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Ertugliflozin and Metformin

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jul 17, 2020.

Pronunciation

(er too gli FLOE zin & met FOR min)

Index Terms

  • Metformin and Ertugliflozin
  • Segluromet

Dosage Forms

Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.

Tablet, Oral:

Segluromet: Ertugliflozin 2.5 mg and metformin hydrochloride 500 mg, Ertugliflozin 7.5 mg and metformin hydrochloride 500 mg, Ertugliflozin 2.5 mg and metformin hydrochloride 1000 mg, Ertugliflozin 7.5 mg and metformin hydrochloride 1000 mg

Brand Names: U.S.

  • Segluromet

Pharmacologic Category

  • Antidiabetic Agent, Biguanide
  • Antidiabetic Agent, Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) Inhibitor
  • Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) Inhibitor

Pharmacology

Ertugliflozin: By inhibiting sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) in the proximal renal tubules, ertugliflozin reduces reabsorption of filtered glucose from the tubular lumen and lowers the renal threshold for glucose (RTG). SGLT2 is the main site of filtered glucose reabsorption; reduction of filtered glucose reabsorption and lowering of RTG result in increased urinary excretion of glucose, thereby reducing plasma glucose concentrations.

Metformin: Decreases hepatic glucose production, decreasing intestinal absorption of glucose and improves insulin sensitivity (increases peripheral glucose uptake and utilization).

Use: Labeled Indications

Diabetes mellitus, type 2, treatment: As an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus who are not adequately controlled on a regimen containing ertugliflozin or metformin or who are already treated with both ertugliflozin and metformin

Contraindications

History of serious hypersensitivity to ertugliflozin, metformin, or any component of the formulation; severe renal impairment (eGFR <30 mL/minute/1.73 m2), end-stage renal disease, or dialysis; acute or chronic metabolic acidosis (including diabetic ketoacidosis, with or without coma).

Canadian labeling: Additional contraindications (not in US labeling): Unstable and/or insulin-dependent (type 1) diabetes mellitus; history of lactic acidosis; eGFR <45 mL/minute/1.73 m2; excessive alcohol intake (acute or chronic); severe hepatic dysfunction or clinical or laboratory evidence of hepatic disease; cardiovascular collapse and disease states associated with hypoxemia (eg, cardiorespiratory insufficiency); stressful conditions (eg, severe infections, trauma, surgery); severe dehydration or shock; during period around administration of iodinated contrast; pregnancy; breastfeeding.

Dosing: Adult

Note: Hypovolemia, if present, should be corrected prior to initiating treatment. May require a gradual dose reduction of insulin and/or insulin secretagogues to avoid hypoglycemia.

Diabetes mellitus, type 2, treatment: Oral:

Note: Additional therapeutic considerations may apply; refer to individual agents for information.

Initial: Individualize initial dose based on patient's current antidiabetic regimen. May gradually increase dose based on effectiveness and tolerability.

Patients initiating ertugliflozin and already taking metformin: Ertugliflozin 5 mg/day plus a similar total daily dose of metformin, administered in 2 divided doses.

Patients initiating metformin and already taking ertugliflozin: Metformin 1 g/day plus a similar total daily dose of ertugliflozin, administered in 2 divided doses.

Patients already taking ertugliflozin and metformin: Administer the same total daily dose of ertugliflozin and a similar total daily dose of metformin in 2 divided doses.

Maximum: Ertugliflozin 15 mg/metformin 2 g per day.

Dosage adjustment for concomitant therapy: Significant drug interactions exist, requiring dose/frequency adjustment or avoidance. Consult drug interactions database for more information.

Dosing: Geriatric

Refer to adult dosing. Metformin initial and maintenance dosing should be conservative, due to the potential for decreased renal function (monitor).

Administration

Oral: Administer twice daily with meals.

Dietary Considerations

Individualized medical nutrition therapy based on American Diabetes Association recommendations is an integral part of therapy. Metformin may cause GI upset; take with food (to decrease GI upset). Monitor for signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 and/or folic acid deficiency; supplementation may be required.

Storage

Store at 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F); excursions permitted between 15°C and 30°C (between 59°F and 86°F). Protect from moisture.

