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Glucophage XR

Generic Name: Metformin Extended-Release Tablets (met FOR min)
Brand Name: Fortamet, Glucophage XR, Glumetza

Medically reviewed on September 5, 2018

Warning

  • Rarely, metformin may cause an acid health problem in the blood (lactic acidosis). The risk of lactic acidosis is higher in people with kidney problems and in people who take certain other drugs like topiramate. The risk is also higher in people with liver problems or heart failure, in older people (65 or older), or with alcohol use. The risk is also higher in people who are having an exam or test with contrast, surgery, or other procedures. If lactic acidosis happens, it can lead to other health problems and can be deadly. Lab tests to check the kidneys may be done while taking Glucophage XR (metformin extended-release tablets). If you have questions, talk with the doctor.
  • Do not take Glucophage XR (metformin extended-release tablets) if you have a very bad infection, low oxygen, or a lot of fluid loss (dehydration).
  • Call your doctor right away if you have signs of too much lactic acid in the blood (lactic acidosis) like fast breathing, fast or slow heartbeat, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, very bad upset stomach or throwing up, feeling very sleepy, shortness of breath, feeling very tired or weak, very bad dizziness, feeling cold, or muscle pain or cramps.

Uses of Glucophage XR:

See also: Basaglar
  • It is used to lower blood sugar in patients with high blood sugar (diabetes).

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Glucophage XR?

  • If you have an allergy to metformin or any other part of Glucophage XR (metformin extended-release tablets).
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Acidic blood problem, kidney disease, or liver disease.
  • If you have had a recent heart attack or stroke.
  • If you are not able to eat or drink like normal, including before certain procedures or surgery.
  • If you are having an exam or test with contrast or have had one within the past 48 hours, talk with your doctor.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with Glucophage XR (metformin extended-release tablets).

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Glucophage XR (metformin extended-release tablets) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Glucophage XR?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Glucophage XR (metformin extended-release tablets). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
  • Do not drive if your blood sugar has been low. There is a greater chance of you having a crash.
  • Check your blood sugar as you have been told by your doctor.
  • Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
  • It may be harder to control your blood sugar during times of stress like when you have a fever, an infection, an injury, or surgery. A change in level of physical activity or exercise and a change in diet may also affect your blood sugar. Talk with your doctor.
  • Follow the diet and workout plan that your doctor told you about.
  • If loose stools (diarrhea) happen or you are throwing up, call your doctor. You will need to drink more fluids to keep from losing too much fluid.
  • Be careful in hot weather or while being active. Drink lots of fluids to stop fluid loss.
  • You may see something that looks like the tablet in your stool. This is normal and not a cause for concern. If you have questions, talk with your doctor.
  • If you are 65 or older, use Glucophage XR (metformin extended-release tablets) with care. You could have more side effects.
  • There is a chance of pregnancy in women of childbearing age who have not been ovulating. If you want to avoid pregnancy, use birth control that you can trust while taking Glucophage XR (metformin extended-release tablets).
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Glucophage XR (metformin extended-release tablets) while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (Glucophage XR) best taken?

Use Glucophage XR (metformin extended-release tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take with meals.
  • Take with a full glass of water.
  • This medicine may be used alone or with other high blood sugar (diabetes) drugs.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Keep taking Glucophage XR (metformin extended-release tablets) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • Take with the evening meal if taking once daily.
  • Swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
  • If you have trouble swallowing, talk with your doctor.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time unless your doctor tells you to do something else.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • It is common to have stomach problems like upset stomach, throwing up, or loose stools (diarrhea) when you start taking Glucophage XR (metformin extended-release tablets). If you have stomach problems later during care, call your doctor right away. This may be a sign of an acid health problem in the blood (lactic acidosis).
  • Low blood sugar can happen. The chance of low blood sugar may be raised when Glucophage XR (metformin extended-release tablets) is used with other drugs for high blood sugar (diabetes). Signs may be dizziness, headache, feeling sleepy, feeling weak, shaking, a fast heartbeat, confusion, hunger, or sweating. Call your doctor right away if you have any of these signs. Follow what you have been told to do if you get low blood sugar. This may include taking glucose tablets, liquid glucose, or some fruit juices.

What are some other side effects of Glucophage XR?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Gas.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Feeling tired or weak.
  • Headache.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Glucophage XR?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Glucophage XR (metformin extended-release tablets), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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