Side effects of a diabetic medication

By papidad Latest Reply 2011-08-01 20:43:22 -0500
Started 2011-07-26 20:34:52 -0500

I got an e-mail indicating METFORMIN side effects are too dangerous and suggesting a change to a nerve support formula plus a sugar stabilizier. Does anyone have a comment that can help me?

98 replies

Ms. Southeast Kansas
Ms. Southeast Kansas 2011-08-01 20:40:11 -0500 Report

I had horrible stomach issues when I took metformin. I also gained water weight with it. I do not know if anyone else has had that problem. I am taking janamet now and doing better, but still have some issues.

2011-08-01 00:04:05 -0500 Report

I, like diabetesfree, are the lucky ones. I've been taking Metformin since I was diagnosed w/ T2 16 years ago, and have never have received any type of side effects. I have to agree w/ diabetesfree. If there were any horrible side effects from this particular drug, than millions of diabetics wouldn't have been put on this drug, and millions of endos/drs would not have prescribed this drug, & probably the drug would've been pulled from the shelves. At least that's my opinion.

diabetesfree 2011-07-31 16:00:13 -0500 Report

I guess that I have been one of the lucky ones. I've been taking metaformin for the past 7 years, and never had any side-effects from it directly. If anything, I would attribute more side-effects from forgetting to take it, rather than taking it. Having been around as long as it has, I'm pretty sure that the worst of any possible side-effects would have shown up in mass numbers by now. The effectiveness of the drug seems to outweigh the importance of side-effects on the whole, I believe.

papidad 2011-07-31 16:05:16 -0500 Report

thanks very much, my fiancee has not been complaining about physical ailments for the past few days. So far so good

sue11542 2011-07-30 14:00:40 -0500 Report

I have been taking Metformin now for about 2yrs without a problem. Please check with your doc about side effects, there are only a few for this drug. It is especially good for anyone who retains fluid, it inhibits this particular problem. Don't believe everything you read in an e-mail, check with your doc!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A second opinion is always the best way out if you have any doubts. Good luck with your search and any decision you make, Please keep us posted

papidad 2011-07-30 17:25:01 -0500 Report

My fiancee goes to see her doctor on monday and so far she has not told me of any painful side effects. God bless! Thank you

shoulders 2011-07-29 17:44:39 -0500 Report

At the beginning of my diabetes I was given Metformin to use,and I lost weight like everything. The Metforman gave me diarrahea to the point that if we went out for a meal I new to wait for at least 5 minutes after the meal to leave cause I would need to go to the restroom. It begain to be a problem and the Dr. and I decided the cons out weighted the pros of takeing Metforman.

melota 2011-07-30 11:53:46 -0500 Report

Reading this and others just brought me a lightbulb moment. I have veen on Metforman for nearly 11 years, and even though I have IBS, it has become so much worse.That could be a question fr when I go to my first Endocrinologist next Wednesday. Thanks

jayabee52 2011-07-30 13:34:39 -0500 Report

Have you been to the IBS site? In the black band above, there is "visit another community". Select IBS from the drop down menu and sign in using your DC login info. I think you will be pleased.

princessbeiter 2011-07-28 15:52:52 -0500 Report

I've been on it since November, 2010. I still have a problem with diarrhea, but it's not that bad. (I've always had a bit of a problem with it.) My BG is staying pretty close to where it should be, so I'm not about to change it.

But, everyone is different. The problem with that e-mail is that metformin has been on the market for a very long time. It's one of the best, cheapest, and safest drugs that they can prescribe for T2 Diabetes.

papidad 2011-07-28 16:02:14 -0500 Report

Thanks my fiancee also is still having problems with diarrhea, she goes to see her doctor next week. Will see what happens after that discussion. She is only going on two weeks of taking that medication

Slatts 2011-07-28 09:18:23 -0500 Report

Have had common GI side effects. I took calcium to help with the diarrhea. Gabapentin (Neurontin) has helped with the neuropathy and balance.

nursepat1 2011-07-28 08:26:11 -0500 Report

I have been taking metformin for years and unfortunately it appears that my body is accomidating to it. I too have no other SE than a rumble in the tummy, but some people are more sensitive to this med than others. I am trying to reeducate my brain and add some good habits to replace some of the bad ones.

