Metformin misery...

By michelle1118 Latest Reply 2012-01-15 08:10:16 -0600
Started 2011-12-29 15:40:38 -0600

I am SOOO sick of this! I've been back on Metformin for over a week now and it's taking everything in me to continue with it. I am SO ill from it. Nausea and running to the bathroom a million times a day is NO FUN! I am just sick of being sick. I'm afraid to leave the house for fear I will have to run to a bathroom somewhere. I have meetings to go to and I'm afraid, because I'm going to have to run in the middle of the meeting.

I'm currently on 1000mg of Metformin 2x a day and also glimeperide. In addition, I'm also taking lisinopril for my kidneys. Does Metformin affect your kidneys or could it just be from the diabetes??

I wonder — is there any other medication that does what Metformin does without the side effects? Does Byetta replace Metformin or is it taken along with Metformin? I've been on Byetta once, but my insurance won't cover it fully, so I have to pay like $80 per prescription… but I'm wondering - it may be worth it if I don't have these awful side effects!!!

Any wisdom or advice is appreciated!!! THANKS EVERYONE!
(PS - I'm new to DC and I'm loving it - everyone is so great!!!)

34 replies

michelle1118 2012-01-09 13:55:59 -0600 Report

RELIEF! YAY! I had an apppt with my endocrinologist on Thursday and he told me he wants to gradually work me up to 1000mg of Metformin 2x a day to see if that helps. So, he told me to take one pill in the am and one pm for a week, the increase to 2 pm pills for a week and see how that suits me. He also put me on Byetta, so we'll see how that all works, but I'm SO glad to be rid of those awful GI issues with Metformin! I feel like a normal person again!!!

MrsCDogg 2012-01-15 08:10:16 -0600 Report

The more my doc increased the metformin the worse I got. Couldn't stay out of the bathroom. I finally just got enough of it and called the doc and told him I was not going to take it any more. He prescribed me something else.

chulatab 2012-01-05 23:30:37 -0600 Report

This is my second round with metformin. So far so good. I take 1000mg 2 x aday. You may want to talk to your doctor. They usually give you 2 weeks for your body to get used to it. I also take Actos instead of glimperide. You may want to eat first then take you medicine or vice versa. The 1000 mg did nauseate me so i cut it doen to 500mg. also it was dropping my sugars at to 27. I'm sorry your soo sick but, please call your doctor.

On your insurance..have you asked them if they have an exception rule. If they do -this means the doctor has to submit a letter justifying that Byetta is the only thing you can take for your diabetes. If that doesn't help then research on the internet for "coupons for Byetta" or "rebate for Byettta" or try web site and their may be program to help you pay for it. Onemore thing, call the manufacture. They usually have programs wit the state your in or a program that will help you pay for it. Also, your doctor should knkow of some programs. I hope you get to feeling better.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-01-02 16:26:24 -0600 Report

Hi, I don't do pills only insulins, but call your dr office and ask for his nurse. She can tell you if what you are experiencing is normal or if you need a medicine change. The dr may do this over the phone for you and save the drs visit ( nurse will talk to dr for you). In any case, don't be misserable and make that call as there are other meds so hang in there.

JustBee 2012-01-02 07:14:21 -0600 Report

I am on Metformin - twice a day - it depends on what I eat that causes me to become sick. It can be a pain in the butt trying to figure out what you can and can't eat. My doctor said "normally" it is high fat foods that will cause the sickness. I don't know about the mixture of meds as I am only on Metformin for the (what I call) the Sugar Aids. I try and watch what I eat in order not to be sick - sometimes I am ok but other times not so much. Hope you can find the happy medium.

'Second Chance'
'Second Chance' 2012-01-02 01:35:00 -0600 Report

Hi Michelle, how are you? I'm a Type 2 and I take Metformin, 500mg 2x a day, and I also take glimeperide, 1mg daily. I don't have any side effects at all. It could be that your Doctor might have to change your medications. I encourage you to not give up, things will work out for you!! I'm a newcomer to DC also, and it's been a blessing to me!! And you're right, everyone is very friendly! 'HAPPY NEW YEAR' to you and your family!!

