Generic Name: Metformin hydrochloride
Product Name: Diaformin
Diaformin is a blood sugar lowering agent, used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults, when dietary management and exercise alone do not result in adequate control.
Diaformin is a drug that has a mode of action that is complex and not completely understood. Diaformin works by increasing the uptake of glucose (sugar) by the muscles of the body, and it also has effects on the absorption of glucose, and the production of glucose by the liver. Therefore in doing so it decreases blood glucose levels.
It is important that the tablets are taken in divided doses with meals. The recommended starting dose is 500mg, taken once or twice a day and, if necessary, increased over a few weeks up to 1g three times per day. The dose should be titrated with gradual dose increments until the desired effect is obtained. 500mg three times a day is often sufficient to obtain diabetic control. If necessary, the dose can be increased to the maximum recommended daily dose, which is 1g three times per day. Once control has been obtained, the dosage should be reviewed and reduced to the lowest maintenance level consistent with good diabetic control.The action of metformin is progressive and no final assessment of the patient’s real response should be made before the 21st day of treatment; blood sugar estimations are recommended during the initial 15 days of stabilisation. Metformin will not produce a hypoglycaemic state when used alone; however, due to its action in increasing insulin effectiveness, care must be taken when metformin is initially administered with parenteral doses of insulin. Note that life threatening lactic acidosis can occur due to accumulation of metformin. The main risk factor is renal impairment; other risk factors include old age associated with reduced renal function and doses of metformin above 2g daily. In the elderly and debilitated/malnourished patients dosage should be conservative due to the effects of diminished renal function.
Common side effects
The most common side effects from therapy with Diaformin are mild gastrointestinal symptoms (such as diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting), especially during the initial phase of treatment. These symptoms are generally short-lived and resolve spontaneously with continued treatment. These side effects can be minimized if Diaformin is taken with meals and the dosage increased slowly. A metallic taste in the mouth is also a very common side effect.
Uncommon side effects
A condition called lactic acidosis can sometimes occur in people taking Diaformin. Lactic acidosis is a rare but serious metabolic complication which can occur due to the accumulation of Diaformin during treatment. Lactic acidosis is a medical emergency and must be treated in hospital immediately. The risk of lactic acidosis increases with the degree of renal dysfunction and the patient’s age. Decreased vitamin B12 absorption has also been reported in some cases, this can be managed via supplementation.
For further information talk to your doctor.