What is Metformin?
Metformin is a low cost oral medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin, a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into the cells. This condition results in too much sugar circulating in the blood, and over time, this excess sugar causes high blood sugar levels which can result in disorders of the circulatory, nervous and immune system.
While Metformin’s method of action is not fully understood, its effects are known to be helpful for those with type 2 diabetes. Metformin is the only member of a class of drugs called biguanides, which work to treat type 2 diabetes by decreasing the amount of glucose produced by the liver during digestion.
Metformin works in many ways to lower blood sugar. Inhibiting the liver’s glucose production helps reduce the amount of glucose in the bloodstream, and increased sensitivity to insulin allows cells to take up glucose from the bloodstream more efficiently which also aids in lowering blood sugar. Additionally, metformin might also have an effect on the absorption of glucose by the intestines and the way the body processes certain fats and proteins.
Other Uses for Metformin:
Recent research has shown that taking Metformin may have advantages that go much further than just treatment for diabetes. Metformin is already well known for its cardiovascular benefits, including lower rates of death due to cardiovascular disease. However, researchers are also looking further into other benefits of Metformin such as lower risks of cancer, dementia, and strokes. There are preliminary studies showing that Metformin might even slow aging, help prevent age related diseases, and increase longevity.
Generics of Metformin:
Metformin has several generic equivalents on the market under names such as Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Fortamet, Glumetza, and Riomet. Generic versions of brand name drugs are ensured by the Food and Drug Administration to have identical active ingredients and be just as effective and potent as their brand name counterparts. They also may be available at a lower cost depending on location, dosage, pharmacy, and insurance coverage.
Like all medications, Metformin can also cause some side effects such as the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Skin reactions like rashes, itching, or hives
Gastrointestinal distress can be very common with Metformin and can cause some patients to be intolerant of the drug regardless of its benefits. However, studies have shown that there are advantages to prescribing the extended release version of Metformin in these instances. Extended release Metformin is shown to be just as effective as immediate release Metformin and can allow patients to reduce dosage to once daily, with added benefits for those who have experienced adverse gastrointestinal symptoms.
Metformin is a commonly prescribed and relatively inexpensive drug, and generic versions of it make it even more affordable for some patients. You can look up metformin cost online at eNavvi to determine what your copay may be. The cash price for metformin for a one-month prescription for 60, 1000mg tablets averages around $12.
Metformin is a long term maintenance drug for diabetes, so those prescribed this medication can expect to pay around $144 a year if they’re paying the full cash price without help from insurance. Most health insurance coverage will reduce that cost even further, but of course there are many factors like location, plan specifics, copay costs, and deductibles. eNavvi can help you find more information on the price of this medication for you.
The information included in this page is not a substitute for medical advice. The list of side effects may not include all side effects as drugs can affect all people differently. Any dosage information may not include all dosage information. It is important to discuss with a medical professional that knows your medical history well which dosage is right for you and if there are any potential risks or possible side effects. Our goal is to provide relevant information but this page may not include all up-to-date information. v