Drug Interactions

Abemaciclib: May increase the serum concentration of MetFORMIN. Monitor therapy

Alcohol (Ethyl): May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of MetFORMIN. Specifically, alcohol may potentiate the risk of lactic acidosis Avoid combination

Alpha-Lipoic Acid: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy

Androgens: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Exceptions: Danazol. Monitor therapy

Bictegravir: May increase the serum concentration of MetFORMIN. Monitor therapy

Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of MetFORMIN. Specifically, the risk of developing lactic acidosis may be increased. Exceptions: Brinzolamide; Dorzolamide. Monitor therapy

Cephalexin: May increase the serum concentration of MetFORMIN. Monitor therapy

Cimetidine: May increase the serum concentration of MetFORMIN. Management: Consider alternatives to cimetidine in patients receiving metformin due to a potential for increased metformin concentrations and toxicity (including lactic acidosis). Consider therapy modification

Dalfampridine: MetFORMIN may increase the serum concentration of Dalfampridine. Dalfampridine may increase the serum concentration of MetFORMIN. Monitor therapy

Direct Acting Antiviral Agents (HCV): May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy

Dofetilide: MetFORMIN may increase the serum concentration of Dofetilide. Monitor therapy

Dolutegravir: May increase the serum concentration of MetFORMIN. Management: Consider alternatives to this combination or use of lower metformin doses. Carefully weigh the risk of metformin toxicities (including lactic acidosis) against the benefit of combining dolutegravir with metformin. Consider therapy modification

Erdafitinib: May increase the serum concentration of OCT2 Substrates. Monitor therapy

Glycopyrrolate (Systemic): May increase the serum concentration of MetFORMIN. Monitor therapy

Guanethidine: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy

Hyperglycemia-Associated Agents: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy

Hypoglycemia-Associated Agents: Antidiabetic Agents may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Hypoglycemia-Associated Agents. Monitor therapy

Insulins: Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) Inhibitors may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Insulins. Management: Consider a decrease in insulin dose when initiating therapy with a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor and monitor patients for hypoglycemia. Consider therapy modification

Iodinated Contrast Agents: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of MetFORMIN. Renal dysfunction that may be caused by iodinated contrast agents may lead to metformin-associated lactic acidosis. Management: Management advice varies. Refer to the full drug interaction monograph content for details. Exceptions: Diatrizoate Meglumine; Diatrizoate Sodium; Ethiodized Oil. Consider therapy modification

Isavuconazonium Sulfate: May increase the serum concentration of MetFORMIN. Monitor therapy

LamoTRIgine: May increase the serum concentration of MetFORMIN. Management: The lamotrigine Canadian product monograph states that coadministration of these drugs is not recommended. Monitor therapy

Maitake: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Monitor therapy

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Monitor therapy

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of MetFORMIN. Monitor therapy

Ombitasvir, Paritaprevir, and Ritonavir: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of MetFORMIN. Specifically, the risk for lactic acidosis may be increased. Monitor therapy

Ombitasvir, Paritaprevir, Ritonavir, and Dasabuvir: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of MetFORMIN. Specifically, the risk for lactic acidosis may be increased. Monitor therapy

Ondansetron: May increase the serum concentration of MetFORMIN. Monitor therapy

Patiromer: May decrease the serum concentration of MetFORMIN. Management: Administer metformin at least 3 hours before or 3 hours after patiromer. Consider therapy modification

Pegvisomant: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Monitor therapy

Prothionamide: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Monitor therapy

Quinolones: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Quinolones may diminish the therapeutic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Specifically, if an agent is being used to treat diabetes, loss of blood sugar control may occur with quinolone use. Monitor therapy

Ranolazine: May increase the serum concentration of MetFORMIN. Management: Limit the metformin dose to a maximum of 1,700 mg per day when used together with ranolazine 1,000 mg twice daily. Monitor patients for metformin toxicities, including lactic acidosis and carefully weigh the risks and benefits of this combination. Consider therapy modification

Risdiplam: May increase the serum concentration of MATE1 Substrates. Management: Avoid use of risdiplam with MATE substrates if possible. If the combination cannot be avoided, monitor closely for adverse effects. Consider a reduced dose of the MATE substrate according to that substrate's labeling if appropriate. Consider therapy modification

