I'm going on holiday, is it all right to have an alcoholic drink?
If you're diabetic then you have to be careful of the drinks you have, because of sugar. The interaction checker says Ask your doctor before using ethanol together with metFORMIN. Taking this combination may cause a condition called lactic acidosis. Get emergency medical help if you have any of these symptoms of lactic acidosis: weakness, increasing sleepiness, slow heart rate, cold feeling, muscle pain, shortness of breath, stomach pain. Use alcohol cautiously. If your doctor prescribes these medications together, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safey take this combination. It is important to tell your doctor about all other medications you use, including vitamins and herbs. Do not stop using any medications without first talking to your doctor.
Having one drink for women (12 oz beer, 5 oz glass of wine and 0.5-1 oz hard liquor means one drink) or two drinks (same measurements except for hard alcohol can be only 1 1/2 oz liquor between two drinks) for men is usually permissible but you must consider the drink as a sugar/carb in your diet. Alcohol becomes pure glucose in your body, just like eating a high carb/sugar dessert. If you have alcohol, have it with a meal or snack (be sure to adjust for the alcohol's added carbs so you will need to reduce carbs somewhere else in the diet). One effect of alcohol is that it shuts off your liver from releasing stored glucose from your liver into your blood stream which increases the likelihood of experiencing low blood sugar. Many of the symptoms of low blood sugar resemble intoxication (like dizziness, slurred speech, blurred vision, muscle weakness and a shaky feeling). If you are on insulin or pills, the medication will continue to work and your blood sugar will drop when you drink alcohol and don't eat. Also, some diabetic pills may interact with the alcohol and cause facial flushing.
- Metformin Information for Consumers
- Metformin Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Metformin (detailed)
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