MrsCDogg 2011-07-28 09:07:59 -0500 Report

I am one of those people. Took it for a long time and was sick to my stomach on a low level the whole time. When it was increased I had all the nasty side effects, gas, passing gas, both ways…:oX and loose bowels. Never want to see that stuff again!!

nursepat1 2011-07-28 10:51:25 -0500 Report

I have even met people that so severely allergic it is life threatening. Just shows that no matter how much we're alike we are still slightly different. It would be BORING if we all were the same.

papidad 2011-07-28 16:13:18 -0500 Report

Great response. She will see her doctor next week. Then we can make a decision on whether he changes her meds

Pappy03 2011-07-27 18:59:22 -0500 Report

I have been taking metformin for just over a month now. Don't have any side affects other than a rumbling in my stomache occsionally. But since starting this drug I have noticed an increase in my appetite, whats up with that???

papidad 2011-07-27 19:32:06 -0500 Report

My fiancee has complained about upset stomach and loose bowels. She has been on it a week and half

grandmaducky 2011-07-27 17:09:40 -0500 Report

when i started on met 1000mg 2x aday it gave me diarreha so i called doctor and we cut it down to 500mg for a couple weeks no trouble than . than im went back to 1000mg doing fine now

papidad 2011-07-27 17:19:53 -0500 Report

My fiancee had severe diarreha the past weekend. She has it not had it again. Have to find how mg she is taking. We do not live together right now. In the near future, I am getting prepared

aneibe43 2011-07-27 16:45:37 -0500 Report

i had a bad reaction to METFORMIN. it had me on the toilet all day and night going
#2. that lasted 2 weeks til i finially went to my pcp. he said it was just one of the side effects.

baby d
baby d 2011-07-27 13:25:56 -0500 Report

i am on metformin at 1000 mg and 20 mg of glyburide for the past year i have been on metformin i just recently started on glyburide a few months ago does these medicines effect you that bad do i need to have my doctor put me on insulin

princessbeiter 2011-07-28 15:56:13 -0500 Report

Metformin and insulin are not interchangeable. Metformin is used when your body does not use the insulin you have properly. Insulin is used when your body no longer makes insulin on its own.

bill121352 2011-07-30 13:26:20 -0500 Report

they are not interchangeable but can be taken at the same time ! My doctor says the metforman does make the body use the insulin more efficiently !

papidad 2011-07-27 15:23:10 -0500 Report

I am speaking on behalf of my fiancee, I am her caregiver, she has cimplained about loose bowels, fatigue, upset stomach

babysitting barb
babysitting barb 2011-07-27 12:36:55 -0500 Report

I've been taking 1000mg of metformin and 20mg of Glyburide everyday for the past 2 1/2 yrs. I was also taking Januvia for about 6 months. The Metformin gives me diarreha and I stopped taking the Januvia after reading some nasty things about it. My morning numbers are still not where they need to be (140-160) but my other numbers are fine. A1C-6, 2hr after meals-145-160. Have some foot pain but my doc doesnt seem concerned right now. I think the Metfromin makes it harder to lose weight though.

princessbeiter 2011-07-28 16:01:48 -0500 Report

For the morning numbers, try eating something just before you got to bed. You might be experiencing Dawn Phenomenon, where your liver dumps glucose.

Read this article for a better explanation. "Understanding Liver Dump Or Dawn Phenomenon in Diabetes"

Oh, and don't let your doctor dismiss your foot pain. I did and now I can't sleep some nights because of the pain from the neuropathy. There is no cure for it, but getting your BG under control and taking something like neurontin can help.

nzingha 2011-07-29 15:29:10 -0500 Report

Should I begin to decribe what has been happening to my body since my diabetes got out of control and no one seems to be understanding what I am going thru.. There is an on and off weak, nervous feeling in my two legs. Its especially so in the mornings and continues throughout the day. There is swelling of both feet and ankles.. sometimes my feet look distorted from the swellings. There is sometimes a nervous weak feeling in my arms.. tho that is not very often. There is sometimes a numbness in my pinky and ring finger on the left hand. what else..Sometimes as I put the food in my mouth, I feel as if it goes straight into my blood stream and gives me a high like I've just taken some drug.. its a weird feeling and sometimes my hand is trembling from plate to mouth…depending on how hungrgy I am… these feelings are very frustrating and when I try to explain.. I dont think the docs are understanding. when I excercise my legs which I try to do daily, they tend to feel even weaker.. but when i use weights i think there's a marked improvement. When the weakness is in my hands, i tend to be dropping everything i try to pick up… its just a constant nervous, high feeling that stays with me all day…!!! anyone else ever had this..oh not to mention when I use the insulin, I feel it literally moving thru my body…!

jayabee52 2011-07-29 18:12:01 -0500 Report

The weakness and numb feelings in your legs, arms and hands sounds to me like the beginnings of diabetic neuropathy. Fluid buildup in your ankles could be a number of things: (I hesitate to mention these for fear I'll scare you) your vein pumps in your legs arent working right, OR a symptom of kidney disease, OR congestive heart failure OR any one of maybe a dozen other conditions. My ankles swell slightly because of my kidney disease. My bride "Jem's" ankles were swollen because of her CHF, and sometimes really red and swollen if she had a Lupis or RA flare in one of her ankles (but great pain accompanied that).

