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METFORMIN 500MG TABLETS

Active substance(s): METFORMIN / METFORMIN HYDROCHLORIDE

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Metformin 500mg
and 850mg Tablets
Metformin hydrochloride
Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this
medicine because it contains important information for you.
Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist or
nurse.
This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to
others. It may harm them even if their signs of illness are the same as
yours.
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This
includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet.
See section 4.

• 
if you have a severe infection, such as an infection affecting your lung or
bronchial system or your kidney. Severe infections may lead to kidney
problems, which can put you at risk for lactic acidosis (see ‘Warnings
and precautions’ below).
• 
if you are treated for acute heart failure or have recently had a heart
attack, have severe problems with your circulation (such as shock) or
have breathing difficulties. This may lead to a lack in oxygen supply to
tissue which can put you at risk for lactic acidosis (see ‘Warnings and
precau tions’ below)
• 
if you drink a lot of alcohol

What is in this leaflet:
1 What Metformin Tablets are and what they are used for
2 What you need to know before you take Metformin
Tablets
3 How to take Metformin Tablets
4 Possible side effects
5 How to store Metformin Tablets
6 Contents of the pack and other information

Make sure you ask your doctor for advice, if

1 What Metformin Tablets are and what they are used

for

Metformin tablets contain metformin, a medicine to treat diabetes. It
belongs to a group of medicines called biguanides. Insulin is a hormone
produced by the pancreas that makes your body take in glucose (sugar)
from the blood. Your body uses glucose to produce energy or stores it for
future use. If you have diabetes, your pancreas does not make enough
insulin or your body is not able to use properly the insulin it produces.
This leads to a high level of glucose in your blood. Metformin helps to
lower your blood glucose to as normal a level as possible. If you are an
overweight adult, taking Metformin over a long period of time also helps
to lower the risk of complications associated with diabetes.
Metformin is associated with either a stable body weight or modest
weight loss.
Metformin is used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes (also called
‘non-insulin dependent diabetes’) when diet and exercise alone have not
been enough to control your blood glucose levels. It is used particularly
in overweight patients. Adults can take Metformin on its own or together
with other medicines to treat diabetes (medicines taken by mouth or
insulin).
Children 10 years and over and adolescents can take Metformin on its
own or together with insulin.

2 What you need to know before you take Metformin

tablets

Do not take Metformin

if you are allergic (hypersensitive) to metformin or any of the other
ingredients of this medicine (see ‘What Metformin Tablet contains’ in
section 6)
• if you have kidney or liver problems (glomerular filtration rate below
45ml/min)
• 
if you have uncontrolled diabetes, with e.g. severe hyperglycaemia
(high blood glucose), nausea, vomiting, dehydration, rapid weight loss
or ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is a condition in which substances called
‘ketone bodies’ accumulate in the blood and which can lead to diabetic
pre-coma. Symptoms include stomach pain, fast and deep breathing,
sleepiness or unusual fruity odour of the breath
• 
if you lost too much water from your body (dehydration), such as due to
long-lasting or severe diarrhoea, or if you have vomited several times in
a row. Dehydration may lead to kidney problems, which can put you at
risk for lactic acidosis (see ‘Warnings and precautions’ below).
continued top of next column
AAAI7716

If any of the above applies to you, talk to your doctor, before you start
taking this medicine.
• 
you need to have an examination such as X-ray or scan involving
the injection of contrast medicines that contain iodine into your
bloodstream
• 
you need to have major surgery
You must stop taking Metformin for a certain period of time before and
after the examination or the surgery. Your doctor will decide whether you
need any other treatment for this time. It is important that you follow your
doctor’s instructions precisely.

Warnings and Precautions
Please note the following particular risk of lactic acidosis.
Metformin may cause a very rare, but serious complication called lactic
acidosis, particularly if your kidneys are not working properly. The risk of
lactic acidosis is also increased with uncontrolled diabetes, prolonged
fasting or alcohol intake. Body fluid deficit (dehydration) due to severe
diarrhoea or vomiting, liver problems and any medical conditions in
which a region of the body is deprived of oxygen supply (such as acute
heart disease).
It is important for you to comply with your medicine intake, dietary
instructions and regular exercise programme because this can reduce
the risk of lactic acidosis.
The onset of lactic acidosis can be subtle and the symptoms can be
non-specific such as vomiting, bellyache (abdominal pain) with muscle
cramps, a general feeling of not being well with severe tiredness,
and difficulty in breathing. Further symptoms are reduced body
temperature and heart beat.
If you experience some of these symptoms, you should seek
immediate medical attention, as lactic acidosis may lead to coma. Stop
taking Metformin immediately and contact a doctor or the nearest
hospital straight away.
Metformin on its own does not cause hypoglycaemia (a blood glucose
level which is too low). However, if you take Metformin together with
other medicines to treat diabetes that can cause hypoglycaemia (such as
sulphonylureas, insulin, meglitinides), there is a risk of hypoglycaemia. If
you experience symptoms of hypoglycaemia such as weakness, dizziness,
increased sweating, fast heart beating, vision disorders or difficulty in
concentration, it usually helps to eat or drink something containing sugar.

