- Signs Metformin is Not Working
- How Long Does It Take for Metformin to Start Working?
- What Are Some Alternative Medications To Metformin For Diabetes Management
Metformin is one of the most effective oral diabetes medications when taken alongside healthy diet and exercise, and may help regulate ovulation and menstruation for PCOS sufferers. Additionally, metformin may improve ovulation and menstrual regulation as a side benefit.
But Metformin can become less effective over time and this may be a telltale sign of diabetes progression. Learn to identify when Metformin no longer works so that you can take corrective action quickly.
Signs Metformin is Not Working
1. Increased Blood Sugar
Blood sugar levels that increase while taking metformin can be an alarming signal that its effectiveness has diminished significantly. High glucose levels can lead to lactic acidosis, an incurable condition where too much lactic acid builds up in the body and potentially kills.
Only regular blood sugar testing will provide an accurate picture of whether your medication is working. Furthermore, monitoring glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels reveals trends over a 2-3 month timeframe that indicate whether blood sugar levels have changed substantially over time.
Metformin works best when taken in combination with recommended changes to diet and exercise routines; otherwise, its effectiveness will diminish over time.
2. Unexplained Weight Gain
As part of their treatment for type 2 diabetes, many individuals take medication to help manage their disease. But if their prescribed drug ceases working to control blood sugar, that should be an indicator that it’s time to see their physician about a solution.
Unexpected weight gain may indicate overeating or not exercising enough, but it could also indicate their metformin dose isn’t working effectively.
Metformin can cause low levels of vitamin B12 over time. More frequent blood tests can help diagnose this issue, though if symptoms such as extreme fatigue, numbness or pins and needles appear it’s important to seek medical advice immediately – they will order blood tests to check for vitamin deficiency.
3. Feeling Sick
If your doctor has prescribed metformin to manage your blood sugar, and you experience sudden increases in glucose, it is important that you talk with their healthcare provider as soon as possible. Unusual fluctuations could indicate that the medication no longer working as intended and alteration to your regimen may be necessary.
Increased doses or switching to an extended-release formula may help minimize side effects. If symptoms persist, your doctor may suggest changing to another form of diabetes medication such as an insulin regimen or SGLT-2 inhibitor. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also occur with medications like metformin; thus it’s essential that regular blood tests be completed to monitor levels regularly as anemia and other side effects can result from its lack.
4. Stomach Pain
Symptoms such as increased thirst or frequent urination could indicate that metformin is no longer working for you, particularly if accompanied by stomach discomfort.
Metformin can take four to six weeks for it to begin working effectively if you have prediabetes. Your fasting glucose should begin decreasing and hemoglobin A1C should remain within normal limits.
If you are taking metformin, it is essential to consume smaller meals more frequently and refrain from taking medications that could interfere with its effectiveness, including acetaminophen, diuretics, glaucoma drugs, corticosteroids, niacin birth control pills or estrogen hormone therapy, or medications used for acid reflux.
Chewing sugar-free gum may help with any metallic tastes experienced when taking metformin.
How Long Does It Take for Metformin to Start Working?
Understanding the Timeline of Metformin’s Effects
Metformin, a commonly prescribed medication for diabetes management, typically takes some time to show its full effects. Here’s what you need to know about the timeline of metformin’s effectiveness.
Early Effects and Side Effects
Metformin may start to work within the first week of treatment. According to a study involving over 700 individuals, metformin ER (extended-release) showed a reduction in blood glucose levels within the initial week of treatment.
However, it typically takes about two months for the medication to reach its full glucose-lowering effect.
Additionally, side effects commonly associated with metformin often fade away or become less intense as the body adjusts to the medication. This adjustment period usually occurs within approximately two weeks.
The Timeframe for Blood Sugar Lowering
It’s important to note that metformin doesn’t provide an immediate reduction in blood sugar levels. Depending on the dosage, it can take four or five days to experience the complete benefit of the medication.
After taking metformin, blood glucose levels may start to drop two days later, with a noticeable effect occurring within four to five days. A dosage of 1000mg of metformin can have this effect.
Full Effect and Monitoring
Metformin should start showing its effectiveness by the end of the second week of treatment.
However, it may take a few weeks or even months for a healthcare provider to determine whether metformin is working effectively for an individual. It’s worth mentioning that certain medications, such as insulin and sulfonylureas, can lead to faster blood sugar reduction.
Remember that the timing of metformin’s effects varies depending on the dosage and individual response. If you have any concerns about the duration it is taking for metformin to work, it’s advisable to discuss this with your healthcare provider.
What Are Some Alternative Medications To Metformin For Diabetes Management
In addition to metformin, there are alternative medications and therapies available for diabetes management. These options provide potential alternatives and complementary approaches. Here are some examples:
- Diabetes Drugs: Dulaglutide, exenatide, liraglutide, and pramlintide are diabetes medications that can serve as alternatives to insulin injections.
- Complementary and Alternative Therapies (CAM): CAM therapies, including acupuncture, hydrotherapy, massage therapy, yoga, and chromotherapy, can be beneficial in managing diabetes.
- Herbs and Supplements: Certain herbs and supplements, such as aloe vera, alpha-lipoic acid, chromium, cinnamon, garlic, ginseng, gymnema sylvestre, and magnesium, are commonly used in CAM therapies for diabetes management.
- Widely Used CAMs: Cinnamon, bitter gourd, and fenugreek are three widely used CAM treatments globally for diabetes mellitus.
- Natural Remedies and Alternative Treatments: Weight control, chitosan, garcinia cambogia, chromium, pyruvate, germander, and momordica charantia are some natural remedies and alternative treatments for type 2 diabetes.
It’s essential to note that not all alternative medications and therapies are suitable for everyone, and some may have potential side effects. Before trying any alternative treatments for diabetes management, it’s crucial to consult with your healthcare provider to ensure their appropriateness for your specific situation.