Ritodrine: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy

Salicylates: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Monitor therapy

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors: May enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Agents with Blood Glucose Lowering Effects. Monitor therapy

Sulfonylureas: Sodium-Glucose Cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) Inhibitors may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Sulfonylureas. Management: Consider a decrease in sulfonylurea dose when initiating therapy with a sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor and monitor patients for hypoglycemia. Consider therapy modification

Tafenoquine: May increase the serum concentration of MATE1 Substrates. Management: Avoid use of MATE substrates with tafenoquine, and if the combination cannot be avoided, monitor closely for evidence of toxicity of the MATE substrate and consider a reduced dose of the MATE substrate according to that substrate's labeling. Consider therapy modification

Tafenoquine: May increase the serum concentration of OCT2 Substrates. Management: Avoid use of OCT2 substrates with tafenoquine, and if the combination cannot be avoided, monitor closely for evidence of toxicity of the OCT2 substrate and consider a reduced dose of the OCT2 substrate according to that substrate's labeling. Consider therapy modification

Thiazide and Thiazide-Like Diuretics: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Antidiabetic Agents. Monitor therapy

Topiramate: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of MetFORMIN. Monitor therapy

Trimethoprim: May increase the serum concentration of MetFORMIN. Monitor therapy

Trospium: MetFORMIN may decrease the serum concentration of Trospium. Monitor therapy

Vandetanib: May increase the serum concentration of MetFORMIN. Monitor therapy

Verapamil: May diminish the therapeutic effect of MetFORMIN. Monitor therapy

Vitamin K Antagonists (eg, warfarin): MetFORMIN may diminish the anticoagulant effect of Vitamin K Antagonists. Vitamin K Antagonists may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of MetFORMIN. Monitor therapy

Test Interactions

Ertugliflozin will cause positive test for glucosuria. Ertugliflozin may interfere with 1,5-anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG) assay; use alternative methods to monitor glycemic control.

Adverse Reactions

See individual agents.

ALERT: U.S. Boxed Warning

Lactic acidosis:

Postmarketing cases of metformin-associated lactic acidosis have resulted in death, hypothermia, hypotension, and resistant bradyarrhythmias. The onset of metformin-associated lactic acidosis is often subtle, accompanied only by nonspecific symptoms such as malaise, myalgias, respiratory distress, somnolence, and abdominal pain. Metformin-associated lactic acidosis was characterized by elevated blood lactate levels (>5 mmol/L), anion gap acidosis (without evidence of ketonuria or ketonemia), an increased lactate/pyruvate ratio, and metformin plasma levels generally >5 mcg/mL.

Risk factors for metformin-associated lactic acidosis include renal impairment, concomitant use of certain drugs (eg, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors such as topiramate), age ≥65 years old, having a radiological study with contrast, surgery and other procedures, hypoxic states (eg, acute congestive heart failure), excessive alcohol intake, and hepatic impairment.

Steps to reduce the risk of and manage metformin-associated lactic acidosis in these high risk groups are provided in the Full Prescribing Information.

If metformin-associated lactic acidosis is suspected, discontinue ertugliflozin/metformin and institute general supportive measures in a hospital setting. Prompt hemodialysis is recommended.

Warnings/Precautions

Concerns related to adverse effects:

• Bone fractures: An increased incidence of bone fractures has been observed with other sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors in some clinical trials. A placebo-controlled trial with ertugliflozin conducted over 2 years did not demonstrate an increased fracture risk; similar changes in bone mineral density (BMD) were observed between groups, except at the hip where a greater decrease in BMD was observed with ertugliflozin (Gallo 2019).

• Genital mycotic infections: Ertugliflozin may increase the risk of genital mycotic infections (eg, vulvovaginal mycotic infection, vulvovaginal candidiasis, vulvovaginitis, candida balanitis, balanoposthitis). Patients with a history of these infections or uncircumcised males are at greater risk.

• Hypotension: Ertugliflozin may cause symptomatic hypotension due to intravascular volume depletion especially in patients with renal impairment (ie, eGFR <60 mL/minute/1.73 m2), elderly, patients on other antihypertensives (eg, diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, or angiotensin receptor blockers [ARBs]), or those with low systolic blood pressure. Assess volume status prior to initiation in patients at risk of hypotension and correct if depleted; monitor for signs and symptoms of hypotension after initiation.

