Metformin is a drug which is used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and in some cases to treat the women suffering from PCOS. It is taken orally and is most commonly prescribed to the patients who are overweight, obese or who have a healthy kidney functioning properly. While the side effects of metformin are fortunately fairly limited, there are still somewhat a few detrimental effects which can cause harm to the recipients.
Metformin Side Effects:
- Trouble in breathing
- Irregular heart beat
- Blurry vision
- Chest pain
- Weakness or exhaustion
- Low or high blood sugar levels
- Stomach pain, including nausea and vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Bloating due to gas buildup
- Abrupt weight loss or gain
Causes of Metformin Side Effects:
#1 – Lactic Acidosis
This is one of the most severe metformin side effects. The absorption of lactate by the liver is affected by metformin in an adverse way. If the kidneys do not process the excess lactate, the blood of the patient acidifies, leading to the whole lot of problems. Most of which are similar to the feeling one gets after an intense workout, say, hyperventilation, anxiety, nausea, irregular heart rate and vomiting.
#2 – Gastrointestinal Problems
This is the most common metformin side effect. Clinical trials show that about 50% patients who were prescribed metformin are affected by gastrointestinal problems. Though, this isn’t the most serious effect but it can still cause extreme discomfort. Nausea, vomiting, cramps and diarrhea are some symptoms of this sort of problem. Luckily enough, these negative effects are observed when the drug is prescribed the first time or the dosage is changed.
#3 – Allergic Reactions
There have been varied cases in which patients have experienced an allergic reaction to metformin. It is immensely significant to check for an allergic reaction as it requires urgent treatment. You need to keep all the symptoms in mind, such as, trouble in breathing, hives or swelling in the face – precisely tongue, lips or throat, when commencing a metformin treatment.
#4 – Overdose
Accidental overdoses of metformin are unlikely to have serious repercussions but the risk is higher for children and elderly. Fatalities are rare but they still occur. Intentional overdose of metformin is most likely to result in demise.
How to Deal with Metformin Side Effects?
As aforementioned, there exist some negative consequences of metformin which can pose the potential threats to the health of the person who takes it. However, not all of the cases are life threatening; lactic acidosis being an exception. Proper care should be taken to slowly elevate its dose and you would experience only a mild discomfort. This is the reason why you should never increase your dose all by yourself without consulting the health practitioner who has subscribed the medication.