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What are the side effects of taking biguanides to treat diabetes?

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Biguanides include drugs like Metformin (Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Fortamet, Riomet). Metformin is usually the first drug that doctors suggest you try to treat type 2 diabetes. It cuts blood sugar by improving the way your body uses insulin. It also lowers the amount of sugar that the liver makes.

What are the side effects? You may have nausea, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and an upset stomach. These problems usually go away in a few weeks, as your body gets used to the medicine. It may also help to take the drug with food.

SOURCES:

Norman Tomaka, PharmD, media liaison, American Pharmacists Association.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Insulin, Medicines & Other Diabetes Treatments."

FDA: "Drug Interactions: What You Should Know," "Humalog: Highlights of Prescribing Information."

Mayo Clinic: "Type 2 Diabetes."

Joslin Diabetes Center: "Oral Diabetes Medications Summary Chart."

American Diabetes Association: "What Are My Options?"

Cleveland Clinic: "Oral Diabetes Medications."

Joslin Diabetes Center: "Sulfonylurea Agents: Oral Hypoglycemic Agents."

Archives of Medical Science : "Sulfonylureas and Their Use in Clinical Practice."

Expert Opinion on Drug Safety : "How Safe Is the Use of Thiazolidinediones in Clinical Practice?"

Diabetes Spectrum : "Drug Interactions of Medications Commonly Used in Diabetes."

Therapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism : "Clinical and Pharmacologically Relevant Interactions of Antidiabetic Drugs."

Southern Medical Journal : "Medication Update."

Pharmacy & Therapeutics : "Sodium-Glucose Linked Transporter 2 (SGLT2) Inhibitors in the Management of Type-2 Diabetes: A Drug Class Overview."

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on June 22, 2019

SOURCES:

Norman Tomaka, PharmD, media liaison, American Pharmacists Association.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Insulin, Medicines & Other Diabetes Treatments."

FDA: "Drug Interactions: What You Should Know," "Humalog: Highlights of Prescribing Information."

Mayo Clinic: "Type 2 Diabetes."

Joslin Diabetes Center: "Oral Diabetes Medications Summary Chart."

American Diabetes Association: "What Are My Options?"

Cleveland Clinic: "Oral Diabetes Medications."

Joslin Diabetes Center: "Sulfonylurea Agents: Oral Hypoglycemic Agents."

Archives of Medical Science : "Sulfonylureas and Their Use in Clinical Practice."

Expert Opinion on Drug Safety : "How Safe Is the Use of Thiazolidinediones in Clinical Practice?"

Diabetes Spectrum : "Drug Interactions of Medications Commonly Used in Diabetes."

Therapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism : "Clinical and Pharmacologically Relevant Interactions of Antidiabetic Drugs."

Southern Medical Journal : "Medication Update."

Pharmacy & Therapeutics : "Sodium-Glucose Linked Transporter 2 (SGLT2) Inhibitors in the Management of Type-2 Diabetes: A Drug Class Overview."

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on June 22, 2019

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When should you call your doctor about taking biguanides for diabetes?

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