• Ketoacidosis: Cases of ketoacidosis (some fatal) have been reported in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus receiving SGLT2 inhibitors; in some cases, patients have presented with normal or only modestly elevated blood glucose (<250 mg/dL). Before initiating treatment, consider risk factors that may predispose to ketoacidosis (eg, pancreatic insulin deficiency, dose decreases of insulin, caloric restriction, alcohol abuse, acute febrile illness, surgery, any other extreme stress event). Consider temporary discontinuation of therapy at least 4 days prior to surgery or any event that may precipitate ketoacidosis; ensure risk factors are resolved prior to reinitiating therapy. Patients presenting with nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, generalized malaise, and/or shortness of breath should be assessed immediately for ketoacidosis; discontinue therapy and treat promptly if ketoacidosis is suspected.

• Lactic acidosis: [US Boxed Warning]: Postmarketing cases of metformin-associated lactic acidosis have resulted in death, hypothermia, hypotension, and resistant bradyarrhythmias. The onset is often subtle, accompanied by nonspecific symptoms (eg, malaise, myalgias, respiratory distress, somnolence, abdominal pain); elevated blood lactate levels (>5 mmol/L); anion gap acidosis (without evidence of ketonuria or ketonemia); increased lactate:pyruvate ratio; metformin plasma levels generally >5 mcg/mL. Risk factors for lactic acidosis include patients with renal impairment, concomitant use of certain drugs (eg, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors such as topiramate), ≥65 years of age, having a radiologic study with contrast, surgery and other procedures, hypoxic states (eg, acute heart failure), excessive alcohol intake, and hepatic impairment. Discontinue immediately if lactic acidosis is suspected; prompt hemodialysis is recommended. Lactic acidosis should be suspected in any patient with diabetes receiving metformin with evidence of acidosis but without evidence of ketoacidosis. Discontinue use in patients with conditions associated with dehydration, hypoperfusion, sepsis, or hypoxemia. Temporarily discontinue therapy in patients with restricted food and fluid intake. The risk of accumulation and lactic acidosis increases with the degree of impairment of renal function.

• Lower limb amputation: There are conflicting data involving the risk of lower limb amputations with SGLT2 inhibitor therapy. Canagliflozin was associated with almost a 2-fold increased risk of lower limb amputations compared to placebo in the CANVAS and CANVAS-R trials, which included patients with type 2 diabetes at high cardiovascular risk (Neal 2017). Similar analyses with ertugliflozin have not yet been published. The following FDA guidance (developed specifically for canagliflozin) may reasonably apply to use of other SGLT2 inhibitors: Prior to initiation consider risk factors for amputation including prior amputation, peripheral vascular disease, neuropathy, and diabetic foot ulcers. Counsel patients about the importance of preventative foot care. Discontinue therapy if any of the following occur: signs and symptoms of new infection (including osteomyelitis), new pain or tenderness, or sores/ulcers involving the lower limbs (FDA Drug Safety Communication 2017).

• Necrotizing fasciitis: Cases of necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum (Fournier gangrene), a rare but serious and potentially fatal infection, have been reported in patients receiving SGLT2 inhibitors. Assess patients presenting with fever or malaise along with genital or perianal pain, tenderness, erythema, or swelling for necrotizing fasciitis. Discontinue in patients who develop necrotizing fasciitis and initiate treatment immediately.

• Renal effects: Acute kidney injury has been reported with SGLT2 inhibitors. Prior to initiation, consider risk factors for acute kidney injury (eg, hypovolemia, chronic renal insufficiency, heart failure, use of concomitant medications [eg, diuretics, ACE inhibitors, ARBs, or NSAIDs]). Temporarily discontinue use with reduced oral intake or fluid losses; discontinue use if acute kidney injury occurs. Additional abnormalities in renal function (decreased eGFR, increased serum creatinine) and adverse effects related to renal function may occur. Assess renal function prior to initiation and periodically during treatment.

• Urinary tract infection: Serious urinary infections including urosepsis and pyelonephritis requiring hospitalization have been reported; treatment with SGLT2 inhibitors increase the risk for urinary tract infections (UTI); monitor for signs and symptoms of UTI and treat as needed.

