Glucophage is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels. It is for people with type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes. It is sometimes used in combination with insulin or other medications, but it is not for treating type 1 diabetes. This drug may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about Glucophage?
Do not use Glucophage if you have kidney disease, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin). Before taking Glucophage, tell your doctor if you have liver disease or a history of heart disease.Some people have developed a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking Glucophage. Get emergency medical help if you have any of these symptoms of lactic acidosis: weakness, increasing sleepiness, slow heart rate, cold feeling, muscle pain, shortness of breath, stomach pain, feeling light-headed, and fainting.
If you need to have any type of x-ray or CT scan using a dye that is injected into a vein, you may need to temporarily stop taking Glucophage. Be sure the doctor knows ahead of time that you are using Glucophage.
Know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to recognize them, including hunger, headache, confusion, irritability, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, tremors, sweating, fast heartbeat, seizure (convulsions), fainting, or coma (severe hypoglycemia can be fatal). Always keep a source of sugar available in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar.
How should I take this medicine?
Take Glucophage exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results from this medication.
Take this medicine with a meal, unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Some forms of Glucophage are taken only once daily with the evening meal. Follow your doctor’s instructions. This drug is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. It is important to use this medicine regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely. Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet (Glucophage XR). Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your kidney function may also need to be tested. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor. Your medication needs may change if you become sick or injured, if you have a serious infection, or if you have any type of surgery. Your doctor may want you to stop taking Glucophage for a short time if any of these situations affect you. Take care not to let your blood sugar get too low, causing hypoglycemia. You may have hypoglycemia if you skip a meal, exercise too long, drink alcohol, or are under stress.