedure and continue taking it when your doctor says you can.


Metformin interactions

Metformin may interact with the following types of medications:

  • Blood pressure drugs
  • Cholesterol drugs
  • Glaucoma drugs
  • Digestion drugs
  • Hormone drugs
  • Tuberculosis drugs
  • Thyroid drugs

Metformin may also interact with some vitamins and supplements meant to decrease blood sugar. If you take medications for any of these conditions, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about possible interactions with the drugs.