Diabetes Drug Metformin Comes With Some Surprising Side-Effects

Jul 04, 2023
Health Tips
Diabetes Drug Metformin Comes With Some Surprising Side-Effects

You need to know all the pros and cons of metformin if you have diabetes and your doctor prescribes it to you. Read on to find out.

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disease that affects millions of people around the world. If you have diabetes and your doctor prescribes metformin, you have to take this drug for a long time. Hence, you need to be aware of some of the side effects that this drug can cause, both in the short as well as in the long run. But you need not panic. Both the mild as well as the serious side effects, which are the same in men and women, are treatable and will not cause any serious health complication provided you seek medical help and keep your doctor informed always.

Common and Mild Side Effects of Metformin

It is common for people to experience the following side effects when they first start taking this drug, but they usually go away with time. If the symptoms persist, you should consult your doctor. Initial symptoms include heartburn, nausea, pain in the stomach, bloating and gas, as well as diarrhea, constipation, and some weight loss. Occasionally, you may also experience a metallic taste in your mouth and recurring headaches.

What you Can Do to Ease These Symptoms

You can also ask your doctor to start you on a low dose and then gradually increase the dosage. This will allow your body to adapt more easily to the drug.

List of Serious Side Effects of Metformin

Although metformin does not always cause serious adverse effects, some people do experience severe reactions to it. Here are some of them.

Side Effect 1- Lactic acidosis

There is a serious and severe side effect of metformin that requires immediate medical attention. It occurs when metformin is built up in the body. The first obvious sign is difficulty breathing. Aside from fatigue, general weakness, a decrease in appetite, nausea and dizziness, you may experience muscle pain and chills. Your heart rate may become too fast or too slow.

Side Effect 2 - Anaemia (Anemia)

This drug may make you anaemic because it lowers the level of vitamin B-12 in your body. This will result in tiredness, light-headedness, and dizziness. However, do not stop taking your medication. Consult your doctor and follow any instructions he or she gives you.

Side Effect 3 - Hypoglycemia

Metformin may cause this side effect if you are taking it with other diabetic medications. A poor diet, excessive exercise, and alcohol may also cause it. If you experience abnormal heartbeats, nausea, weakness, stomach pain, or fatigue, contact your doctor immediately.

Side Effect 4 - Dementia

The use of metformin has been linked to an increased risk of dementia in many studies. On the other hand, other studies claim that the opposite is true. But almost all agree that diabetes increases your risk of developing dementia. This applies whether or not you take metformin.

Side Effect 5 - Nerve damage

As you know, metformin interferes with the absorption of vitamin B12 by the body. It can result in a deficiency of this vitamin, leading to nerve damage. However, uncontrolled diabetes can also result in nerve damage. As a result, it is difficult to determine whether nerve damage was caused by metformin use or uncontrolled diabetes.