METFORMIN: Metformin is an oral medication commonly prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes. It is categorized as a biguanide and works by lowering glucose production in the liver, decreasing intestinal glucose absorption, and improving insulin sensitivity in the body.

The primary use of metformin is to control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It helps to manage the condition by reducing the amount of glucose produced by the liver and also by making muscle cells more sensitive to insulin. Metformin is often prescribed alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise to achieve optimal results.

The recommended starting dose of metformin is usually 500 mg or 850 mg once daily with meals. The dose can be gradually increased over time, depending on the individual’s response and blood sugar levels. For most people, the maximum daily dose is 2,000 to 2,500 mg, divided into two or three doses.

Some common side effects of metformin include gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, diarrhea, and stomach upset. These side effects usually subside after the body adjusts to the medication. In rare cases, metformin can cause lactic acidosis, a potentially life-threatening condition. Signs of lactic acidosis include muscle pain, weakness, dizziness, slow or irregular heartbeat, and difficulty breathing. If any of these symptoms occur, medical attention should be sought immediately.

It is important to note that metformin is generally well-tolerated and has a low risk of hypoglycemia when used as a monotherapy. However, individuals with impaired kidney function, liver disease, congestive heart failure, or a history of lactic acidosis should use metformin with caution or avoid it altogether. Doctors will often assess kidney function prior to starting metformin treatment to ensure its safe use.

As with any medication, it is crucial to follow the prescribed dose and consult a healthcare professional for specific advice regarding metformin use, as it may interact with other medications or have additional contraindications depending on the individual’s medical history.

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