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-12-30 20:06:07 -0600 Report

Dear Michelle: I read your discusson and some of your replies. I too am Type 2 and I take metformin as well, 500mg 2x daily. I have never had any side effects from the medication, but have read from time to time people who have. I'm just lucky I guess. I have never taken glimepride but could it possible be that the combination of the 2 is what is giving you the trots. You may ask your Dr. that queston…because I sure don't have an answer for you. I just want to offer my support. Any time you wish to talk I'm here for you. Maybe next time I'll have some answers for you. Hope your New year is wonderful and 2012 turns out to be your year…Valentine Lady

michelle1118 2011-12-30 22:30:38 -0600 Report

James, thank you for your insight… wow, that is just unbelievable! I can't imagine losing 5 days and going through what you did. I'm terrified of that happening to me. I'm going to really talk to my doc and get these meds straight. I'm also on synthroid and I read somewhere that it's not a good idea to take that with met either, so my endo and I will be having a serious look at my meds.

Thank you for sharing your experiences and for offering your support and encouragement. I appreciate it so much!

jayabee52 2011-12-31 02:51:17 -0600 Report

You are MOST welcome Michelle! I am really gratified when what I have gone through ( and I lived to tell about it) can be useful to others. Thank you for your kind words!

pixsidust 2011-12-30 10:37:28 -0600 Report

Metformin and the 1, 2 & 4 mg of Glimepiride is on the Wal-Mart $10 for 3 month supply list. Your doctor has to write the script that way
(3 month with 12 months of refills) or they can call it in. I am on the same dosage of Metformin. I do not take the other. With this plan there is no reason your script should cost more than $20 for a 3 month supply.

I took Imodium AD plus which you can get a Wal-Mart or Walgreen's. It stopped the issue and then after I got used to it. Those symptoms stopped all together. Get the plus version of Imodium because it gets rid of the gas. Nothing works better I found and well worth it.

As Pat said below eat when taking your meds. I take them with a meal. Really helps not to feel nauseated. But have food in your stomach!

Go call your doctor, have the number ready to your nearest Wal-Mart Pharmacy and start saving money now. Get your Imodium while you are there. The bathroom is usually in the back wall by the Returns (not the front customer service) close to crafts and shoes

jayabee52 2011-12-30 15:58:28 -0600 Report

locations of bathrooms in Wal-Marts vary according to the store. Some have them in the front end close to customer service, others have them in the back like you said, and then there are those who have bathrooms both front and back of the store. (I should know. I've been in enough of them in several states)

Young1s 2011-12-30 00:15:27 -0600 Report

Hi Michelle. I wish I could help you with this one but I can't. I think I'm the only one here who has the opposite effect with Met. I take 2 500mg tabs a day, but instead of diarrhea, I get awful constipation for a couple days stretches. Then I have to take a laxative to correct the my system. Although, I have been hearing that if you eat something light before taking your Met, it may cut down on the nausea.

gramme 2011-12-31 19:40:19 -0600 Report

I kind of have the same with the constipation..I'll be constipated for a couple of days..then I'll be running for a bathroom for a couple of days..I also take 2 500mg of metformin a day

jigsaw 2011-12-30 09:27:14 -0600 Report

pcyoung38—You're not the only one! I get the opposite effect also. I solved the problem of constipation with Metamucil, occasional flaxseed added to my foods, and of course my "so called diet" that has increased my fibre intake.

Young1s 2011-12-30 10:06:28 -0600 Report

Jigsaw: I have increased my fiber intake but maybe not enough. Every so often, I still have to take the laxative that my doctor prescribed for me when first diagnosed. It was really bad then. Someone mentioned flaxseed to me a little while back but I forgot about it. I'll put that and maybe the Metamucil on my list for the next time I go shopping because I really hate taking medicine for something that my body is suppose to be naturally doing on its own.

Wow. I really thought I was the only one but I should have known that wasn't the case. A fine example of why we should bring up our issues to one another, because there is always someone else that is going through something similar.

