Metformin HCL (Glucophage) For Type 2 Diabetes: Side Effects, Dosage, Mechanism Of Action | Brianne Chin, PharmD | RxEconsult

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Metformin HCL (Glucophage) for Diabetes: Side Effects, Dosage, Mechanism of Action Category: Diabetes by - June 27, 2014 | Views: 63740 | Likes: 1 | Comment: 0  

What is metformin used for?

Metformin is used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes. Metformin primarily works at the liver to increase the action of insulin, which results in reduced blood glucose. Metformin does not cause weight gain and is usually one of the first agents used to treat type 2 diabetes. Metformin can be used alone or in combination with other diabetic medications. Metformin comes in different formulations and in combination tablets. Unlike other oral glucose-lowering medications called sulfonylureas, metformin does not cause hypoglycemia (excessive low blood sugar) when used by itself.

Metformin can also be used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is an endocrine disorder leading to irregular periods, infertility, hirsutism, and insulin resistance. Metformin is used to help treat insulin resistance in PCOS patients. Learn more about other uses of metformin.

Dosing Information for metformin


  • Glucophage Tablets (immediate release): 500, 850, and 1000 mg.  Maximum Dose: 2550mg/day in 3 daily doses

  • Glucophage XR Tablets (extended-release): 500, 750 mg. Maximum Dose: 2000mg/day

  • Fortamet ER: 500, 1000 mg. Maximum Dose: 2500 mg/day

  • Glumetza ER: 500, 1000 mg. Maximum Dose: 2000mg/day

  • Solution: 500mg/5ml

For treating adult type 2 diabetes in adults, metformin (immediate release) is typically started at a dose of 500 mg twice daily or 850 mg once daily. The dose can be gradually increased by 500 mg weekly or 850 mg every two weeks as tolerated and based on the response. If extended-release tablets are used, the starting dose is 500 mg or 1000 mg daily with evening meals.

The starting dose for pediatric patients ages 10-16 years old is 500 mg twice daily. The dose can be increased by 500 mg weekly to a maximum dose of 2000 mg. The extended-release formulations have yet to be studied in children.


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