• Vitamin B12 concentrations: Long-term metformin use is associated with vitamin B12 deficiency; monitor vitamin B12 serum concentrations periodically with long-term therapy. Monitoring of B12 serum concentrations should be considered in all patients receiving metformin and in particular those with peripheral neuropathy or anemia (ADA 2020).

Disease-related concerns:

• Bariatric surgery:

– Altered absorption: Absorption may be altered given the anatomic and transit changes created by gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy surgery. ER tablets may have a reduced effect after gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy due to the direct bypass of the stomach and proximal small bowel with gastric bypass or a more rapid gastric emptying and proximal small bowel transit with sleeve gastrectomy (Mechanick 2013; Melissas 2013). After gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass [RYGB]), administration of IR tablets led to increased absorption (AUC0- increased by 21%) and bioavailability (increased by 50%) (Padwal 2011). Lactate levels decrease after gastric bypass (RYGB)-induced weight loss irrespective of the use of metformin. Routinely lowering metformin dose after gastric bypass is not necessary as long as normal renal function is preserved (Deden 2018).

– Dehydration: Evaluate, correct, and maintain postsurgical fluid requirements and volume status prior to initiating therapy and closely monitor the patient for the duration of therapy; volume depletion and related adverse events (eg, hypotension, orthostatic hypotension, syncope) have occurred. Fluid intake may be more difficult after gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric band (Mechanick 2013).

– Euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis: Discontinue therapy 3 to 5 days prior to surgery (Bobart 2016). Postoperatively, assess volume status, caloric intake, and need for diabetes treatment and withhold antidiabetic medication if type 2 diabetes is in remission. Ketoacidosis has been reported in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes on SGLT2 inhibitors. In some cases, normal or only modestly elevated blood glucose was present (<250 mg/dL) (van Niekerk 2018). Risk factors include significant reduction in insulin, caloric restriction, stress of surgery, and infection.

• Heart failure: Metformin may be used in patients with stable heart failure (HF); avoid use in unstable or hospitalized patients with HF (ADA 2020). Risk of lactic acidosis may be increased secondary to hypoperfusion. In a scientific statement from the American Heart Association, metformin has been determined to be an agent that may exacerbate underlying myocardial dysfunction (magnitude: major) (AHA [Page 2016]). Use of metformin in patients with HF may be associated with reduced mortality and reduction in hospital readmission for HF (Crowley 2017; Eurich 2013).

• Hepatic impairment: The manufacturer recommends to generally avoid use in patients with hepatic impairment due to potential for lactic acidosis. However, continued use of metformin in patients with diabetes with liver dysfunction, including cirrhosis, may be associated with a survival benefit in carefully selected patients (Brackett 2010; Crowley 2017; Zhang 2014).

• Renal impairment: Metformin is substantially excreted by the kidney; assess renal function prior to initiation of therapy and periodically thereafter using estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR); the risk of metformin accumulation and lactic acidosis increases with degree of renal impairment. Use of concomitant medications that may affect renal function (ie, affect tubular secretion) may also affect metformin disposition. Metformin should be withheld in patients with dehydration and/or prerenal azotemia. Glycemic efficacy of ertugliflozin may be decreased in renal impairment. Use of ertugliflozin/metformin is not recommended if eGFR is between 30 to 60 mL/minute/1.73 m2 prior to initiation of therapy or if persistently in this range during therapy. Use is contraindicated in patients with eGFR <30 mL/minute/1.73 m2, ESRD, or maintained on dialysis.

• Stress-related states: It may be necessary to discontinue metformin and administer insulin if the patient is exposed to stress (fever, trauma, infection, surgery).

Special populations:

• Elderly: Use with caution; risk of metformin associated lactic acidosis increases with age. Risk of intravascular volume depletion, renal impairment, and UTI may be increased in elderly patients.

Other warnings/precautions:

Appropriate use: Not indicated for use in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus or with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

• Ethanol use: Instruct patients to avoid excessive acute or chronic ethanol use; ethanol may potentiate metformin's effect on lactate metabolism.