Ahmad604 2011-12-29 22:42:07 -0600 Report

That is scary been on met for 4 months 2000mg a day. Numbers still up in the 190 hoping they get back to normal.

jayabee52 2011-12-29 23:01:18 -0600 Report

Howdy Ahmad WELCOME to DiabeticConnect!
You say you are taking 2000 mg/ day.

How else have you modified your daily activities since your diagnosis (Dx)? Have you reduced the amount and types of carbohydrates ( simple versus complex) you consume daily? Have you added or continued an exercise program?

Of all the modifications I have needed to make, I have found the eating and drinking to be the most important to me. I just could not get my Blood Glucose (BG) levels under 130 consistently until I decided to get serious about my intake of foods and drinks. NOW I manage my diabetes WITHOUT the use of diabetes meds simply by what I eat (and don't eat) and whatever my pancreas puts out. I have been doing this since Feb 2011 and have been keeping my BGs in the "normal" range. My May 2011 A1c was 5.5, and I have lost about 50 lbs.

I have asked you to be a friend. Please accept and I can tell you more about it and what I do via the DC email

Praying God's richest blessings be to you and yours


swanieb 2012-01-02 07:46:34 -0600 Report

Hi I'm also taking metformin 1g 2x a day and 70/30 insulin 38 units am and 18 units pm. and even though i'm not eating that much i'm gaining weight and my face is puffed up. my sugar is controlled . i'm walking almost everyday… I'm also taking atenolol 50mg amlodipine 5mg and lisinopril 10mg for my BP. Pls. add me to your friends list and advise me also about my condition. thanks and God bless !

Gemm 2011-12-29 18:28:45 -0600 Report

Welcome to DC michelle - hope you enjoy being here as much as I do. I originally joined the site because my husband is diabetic and I wanted to learn more about it so I could better help him. Not long after that I too was diagnosed so guess HP (Higher Power) had a reason for me to be here early :)

Since getting on-line, one thing I always do with any new medicine my doctor prescribes is research it as thoroughly as possible to see what if any side effects it may cause me as well as finding out if it will interact and how with any of the other many medicines I take for a myriad of problems. Your question got me curious about metformin. I haven't had to take it, yet, but my husband has been on it for several years. I know he has had to stop taking it several times for medical procedures since being put on it. I found many many sites with information on metformin but will only give you a couple of them here if you would care to read more on it. Many people can give you experiences as James has to wonderfully done (so sorry to hear of your horrid experience with it {{James}}) but in the end we each have to make our own decisions on what we will and won't take and if necessary approach our doctors, forcefully if necessary, to find an alternative if we feel the dangers outweigh the benefits. I've had to do that a couple of times and have even stopped seeing some doctors and either found new ones or had my family doctor whom we trust totally (he is one who will listen and lets us ask questions and even argue about our meds when needed) to take over again on some medical issues that all I need is continued monitoring and specialists aren't really needed for that.

One thing I learned many years ago is that most medications take some time for our bodies to get used to them and to reach their optimum effective range. Many will also cause short-term side effects that will go away once my system gets used to it - a week up to even a month with some. Hang in there for a couple of weeks and see if it gets better. In the meantime, research it and perhaps write up some questions to ask your doctor when you return for your next visit.
Good luck in finding what is right for you. HUGS to you!

Site list
The 1st site is one I use a lot as I can have a profile there that lists all my medicines and health problems and alert me to any interactions between them. The last is the search page I pulled up that has many other sites you may wish to explore.

michelle1118 2011-12-30 22:36:42 -0600 Report

WOW this is wonderful!! I've already checked out these quickly and realized that the meds I'm on may be an issue. I'm definitely going in to my endocrinologist appointment armed with some information and hoping he will make some changes in my meds.