Your feeling of food going straight into bloodstream is a puzzle to me. Have you taken your BG reading as you are experiencing that?

And the insulin moving through your body is puzzling too. Perhaps you may be ultra sensitive to certain stimuli.

I know my feet are ultra sensitive to pressure. I step on the least little pebble or something like a pencil on the floor, I feel it, even through my rubber soled diabetic shoes. It is not necessarily ultra painful, but I can tell something is there. And if I am outside with my slippers on I can feel every little pebble in my Mom's driveway through my thinner rubber soles. It is almost like walking across a stony driveway without my shoes when I was a kid. Almost uncomfortable

Thanks for working on explaining your feelings and symptoms more fully. Kudos to you! Wish I had solutions for you to try.


nzingha 2011-07-30 10:16:20 -0500 Report

i did my circulation tests for my feet and that was quite strong… when i take the readings they r usually normal… so dont know what that is either…

AuntieM234 2011-07-27 10:09:15 -0500 Report

You probably know, but I just want to mention that we must be wary of emails such as the one you got. There are alot of scammers out there trying to move poduct. ;-) Mara

papidad 2011-07-27 10:56:58 -0500 Report

Thanks for the heads up

AuntieM234 2011-07-27 14:04:18 -0500 Report

You're welcome, papi. We've had some people come on here who were obvious scammers, as well. They don't last very long, though. People see through them, because among us, we've got lots of experience. And, while we may not agree on which medicine to take, we always look out for each other.

Each of us have different systems and react to medications in different ways, so one medicine may work for me but not for you. We just take in all the information we can, then work with the Dr to find the one that works best for us. Sometimes we find that we need to find a new Dr, because not all of them are knowledgeable in the treatment of Diabetes. It is through frequent blood and urine testing by the lab that we make sure whatever we are taking in (food and meds) isn't causing adverse effects to our body. ;-) Mara

vonweidhaas 2011-07-27 09:44:36 -0500 Report

hmmmmm I wondered why I was feeling crappier with the meds vs. before disgnosis. I take Metformin 2wice daily and now only insulin @night. My levels hover around 120 or so in the A.M. whilst maintaining sgr level around 125 /140 . Interestingly I noted visual improvements while on insulin b-4 meals now that I am not the blurring and other side effects starting up- Anyone with heaviness in arms?? Feeling this as I type (sigh)

princessbeiter 2011-07-28 16:08:52 -0500 Report

One thing I was told was that you get used to the way you feel with high BG and when it comes down to a normal level, you feel crappy until you get used to it. One lady I know said her brother says he feels better when his BG is above 400 than when it is down around 130.

AuntieM234 2011-07-27 09:33:46 -0500 Report

It looks like I'm going to be about the only person replying in a positive way about Metformin. Most of you have heard of my experience before, because of replying to my discussion post about the drug. Actually, I love this part of DC, where we can express our opinions and share our experiences. Its a great forum for us.

I've been taking Metformin for going on eleven years now and I've not experienced any negative side effects, including with my kidneys. My Dr has me go in for labs once each quarter, and my lab results have always been within normal range. There have been others who posted positive remarks on my discussion about using the drug. So I've determined, very simply, some people can take it, some can't. If you research most any drug for our disease, you will find some possible side efects that are scarey.
There was one woman whose renal specialist wanted to ween her off one of her drugs for an ailment other than Diabetes, but didn't take her off of Metformin.
It doesn't matter to me one way or another whether people use it or not. I'm just saying lots of people use it without problems, and I think both sides need to be heard from. Thats all, friends. ;-) Mara

Lokie60 2011-07-30 10:51:34 -0500 Report

I too take Metformin and have had no side effects that I have seen here. I have always had a loose stool, so that did not bother me. I have lost 176 pounds in two years and I feel the metformin helped with that. Please people, listen to your doctor and do what they feel needs to be done. Diabetes is no joke as you well know. I am starting now after two years with it to feel the diabetic nerve problems, but I guess that comes with the terriorty. my BS is normal and if yours is high in the morning, try eating a hard boiled egg or maybe a small piece of hard cheese before going to bed. seems to really work. Thanks!!

