Generic Name: Metformine hydrochloride
Product Name: Diabex XR
Diabex XR belongs to a group of medicines called biguanides. It lowers high blood glucose level by helping your body make better use of the insulin produced by the pancreas. This is because people with type 2 diabetes are unable to make enough insulin or their body does not respond properly to the insulin. This causes a build up of glucose in the blood, which can lead to long-term complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney damage, poor blood circulation and gangrene. Signs to watch out for include tiredness or lack of energy, headache, thirst, passing large amounts of urine and blurred vision.
You should follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully.
The usual starting dose for Diabex XR is 500mg per day. Your doctor may increase the dose by 500mg per day every 10 to 15 days yo to maximum of 2g per day. If you were previously taking the immediate release tablet, your initial dose is equivalent to prior total daily dose.
Diabex XR tablets should be taken once daily with evening meal to avoid stomach upset.
Diabex XR may interact with some medicines. These include other classes of antihyperglycaemic agents such as sulfonylureas and repaglinide, anti-hypertensive drugs such as beta-blockers, angiotensin-receptor blocker, anticoagulants such as warfarin, diuretic tablets, thyroxine, cimetidine and glucocorticoids. The list could be extensive. If you are unsure, always check with your doctor or pharmacists.
Use in Pregnancy
The safety of Diabex XR in pregnancy has not been established. However, you should ensure strict blood glucose control throughout the pregnancy period as abnormal blood glucose level can cause birth defects in foetus. Insulin should be considered instead.
Use in Breastfeeding
There is no human data available to identify the effects of Diabex XR on breast milk. Your decision to use Diabex XR during breastfeeding should outweigh its risks. You should talk to your doctor regarding your concerns.
Common side effects
All medicines have side effects. The following side effects have common occurrence (> 1/10) especially during the initial treatment period:
These symptoms are generally transient and resolved spontaneously during continued treatment. Most gastrointestinal side effects can possibly be avoided if metformin is taken with food and if the dose is titrated upwards slowly.
Uncommon side effects
Lactic acidosis is a very rare (<1/10,000) but potentially life-threatening side effect if there is delay in seeking medical help (death in approximately 50% of the cases). If you are over 65 years old and have poorly controlled diabetes, you may have higher chance of getting the side effect. Tell your doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency department immediately if you notice any of the following signs and symptoms.
- Nausea, vomiting and stomach pain
- Feeling weak, tired or generally unwell
- Unusual muscle pain
- Sleepy or drowsy
- Slow heart beat
- Trouble breathing
- Shivering and feeling extremely cold
Other very rare side effects (<1/10,000) are:
- Australian Medicines Handbook, Adelaide, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, 2007.
- MIMS Online [online]. 2003 [cited 2008 March 16]. Available from: URL: http://mims.hcn.net.au.ezproxy.library.uwa.edu.au/ifmx-nsapi/mims-data/?MIval=2MIMS_ssearch
For further information talk to your doctor.