• Hospitalized patients: Use of SGLT2 inhibitors is not routinely recommended for hospitalized patients (ADA 2020).

• Iodinated contrast: According to the manufacturer, it is recommended to temporarily discontinue metformin at the time of or before iodinated contrast imaging procedures in patients with an eGFR 30 to 60 mL/minute/1.73 m2; or with a history of hepatic disease, alcoholism, or heart failure; or in patients who will receive intra-arterial iodinated contrast. Reevaluate eGFR 48 hours after imaging procedure; restart if renal function is stable. Alternatively, the American College of Radiology (ACR) guidelines recommend that metformin may be used prior to or following administration of iodinated contrast media in patients with no evidence of acute kidney injury (AKI) and with an eGFR ≥30 mL/minute/1.73 m2; ACR guidelines recommend temporary discontinuation of metformin in patients with known AKI or severe chronic kidney disease (stage IV or V [ie, eGFR <30 mL/minute/1.73 m2]) or who are undergoing arterial catheter studies (ACR 2017).

• Patient education: Diabetes self-management education is essential to maximize the effectiveness of therapy.

• Surgical procedures: Consider temporary discontinuation of ertugliflozin-containing products at least 4 days prior to surgery; ensure risk factors for ketoacidosis are resolved prior to reinitiating therapy.

Monitoring Parameters

HbA1c (at least twice yearly in patients who have stable glycemic control and are meeting treatment goals; quarterly in patients not meeting treatment goals or with therapy change [ADA 2020]); plasma glucose. Initial and periodic monitoring of hematologic parameters (eg, Hb/Hct and RBC indices); renal function (eGFR) prior to therapy initiation and at least annually (more often in patients at risk of developing renal impairment; every 3 to 6 months if eGFR 45 to <60 mL/minute/1.73 m2; every 3 months if eGFR 30 to <45 mL/minute/1.73 m2 [Lipska 2011]). Monitor vitamin B12 serum concentrations periodically with long-term therapy; folate (if megaloblastic anemia is suspected); volume status (eg, BP, Hct, electrolytes); signs and symptoms of genital mycotic infections and urinary tract infection; lower limb and feet (sores, ulcers, infection); if signs/symptoms of ketoacidosis (eg, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, malaise, shortness of breath), confirm diagnosis by direct measurement of blood ketones and arterial pH (measurement of serum bicarbonate or urinary ketones may not be adequate) (AACE [Handelsman 2016]).

Pregnancy Considerations

Metformin crosses the placenta (ADA 2020). Refer to individual monographs for additional information.

Patient Education

What is this drug used for?

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

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:

• Nausea

• Vomiting

• Diarrhea

• Passing gas

• Headache

• Abdominal pain

• Heartburn

• Loss of strength and energy

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:

• Lactic acidosis like fast breathing, fast heartbeat, abnormal heartbeat, vomiting, fatigue, shortness of breath, severe loss of strength and energy, severe dizziness, feeling cold, or muscle pain or cramps.

• Urinary tract infection like blood in the urine, burning or painful urination, passing a lot of urine, fever, lower abdominal pain, or pelvic pain.

• Kidney problems like unable to pass urine, blood in the urine, change in amount of urine passed, or weight gain.

• Fluid and electrolyte problems like mood changes, confusion, muscle pain or weakness, abnormal heartbeat, severe dizziness, passing out, fast heartbeat, increased thirst, seizures, loss of strength and energy, lack of appetite, unable to pass urine or change in amount of urine passed, dry mouth, dry eyes, or nausea or vomiting.

• Low blood sugar like dizziness, headache, fatigue, feeling weak, shaking, fast heartbeat, confusion, increased hunger, or sweating.

• Acidosis like confusion, fast breathing, fast heartbeat, abnormal heartbeat, severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, shortness of breath, or loss of strength and energy.

• Vaginal yeast infection

• Penile yeast infection or pain

• Sores

• Ulcers

• Infection in the legs, feet, genitals, or rectum

• 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.

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have questions.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a limited summary of general information about the medicine's uses from the patient education leaflet and is not intended to be comprehensive. This limited summary does NOT include all information available about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. For a more detailed summary of information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine, please speak with your healthcare provider and review the entire patient education leaflet.

Further information

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