I am SO thankful for this site and for everyone here!!!

jigsaw 2011-12-29 20:04:09 -0600 Report

Very helpful info on the links you have posted here! I also believe that your words and advice are excellent. I have been on Met for a few years and currently taking 1000 mg twice per day. I have had some side effects that I consider tolerable. A few people that I have met could not tolerate Metformin. It had terrible effects on their digestive tracts and they were fortunate enough to be able to switch to other meds. I hope Michelle can gain some good points from what you have said and posted here.

michelle1118 2011-12-30 22:35:30 -0600 Report

What did they take instead of the Met? I am just really not tolerating this well at all and I'm almost afraid to leave the house! I take the met and the glimeperide at the same time, both during my meal (breakfast and dinner). I'm SO frustrated with these side effects. I almost can't wait to see my endo to see what he can do to fix this. I am SO tired of being in the bathroom!!! LOL!

jigsaw 2011-12-31 13:01:50 -0600 Report

pretty well ,covered by jayabee's reply. You may want to ask your endo about Januvia. I was on Byetta for a short period. It was great for managing my bg, but baaad constipation. Also I heard good and bad about it. I never really researched it thoroughly, but I'm sure your endo can give you some good advice!

jayabee52 2011-12-31 02:53:53 -0600 Report

there are many classes of oral diabetes meds, and then there are the injectables like byetta, vicotza, and of course Insulin! That decision is best done between you and your GP or Endo

You may want to "prime the pump" a bit and google "diabetes medications" and see what comes up. But be warned it may be overwhelming!

jayabee52 2011-12-29 16:49:27 -0600 Report

Howdy Michelle

I will tell you of my experience with Met. and you can make up your own mind on it.

Met was my first medication for diabetes, and I had been taking it since my Dx in 1995 through Nov 2006. I didn't have any GI tract difficulties with it. No signs that I was having a bad reaction to it. But on Nov 1 2006 I went to bed that night and fell on the floor and stayed there for about 5 days (my memory is fuzzy on that) in a semi-comatose state. I wanted to get up, but I just couldn't muster the will to do it. I was on that floor for about 5 days as I said, and during that time my landlady (I was renting a bedroom in her house) missed me around the house and called to me through the door asking if I was alright. She asked twice. She suspected something was not right so she went and hunted down my son and asked him to come and look in on me.

I was up and on my feet by the time he got there, and I was unaware at that time that all that time had passed. From my perspective at the time I woke up the morning after Nov 1. But it was now Nov 7, my son's birthday.

He wanted to take me to the ER. I didn't want to go because from my perspective I was "OK". He continued to insist, and just to humor him eventually I said OK.

In the ER they Dx'd me with acute kidney failure. I was taken to the OR and had a tube implanted in my chest where they could do the hemodialysis temporarly. I was in KIDNEY FAILURE! An infection shut down my kidneys. I was in END STAGE RENAL DISEASE (ESRD) and I spent the bulk of the rest of Nov in the hospital mostly in the ICU.

The ER docs, nor any of the other docs I encountered said my kidneys failed due to the Met. I was just changed to a small dose of NPH insulin and no one told me why.

I have read that Met can do that, though. I also had been having some MRIs "with contrast" done in that general time frame and I read that the contrasting agent reacts with Met and may produce that effect also. It is hard to pin down exactly what happened and why my kidneys were so weakened they shut down on me.

At that time, I was on hemodialysis for the rest of my life, or until I got a transplant. Fortunately for me, I was able to come off "hemo" in 10 months. But my kidneys have been severely weakened. Right now I am hovering close to the point where I may need to resume the dialysis again — this time probably for the rest of my life (or transplantation).

That's my story Michelle. Make of it what you will.

I no longer use any medication for diabetes. I manage mine through my eating plan.

I pray you can find something which does not upset your stomach.

Blessings to you and yours


gjkbear 2011-12-31 21:07:27 -0600 Report

Would like to know more about your eating plan, James… What did you do & did you up your exercise??? I find I sometimes have the "trots" with the Metformin (500mg) twice a day - if I don't eat on time - if I haven't consumed enough liquids or if I don't take the meds with food. If my blood sugar is >135 when I wake up I am supposed to take 1/2 Glipizide or if it is >180 2 hours after eating. I am supposed to take my BG after 30 min & if still > the numbers take the other 1/2. I hadn't heard anything about renal failure. I hope that you don't have to go back on dialysis. May 2012 be a good year for you & for everyone else. Michelle hope your numbers get straightened out.

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