Metformin and body odor!!!!

By donnies_girl Latest Reply 2018-04-15 03:27:49 -0500
Started 2009-11-27 14:45:10 -0600

I was newly diagnosed and on 100 mg a day I have noticed that I have an odd bdy odor to my underarms and stool since taking this med..anyone else had this side effect of metformin..its awful, been taking nothing else out of the ordinary so it seems lke its the medication..please help!!!!!

26 replies

mmr70403 2017-04-03 18:27:48 -0500 Report

I took the fishy smelling metformin back to the pharmacists and told him that bottle of pills was stinking up my bedroom like dead sardines on a fishing boat! He said he understood and told me that the pharmacy was switching to a cheaper manufacturer and they were the ones producing the fishy bottles. However after so many complaints and returns they were switching back to the former manufacturer and a day later they called me to pick up the good stuff with no smell.

karen7t2 2015-08-22 20:02:10 -0500 Report

I have been on Metformin for 4 years and until this last bottle, there has been no problem.
With this bottle, it really stinks when I open it and wondered if I didn't get a bad batch. After reading the posts though, I am thinking maybe my pharmisist changed me to a different company that was less expensive.
I have had diarrhea very often since starting this bottle too.
As for the body odour, I haven't noticed any smells.
I am going to check with the pharmacy to see what's going on
So glad I checked in.

Everette1019 2014-07-07 13:46:39 -0500 Report

I have also had this issue with Metformin creating weird body odors, especially in the armpit and groin area. I tried every deorderant under the sun and nothing works. I recently just stopped taking Metformin because i could no longer take the armpit odor. Metformin does something to the apocrine glands in our bodies…which causes the odors. I didnt feel the benefits of metformin outweighed the smell, so I'm off the med for now. i only have pre-diabeties (also known as insulin resistance)

Dr O
Dr O 2015-02-27 17:24:40 -0600 Report

It is the chemical metformin itself. The chemical metformin characteristically smells like fish. You will notice the smell when you open the bottle (in immediate release formulations) and when the chemical is eliminated by body fluids (urine, sweat, and feces). Slow release (ER) formulation do not smell as much due to the chemical in the tablet been coated and compressed to disintegrate slowly, as a result, it minimizes the smell, however if you take a high dose of the immediate release, the smell will be noticeable via any body fluid. Another important point is the smell under the arms and groin. Unless is due to yeast (that usually have that smell too), common in diabetics (uncontrolled diabetes cases- with high A1C). Another smell (breath smell) common in diabetics with ketoacidosis (DKA) and also in ketosis, and this smell is ammonia like. Ketosis smell is like "pear juice" (fruity smell). Ketocidosis is uncontrolled ketosis. Ketoacidosis is most common in untreated type 1 diabetes mellitus, Ketoacidosis can be smelled on a person's breath. This is due to acetone, a direct byproduct of spontaneous decomposition of acetoacetic acid. It is often described as smelling like fruit or nail polish remover. Ketosis may also smell, but the odor is usually more subtle due to lower concentrations of acetone. Manufacturers of metformin claim that the chemical is an "odorless" powder, but in reality has a strong fish (or wet locker room smell) smell. To minimize the odor issue with metformin, tell your physician to switch to ER (extended release formulations of metformin) that are taken once a day instead. The higher the dose, the more pronounced is smell the effect, as well as your ketosis status. Keep your sugar under control with diet and exercise, in that way, metformin dose will be eventually reduced and you will not notice the smell in the low doses. There is a theory that acetone and acetoacetic acid, common in uncontrolled diabetes (ketosis status), play an important role in aggravating the smell of metformin when eliminated via body fluids. So the issue is the chemical + acetone metabolism, your ketosis status, and perhaps may be more noticeable when acetoacetic acid is higher in your blood. Ask your doctor and or pharmacist to advise you how to test your acetone on a daily basis. Exercise and drink plenty of water to quickly help eliminate daily metabolites byproducts of your medicines (metformin) via body fluids, and keep yourself always hydrated (drink plenty of water daily) when taking metformin.

glenn.sp 2014-02-11 09:27:22 -0600 Report

I haven't noticed an odor myself… but my boss told me today it was bad he said other folks are complaining… so I came home… I know its the metformin I've read up on this …I tried explained it to him. He wasn't aware of the side effects.. but its pretty embarrassing… I am the stinky kid at work…lol … well stinky ol fart

Auldscot 2013-11-12 05:41:57 -0600 Report

I started metformin just over 3 months ago and noticed the smell. It's not just an odor it's a smell that showering just didn't resolve. I'm so happy to hear that there are others that have this and it's not just in my mind. I'm going to have to get some of the clinical deodorant and try that.