Other medicines and Metformin Tablets

If you need to have an injection of contrast medicines that contain iodine
into your bloodstream, for example for examinations such as X-ray or
scan, you must stop taking Metformin for a certain period of time
before and after (at least 48 hours) the examination (see ‘Make sure
you ask your doctor for advice’ above).
Tell your doctor if you take any of the following medicines and Metformin
at the same time. You may need more frequent blood glucose tests or
your doctor may adjust the dosage of Metformin:
• 
diuretics (used to remove water from the body by making more urine).
• 
beta-2 agonists such as salbutamol or terbutaline (used to treat asthma)
• 
corticosteroids (used to treat a variety of conditions, such as severe
inflammation of the skin or in asthma)
• 
other medicines used to treat diabetes
continued over page

Metformin 500mg and 850mg Tablets PIL - UK

1. black

item no:

AAAI7716

dimensions: 180 x 280

print proof no:

1

pharmacode:

origination date: 12.02.16
approved for print/date

colours/plates:

originated by:

min pt size:

5.
6.

DR
Technical Approval

revised by:

date sent:

Relonchem

3.
4.

8 pt (body copy)

revision date:

supplier:

2.

approved:

12.02.16

Non Printing Colours
1.
2.
3.

*P
 lease note that vonly Actavis Global Artwork Studios are permitted to make changes to the above
artwork. No changes are permitted by any 3rd party other than added notes and mark ups for
required changes.

Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently
taken any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a
prescription.

Taking Metformin with food and drink

Do not drink alcohol when you take this medicine. Alcohol may increase
the risk of lactic acidosis especially if you have liver problems or if you are
undernourished. This also applies to medicines that contain alcohol.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding

During pregnancy, you need insulin to treat your diabetes. Tell your
doctor if you are, you think you might be or are planning to become
pregnant, so that he or she may change your treatment.
This medicine is not recommended if you are breast-feeding or if you are
planning to breast-feed your baby.

Driving and using machines

Metformin on its own does not cause hypoglycaemia (a blood glucose
level which is too low). This means that it will not affect your ability to
drive or use machines.
However, take special care if you take Metformin together with other
medicines to treat diabetes that can cause hypoglycaemia (such as
sulphonylureas, insulin, meglitinides). Symptoms of hypoglycaemia
include weakness, dizziness, increased sweating, fast heartbeat, vision
disorders or difficulty in concentration. Do not drive or use machines if
you start to feel these symptoms.

3 How to take Metformin Tablets

Always take Metformin exactly as your doctor has told you. Check with
your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Metformin cannot replace the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Continue to follow any advice about diet that your doctor has given you
and take regular exercise.

Recommended dose

Children 10 years and over and adolescents usually start with 500mg
or 850mg Metformin once a day. The maximum daily dose is 2000mg
taken as 2 or 3 divided doses. Treatment of children between 10 and 12
years of age is only recommended on specific advice from your doctor,
as experience in this age group is limited.
Adults usually start with 500mg or 850mg Metformin two or three times
a day. The maximum daily dose is 3000mg taken as
3 divided doses.
In patients with renal impairment with GFR between 45 and 60 ml/
min, the starting dose is 500mg or 850 mg metformin, once daily. The
maximum dose is 1000mg daily, given as 2 divided doses. The renal
function should be closely monitored (every 3 to 6 months).
If you take insulin too, your doctor will tell you how to start Metformin.

Monitoring

• 
Your doctor will perform regular blood glucose tests and will adapt
your dose of Metformin to your blood glucose levels. Make sure that
you talk to your doctor regularly. This is particularly important for
children and adolescents or if you are an older person.
• 
Your doctor will also check at least once a year how well your kidneys
work. You may need more frequent checks if you are an older person
or if your kidneys are not working normally.