VickieF 2011-07-27 18:42:40 -0500 Report

It works great as far as lowering BG levels. I am sure there are a lot of people who can tolerate the side effects or only have them for a little while. For those people it is wonderful. Some of us do not get over the side effects :( though. I liked the feeling of having my BG normal when on it. For me the horable Diarrhea do not start untill about 10-12 months after starting metfomin. :( .

LabRat90 2011-07-27 11:32:09 -0500 Report

I've also taking Metformin since the beginning in 1995. The only side effect I've experienced in the uncontrollable diarrhea in the initial stage. (Try adding Fiberall.) My doctor tests my blood every quarter with no problems related to the Metformin.

papidad 2011-07-27 11:02:52 -0500 Report

Thanks!!! You are one of few who has not reported negative side effects. I am rather hesiitant to tell my fiancee about the harmful side effects because she just started taking the drug. She is still going thru the acceptance stage and is looking for any way to stop taking any meds for her diabetic condition

princessbeiter 2011-07-28 16:12:01 -0500 Report

Is there any way you can check to see if her doctor has her gradually increasing the dosage? They should have started her out on a low dosage and gradually increased it over a period of a couple of weeks, anyway.

VickieF 2011-07-27 18:52:46 -0500 Report

Don't tell her jusst watch her for any side effects. If she has them then tell her you looked them up. I do Not think relastionships should be built on lies, but this is one thing that might save her life. As I said just watch for side effects. You can also consult with a Pharm. They might be able to explain the meds better. If you notice side effects suggest (strongly) that she talk to her Dr.

papidad 2011-07-28 16:21:29 -0500 Report

I will keep her in the loop. I also do not believe in secrets period. More so if it relates to life or death

JoleneAL 2011-07-27 09:49:01 -0500 Report

My doctor also checks my functions at every blood lab, about the same time frame as yours and mine are always fine. I was considering asking about another medication in its place, but it works for me so will stick with it. Heck I got off that nasty Actos and Avandia - and they could have just killed me out right!

papidad 2011-07-27 11:07:43 -0500 Report

Thanks!! You gave another positive response to taking that med. My fiancee is only going on 2 weeks of taking MET. She might stop taking any medication if i emphasis just the negative side effects. I will wait until her next doctor's appointment before say anything or unless her physical health becomes unbearable

MadManBro 2011-07-27 07:51:51 -0500 Report

There is a lot of very interesting information in this thread. I have been on meds for about three weeks now. I take Metformin twice a day. Originally I was put on Metformin and Glyburide when I was first diagnosed (Type 2) about 7 weeks ago. I stopped taking both after the first week because of side effects (blurred vision and light sensitivity causing headaches) My Dr. took me off the Glyburide but I resumed the Metformin and have been taking it twice a day for the past three weeks. Now I not only have the vision issues, but also increased foot discomfort. Are you also saying that my kidneys may affected with continued use? I am really looking forward to getting to a point where meds won't be necessary. Whatever it takes to be med free I am willing to do.

papidad 2011-07-27 11:10:37 -0500 Report

Thanks!! My fiancee wants to be med free also and i wish she could be also although i do not want to cause any harm. She just started taking MET plus Glimepiride Almost now for 2wks

AuntieM234 2011-07-27 09:48:59 -0500 Report

Hey Mad: You might want to talk to James (JayaBee52) about getting to the point where meds won't be necessary for your Diabetes. He is a virtual guru at maintaining control of Diabetes, without meds, and losing weight in the process. He is one who has had bad results from Metformin, in terms of side effects. He developed his own plan to take control of his Diabetes, instead of allowing it to control his life. I don't believe everyone would be able to do that, because we are all different. We just all have to find what works for us. However, I will remain in awe of James. ;-) Mara

MadManBro 2011-07-27 10:20:58 -0500 Report

Thanks AuntieM, I have only been here a short time, but I am in awe of several members, James among them. I do believe that there are ways to get control of a lot of conditions without having to depend on pharms, but we must also be realistic about our individual situations. I am therefore cautiously optimistic about taking an holistic approach once I have my BG low enough to stop taking the drugs with my doctor's approval. I certainly don't need any additional meds at this time and I am going to do what I can to see that no additional meds are recommended.

princessbeiter 2011-07-28 16:16:13 -0500 Report

Diet and exercise can get many people off the meds. It's worth a try. Even if they don't get you off all the meds, you can benefit from them.

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