Labga 2013-08-27 10:21:19 -0500 Report

I started taking metformin, 500 MG, and the same thing happened to me. If I sweat, my underarms smell awful. My stool smells different as well. I haven't found anything that can cover these smells.

dmarie67 2012-10-01 15:02:30 -0500 Report

I take 2500 mg a day for last 3 wks and have noticed a very musky odor i shower twice a day and use dial soap and today talked to pharmist and he said yes this is common. and besides showering twice to 3 times a day diet will help so i must start elimating things to see if it helps.

DanaLynn 2009-12-24 20:47:51 -0600 Report

Me too. The stink started just after I started the meds. I've had to switch to a clinical deodorant. Only thing that works.

DanaLynn 2009-12-24 20:57:01 -0600 Report

I guess we are alone in this! lol

Secret Clinical works wonders. I've never been so fresh…even before the Metformin. You put in on just before bed and it last 24 hours.

Labga 2013-08-27 10:20:55 -0500 Report

What is the name of the clinical deodorant. I haven't found anything that works. Even worse, my new doctor took me off the metformin, because he says that I am not diabetic, so I have added this odor problem for absolutely no reason.

Pam from KCMO
Pam from KCMO 2009-12-13 07:20:27 -0600 Report

I haven't had the body odor problem (at least that I'm aware of!!!) but have had the nausea and, for awhile, was even vomiting in the middle of the night. The idiot doc I saw for it prescribed some medication that would take care of the nausea, he said, but then added, "Now if you start losing motor function, go off it and call us."

I never picked up the prescription, afraid of "losing motor function" on the interstate or somewhere else equally inconvenient. My pharmacist called to see why I hadn't picked it up. The upshot of the discussion: SHE diagnosed that it was the Metformin causing the upset and delicately suggested that I see another doctor. Which I did.

Turns out the idiot doc apparently didn't hear me when I said there was no food involved in the overnite vomiting. The med he gave me is for gastroparesis (sp?) - a condition diabetics sometimes get. (Basically the nerve to your stomach is damaged, you don't digest right, and the food sits in your stomach, goes bad, and then comes back up. But, as I told him, there was NO FOOD INVOLVED.) Ass.

The key has been making sure I take my evening dose at the beginning of my dinner. I'd been taking it afterwards, and tho I still get a little queasy now and then, that's made all the difference.

My pharmacist rocks. The idiot doctor - not so much.

Dubious1 2018-04-15 03:27:49 -0500 Report

In the beginning, everything was going well. but on the fourth day I forgot to eat when taking my metformin. I will never make that mistake again. I felt nauseous, had diarrhea and felt awful. since then the only thing is the smelly urine, but I can handle that since I have felt much better since starting this medication. 500 mg. twice a day. hope this helps

sadar33 2014-06-27 21:15:25 -0500 Report

I had the same problem with stomach acids/nausea/vomiting when I was asleep. waking up choking really scared me so I called my PCP and he immediately put me on the ER version of this medication. So far it has totally stopped the nocturnal vomiting spells and nausea. I have however become disturbed by excessive sweating and body odor now. I first noticed my feet, now it is seeming to come out of my pores in my skin…totally at a loss as to what to do about it…already showering constantly, and has anyone else noticed a change in the smell of your urine? doesn't matter what my levels are, it is horrible!

beauty416 2009-12-04 09:42:01 -0600 Report

I am on 2000 milligrams a day also. I don't have this experience. I suggest calling your doctor and pharmacist to see if it is the medication or maybe it might be the deodorant. I suggest trying another type of deodorant and make sure that you are bathing everyday.