How to take Metformin

Take Metformin with or after a meal. This will avoid you having side
effects affecting your digestion.
Do not crush or chew the tablets. Swallow each tablet with a glass of
water.
• 
If you take one dose a day, take it in the morning (breakfast)
• 
If you take two divided doses a day, take them in the morning
(breakfast) and evening (dinner)
• 
If you take three divided doses a day, take them in the morning
(breakfast), at noon (lunch) and in the evening (dinner)
• If, after some time, you think that the effect of Metformin is too strong
or too weak, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

If you take more Metformin than you should

If you have taken more Metformin than you should have, you may
experience lactic acidosis. Symptoms of lactic acidosis are non-specific
such as vomiting, bellyache (abdominal pain) with muscle cramps, a
general feeling of not being well with severe tiredness, and difficulty in
breathing.Further symptoms are reduced body temperature and heart
beat.
If you experience some of these symptoms, you should seek immediate
medical attention, as lactic acidosis may lead to coma. Stop taking
Metformin immediately and contact a doctor or the nearest hospital
straight away.

If you forget to take Metformin

Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose. Take the
next dose at the usual time.
If you have any further questions on the use of this product, ask your
doctor or pharmacist.

4 Possible side effects

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not
everybody gets them. The following side effects may occur:
Very common side effects (in more than 1 in 10 people)
• 
digestive problems, such as feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting),
diarrhoea, bellyache (abdominal pain) and loss of appetite.
These side effects most often happen at the beginning of the
treatment with Metformin. It helps if you spread the doses over the
day and if you take the Metformin with or straight after a meal.
If symptoms continue, stop taking Metformin and talk to your
doctor.
Common side effects (in less than 1 in 10 people)
• 
changes in taste.
Very rare side effects (in less than 1 in 10,000 people)
• 
lactic acidosis. This is a very rare but serious complication particularly
if your kidneys are not working properly. Symptoms of lactic acidosis
are non-specific such as vomiting, bellyache (abdominal pain) with
muscle cramps, a general feeling of not being well with severe
tiredness, and difficulty in breathing. Further symptoms are reduced
body temperature and heart beat. If you experience some of these
symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention, as lactic
acidosis may lead to coma. Stop taking Metformin immediately and
contact a doctor or the nearest hospital straight away.
• 
abnormalities in liver function tests or hepatitis (inflammation of the
liver; this may cause tiredness, loss of appetite, weight loss, with or
without yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes). If this happens to
you, stop taking Metformin and talk to your doctor.
• 
skin reactions such as redness of the skin (erythema), itching or an
itchy rash (hives).
• 
low vitamin B12 levels in the blood.

Children and adolescents

Limited data in children and adolescents showed that adverse events
were similar in nature and severity to those reported in adults.

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This
includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also
report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme
Website at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the
safety of this medicine.

5 How to store Metformin Tablets

Keep out of the sight and reach of children. If a child is treated with
Metformin tablets, parents and caregivers are advised to oversee how
this medicine is used.
Do not use Metformin Tablets after the expiry date which is stated on
the carton. Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or
household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no
longer required. These measures will help to protect the environment.
Do not store the tablets above 25°C.

6 Contents of the pack and other information
What Metformin Tablets contain

The active substance is 500mg or 850mg of metformin hydrochloride.
The other ingredients are sodium starch glycollate, maize starch,
povidone, colloidal anhydrous silica, magnesium stearate. The film
coating is made up of hypromellose, titanium dioxide (E171), propylene
glycol, macrogol 6000 and purified talc.

What Metformin Tablets look like and contents of the pack

Metformin Tablets are white coloured, film coated round biconvex
tablets.
The tablets are supplied in blister packs of 28 and 84 tablets for the
500mg dose and packs of 56 tablets for the 850mg dose.
Metformin Tablets are also available in securitainers of 500 tablets for the
500mg dose and 300 tablets for the 850mg dose.
Marketing Authorisation Holder and Manufacturer
Relonchem Limited
Cheshire House, Gorsey Lane, Widnes, Cheshire
WA8 0RP, UK
Date leaflet approved: December 2015
PL 20395/0027 and 0028

continued top of next column
AAAI7716

Metformin 500mg and 850mg Tablets PIL - UK

1. black

item no:

AAAI7716

dimensions: 180 x 280

print proof no:

1

pharmacode:

origination date: 12.02.16
approved for print/date

colours/plates:

originated by:

min pt size:

5.
6.

DR
Technical Approval

revised by:

date sent:

Relonchem

3.
4.

8 pt (body copy)

revision date:

supplier:

2.

approved:

12.02.16

Non Printing Colours
1.
2.
3.

*P
 lease note that vonly Actavis Global Artwork Studios are permitted to make changes to the above
artwork. No changes are permitted by any 3rd party other than added notes and mark ups for
required changes.

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Source: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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