Metformin is part of a class of diabetes medications known as biguanide medications. The drug works in several ways. For example, it decreases the amount of sugar (glucose) made by the liver. It can also decrease the amount of sugar absorbed into the body (from the diet) and can make insulin receptors more sensitive, helping the body respond better to its own insulin. All of these effects cause a decrease in blood sugar levels.
Because the medication does not increase the amount of insulin produced by the body, it is less likely to cause dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Effects of Metformin: There have been several studies documenting the effects of metformin for type 2 diabetes. In these studies, the drug has been shown to decrease fasting blood sugar and to decrease hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). HbA1c is a test used to measure long-term blood sugar control in people with diabetes. Normal HbA1c levels are usually less than 6 percent in people without diabetes; people with diabetes usually have higher HbA1c results.
Studies have shown that the higher the HbA1c, the greater the chance for developing long-term problems related to diabetes. This includes such problems as heart disease, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy, and diabetic nephropathy. By getting blood sugar levels under control with metformin, it may be possible to decrease the chances for developing these diabetes complications.
Hope to have explained the action of Metformin?
- Metformin Information for Consumers
- Metformin Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Metformin (detailed)
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