Glucophage SR (Metformin)

Glucophage SR

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Glucophage SR

Active ingredient: Metformin

Dosages: 500mg

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What is Glucophage SR (Metformin)?

Glucophage SR, which stands for “sustained release,” is a type of medicine known by the generic name metformin. It’s commonly used to help control high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a condition where the body can’t properly manage sugar levels in the blood, which can lead to various health problems if not managed correctly.

Metformin works by helping your body handle sugar better. It does a few things: it keeps your liver from making too much sugar, it helps your body’s cells use sugar better, and it can also help lower how much sugar you absorb from the food you eat. All of this helps to lower the sugar in your blood.

The “SR” means that the tablet is formulated to dissolve slowly in your body. This slow release is beneficial because it maintains a more consistent level of the medicine in your bloodstream throughout the day, which helps to manage blood sugar levels more smoothly and reduces the chances of side effects.

What is Glucophage SR 500mg used for?

Glucophage SR 500mg is a medication primarily used to help control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes type 2 is when your body doesn’t use insulin properly or produce enough insulin, leading to high levels of sugar in your blood. Managing these levels is crucial because having high blood sugar over time can lead to serious health issues, like heart disease, vision loss, and kidney problems.

Here’s how the pill 500mg helps:

  • Reduces sugar production: It tells your liver to make less sugar, so less gets into your bloodstream.
  • Improves sugar usage: It helps your body’s cells use the sugar better after you eat or drink, which helps in lowering the blood sugar spikes that can occur after meals.
  • Slows sugar absorption: It also slows down how fast your body absorbs sugar from the food you eat, which helps to keep your blood sugar levels steadier throughout the bang

What is the main action of Glucophage SR?

The main action of Glucophage SR is to help control blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It does this mainly by targeting the liver, telling it to produce less sugar. This is important because when your liver makes less sugar, there’s less sugar entering your bloodstream, which helps keep your blood sugar levels in a healthier range.

This drug also helps your body use the sugar it does have more effectively. When your body’s cells can use sugar better, it helps lower the amount of sugar that stays in your blood after you eat. Additionally, this medication slows down the absorption of sugar from your intestet, which helps prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar levels after meals.

All these actions work together to maintain steadier blood sugar levels throughout the day. Since this is a sustained release formula, it releases its active ingredient, metformin, slowly into your body, which supports an even effect over time rather than big ups and downs.

Why Take Metformin SR at Night?

Taking Metformin SR at night is recommended for several practical reasons, especially for those managing type 2 diabetes:

  1. Overnight blood sugar control: It helps regulate sugar levels overnight, preventing high morning sugar levels.
  2. Steady medication levels: The sustained release formula works throughout the night, maintaining consistent blood sugar control.
  3. Reduce side effects: Side effects like stomach upset may be less noticeable if you sleep through them.
  4. Convenience: Evenings may be more relaxed and a better time to remember to take medication.

Who Needs Glucophage SR?

Glucophage SR is typically used by individuals with type 2 diabetes to help manage their blood sugar levels effectively. Here’s who might benefit from this medication:

  1. People with type 2 diabetes: It helps them control their blood sugar levels throughout the day.
  2. Those seeking steady control: Its sustained release formula provides a steady effect, preventing sudden spikes or drops in blood sugar.
  3. Individuals avoiding weight gain: Metformin, the active component, does not typically cause weight gain, which is advantageous for those managing their weight.
  4. Patients needing an alternative: If other diabetes medications aren’t effective or cause side effects, doctors may recommend this preparation.

What are the Side Effects of Glucophage SR?

Glucophage SR, like any medication, can have side effects. While not everyone experiences them, it’s good to know what might happen so you can be prepared. Here are some of the common and less common side effects people might encounter:

  1. Stomach issues: Many people may feel stomach discomfort, such as nausea, diarrhea, or a feeling of being bloated. These symptoms often improve over time as your body adjusts to the medication.
  2. Metallic taste: Some people notice a strange, metallic taste in their mouth after taking the medication.
  3. Vitamin B12 deficiency: Long-term use of the drug can sometimes lead to a decrease in vitamin B12 levels in the body, which might require supplementation.
  4. Low blood sugar: Though less common with metformin than with other diabetes medications, it can still lower your blood sugar levels. This is more likely if you skip meals or exercise more than usual.

What are the Contraindications of Glucophage SR?

Contraindications are reasons not to use a medication because it might be harmful. Here are key situations where Glucophage SR should be avoided:

  1. Kidney problems: It’s not safe if your kidneys aren’t working well because the medication could accumulate and cause complications.
  2. Severe dehydration: Dehydration can affect kidney function, increasing risks with this medication.
  3. Serious infections or illnesses: Conditions that put stress on your body can impact how well your kidneys handle the drug.
  4. Liver problems: If you have severe liver issues, using this medication could be risky due to its effects on blood sugar and metabolism.
  5. Surgery or certain x-ray procedures: You might need to stop taking it temporarily for surgeries or procedures that use certain dyes, as these can affect your kidneys.

What are the Interactions of Glucophage SR?

Drug interactions can affect how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. Here are important interactions to consider with Glucophage SR:

  1. Other medications: Some drugs, like diuretics and steroids, can interfere with this medication by raising blood sugar levels, reducing its effectiveness.
  2. Alcohol: Alcohol consumption increases the risk of lactic acidosis, a serious condition related to the described option.
  3. Contrast dyes: Before procedures involving contrast dyes, you may need to stop taking this means in temporarily to protect your kidneys.
  4. Vitamin B12 levels: Long-term use can lower vitamin B12 levels, so watch for signs of deficiency if you’re already at risk.

Can You Drink Alcohol While on Glucophage SR?

It’s generally advised to be very cautious with alcohol if you’re taking this drug in, or even to avoid it altogether. Here’s why:

  1. Increased risk of lactic acidosis: Alcohol can increase the risk of a rare but serious condition called lactic acidosis, where there is too much lactic acid in the blood. This is particularly dangerous for those on medications like the described drug.
  2. Blood sugar levels: Alcohol can also affect your blood sugar levels. It can cause them to drop suddenly, which is risky, especially for people managing diabetes.
  3. Liver function: Since your liver processes both alcohol and metformin (the active ingredient), drinking alcohol can overburden your liver, affecting how it handles the medication and maintains blood sugar levels.

Disclaimer: This document does not cover all information about this medication and should not be used as a substitute for the medication guide, a consultation with a pharmacist, or advice from your healthcare provider. For the full medication guide, more detailed information, or any further questions, please contact your pharmacist or healthcare provider directly. It is essential to follow their advice and the official medication guide to ensure the medication is used safely and effectively. Always talk to your healthcare provider before making any changes to your medication regimen and report any unexpected side effects or concerns immediately. Your pharmacist and healthcare provider are the best resources for information and support regarding your health and medications.

By Emily J. Thompson, MD
Medically Reviewed by Vincent DeVita
Last Update: June 26, 2024