SuzyAttendorn 2009-11-28 10:28:20 -0600 Report

I was diagnosed in late August. I am not on any meds, trying to get it under control with diet and exercise. But, I have noticed that I have body odor for the first time in my life! I have wondered if it is related to the diabetes.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-11-29 00:17:48 -0600 Report

All of the above comments on folks having a body odor when put on Metformin, was interesting as I had never noticed or thought of it before! See, this site is so interesting, reading others posts and facts——

I ate some goodies today, moderate amts, and my BS was 102 when I got home! Unheard of for me!! Took it later after eating about 1/2 c popcorn and it was 123, will take it again to make sure that what I ate after that didn't send it up—-I still don't know——just took it yesterday eve, not sure of what I ate, but it was 236, a first for me that I know of. Took 1/4 Glipizide and it dropped to 56 in 2 hours!! What bothers me, is that I can not tell any difference—-except the one time when I first started on it, took a whole, small pill, and went down to 49, broke out in a sweat—weak—so ate my peanut butter.

Today, at a family dinner, my daughter-in-law is a new diabetic, follows her schedule pretty strictly, has lost 23 #, hers pops up to almost 300, but she KNOWS IT, was asleep in bed for 3 hours and felt terrible. I guess that is one reason I am having such a hard time accepting this diagnosis, as I DO NOT FEEL BADLY!! But she said it might have been going on for so long that I am just used to it,. BUT that does NOT keep the highs from working on your nerves, muscles and organs etc—-

Rather like the malignant kidney—-"I have what—-where???!!!" Not much pain, just that aching, drawing feeling and the "I am SICK, just don't know what!" Well that is gone, so will check my BS——116—-well for pity's sake, and I have eaten an egg/ 2%milk, dab of onion, cheese, celery, omlet plus 1 cup of 2% milk, 1/2 c popcorn for supper but took no meds for it today, since that 1/4 pill yesterday eve . I did eat a piece of ham before we started for home this eve—-maybe that helped to offset the dab of potatoes, one sweet thing ((that really wasn't that good!!!) 2 different salads, a small piece of lean turkey—-no bread——and It was DELICIOUS and my BS is fine too!! Go figure!!! Am going to bed before things change! haha—PR

Armouer would have been proud as I felt like I was getting a little lecture because I wasn't following my diet as strictly as I should—-not that there was any diabetic food there, didn't eat pumpkin pie, but did put whipped topping (lite) on a pice of cherry cake, I baked, yes, with a cake mix so am sure it had sugar in it—-sigh—

TwoHugs 2009-11-28 05:19:42 -0600 Report

I wasn't aware Met came in 100mg doses. I have been on 1000mgs for almost 16 months and have lost 98 pounds feel better then I ever have since I was in my 30's..With the proper diet and daily exercise my life has changed dramatically
metformin (Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Fortamet, Riomet …

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-11-28 01:36:03 -0600 Report

I was trying to recall, haven't some of you had trouble with Metformin upsetting your digestive system? I haven't, was on only 500 mg a day, Might that be a part of it?? Just wondrin—PR

Kira_xo 2009-11-28 00:24:42 -0600 Report

Hmmm I have never had that particular problem with metformin and I am on 1000 mgs a day. Like someon else said tho, everyone is different. I have other side effect tho…and not too pleasant ones! lol

Dr O
Dr O 2015-02-27 17:41:54 -0600 Report

If you are taking 1000mg daily (ER formulation) chances are that you will never notice the "fish-smell" effect. The problem is only noticeable with immediate release formulations (the twice a day formulations)

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-11-27 21:51:55 -0600 Report

I haven't either, but everyone is different. The suggestion to ask your pharmacist sounds sensible as they seem to know all the ingredients that might cause something like that to occur. My pharmacist has always been so kind and supportive, suggested to use the Domeboro powder for soaks for this Stinging Nettles, it DRAWS the acid out, but it takes months as it seems to just gather again—-but not quite as bad as the day before. I must have had some acid get loose as it ran down the palm of my right hand, caused VERY ITHCHY rash, that I just rub real HARd__-burns and itches and kinda lets up—

Oh, sorry, I got distracted again, but 6 Drs and 3 Dermatologists had no answer for me, but my pharmascist did!! Good Luck!! Pat Roth

hbkunkel 2009-11-27 15:21:55 -0600 Report

Welcome to our forum. Thanks for joining us. I have never heard of anything like this before either and I take 2000 mg a day myself. Good luck in getting this resolved.

sweething 2009-11-27 14:51:49 -0600 Report

I've never heard of that and certainly haven't experienced it, on 2000 mg. a day! Isn't it irritating when something like that happens. Have you switched antiperspirants since this started, if not, maybe try that. And call your doctor or pharmacist to see if they thing it's the Metformin.