Glucophage Side Effects

Generic Name: metformin

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of metformin. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Glucophage.

Not all side effects for Glucophage may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to metformin: oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by metformin (the active ingredient contained in Glucophage). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking metformin:

More common
  • Abdominal or stomach discomfort
  • cough or hoarseness
  • decreased appetite
  • diarrhea
  • fast or shallow breathing
  • fever or chills
  • general feeling of discomfort
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle pain or cramping
  • painful or difficult urination
  • sleepiness
Less common
  • Anxiety
  • blurred vision
  • chest discomfort
  • cold sweats
  • coma
  • confusion
  • cool, pale skin
  • depression
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • dizziness
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • feeling of warmth
  • headache
  • increased hunger
  • increased sweating
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • nightmares
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • seizures
  • shakiness
  • shortness of breath
  • slurred speech
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • wheezing
Rare
  • Behavior change similar to being drunk
  • difficulty with concentrating
  • drowsiness
  • lack or loss of strength
  • restless sleep
  • unusual sleepiness

Some of the side effects that can occur with metformin may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • bloated
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • full feeling
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • loss of appetite
  • metallic taste in the mouth
  • passing of gas
  • stomachache
  • stomach upset or pain
  • vomiting
  • weight loss
Less common
  • Abnormal stools
  • bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
  • change in taste
  • difficulty with moving
  • discoloration of the fingernails or toenails
  • flu-like symptoms
  • joint pain
  • rash
  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • stuffy nose
  • swollen joints

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to metformin: compounding powder, oral solution, oral tablet, oral tablet extended release

General

Gastrointestinal events such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite have been frequently reported during therapy initiation and resolve spontaneously in most cases.

Adverse events in the pediatric population appear to be similar in nature and severity to that published in adults.

Metabolic

Common (1% to 10%): Hypoglycemia
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Lactic acidosis

Gastrointestinal

Very common (10% or more): Diarrhea (53.2%), nausea/vomiting (25.5%), flatulence (12.1%)
Common (1% to 10%): Indigestion, abdominal discomfort, abnormal stools, dyspepsia, loss of appetite

Hematologic

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Subnormal vitamin B12 levels

Other

Common (1% to 10%): Asthenia, chills, flu syndrome, accidental injury

Hepatic

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Liver function test abnormalities, hepatitis

Cardiovascular

Common (1% to 10%): Chest discomfort, flushing, palpitation

Dermatologic

Common (1% to 10%): Rash, nail disorder, increased sweating
Very rare (less than 0.01%): Erythema, pruritus, urticaria

Endocrine

Frequency not reported: Reduction in thyrotropin (TSH) levels

Immunologic

Very common (10% or more): Infection (20.5%)

Musculoskeletal

Common (1% to 10%): Myalgia

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Lightheadedness, taste disturbances

Psychiatric

Common (1% to 10%): Headache

Respiratory

Common (1% to 10%): Rhinitis

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

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