U.S. drug manufacturer: Sanofi-Aventis
Other brand names: Metformin, Glumetza, Fortamet, Riomet, Diabex, Diaformin, Cidomet
Generic name: metformin hydrochloride
How is it taken? Glucophage is taken orally, in tablets.
What type of drug is Glucophage (metformin hydrochloride)? Glucophage controls the body’s production of glucose in the blood sugar. Because it helps control blood sugar, it is FDA-approved for treating Type 2 diabetes. However, its most popular off-label use is treating women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), a leading cause of infertility in women. For women with PCOS, glucophage lowers their insulin level, decreases their testosterone levels, and restores their normal menstuation cycles. Glucophage is from the biguanide class of oral antihyperglycemic agents.
What Glucophage (Glucophage XR/ Metformin / Glumetza / Fortamet / Riomet / Diabex / Diaformin / Cidomet) is approved to treat: Glucophage was invented as an anti-diabetic drug in 1957 and has been approved for use in Europe for several decades. It gained US FDA approval to treat Type 2 diabetes in 1994.
Off-label uses of Glucophage: The FDA hasn’t yet approved glucophage for the treatment of PCOS, so technically PCOS treatment is an off-label use. Several recent medical studies suggest that pairing glucophage with Clomid (clomiphene) boosts the pregnancy success rate. Other off-label uses include diabetes prevention and weight loss.
How Glucophage treats PCOS: Glucophage helps lower the high levels of male hormones in women with PCOS, helping to induce ovulation.
How to take Glucophage: Glucophage should be taken with meals.
Glucophage Doses: Glucophage and generic metforin come in 500 mg, 850 mg and 1000 mg tablets. Glucophage XR (extended release) come in 500 mg and 750 mg tablets. Glumetza XR (extended release) 500 mg and 1000 mg tablets.
Usual Dosage Instructions:Glucophage is usually begun at a dose of 500 mg twice a day or 850 mg once daily. The dose is gradually increased by 500 mg weekly or 850 mg every two weeks based on the patient’s response of the levels of glucose in the blood. The maximum daily dose is 2550 mg given in three divided doses. If the patient is taking Glucophage XR tablets, the starting dose is 500 mg daily with the evening meal. The dose can be increased by 500 mg weekly up to a maximum dose of 2000 mg once daily or in two divided doses. Glumetza tablets are given once daily.
More common side effects: Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, flatulence, asthenia, abdominal discomfort, headache
Less common side effects: Abnormal stools, hypoglycemia, myalgia, lightheaded, dyspnea, nail disorder, rash, sweating increased, taste disorder, chest discomfort, chills, flu syndrome, flushing, constipation, dyspepsia/heartburn, and heart palpitations
You may risk hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) if you take these drugs with Glucophage: isoniazid;diuretics (water pills); steroids (prednisone and others); phenothiazines (Compazine and others); thyroid medicine (Synthroid and others); birth control pills and other hormones; seizure medicines (Dilantin and others); and diet pills, or medicines to treat asthma, colds or allergies.
You may risk hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you are take these drugs with Glucophage: some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); aspirin or other salicylates (including Pepto-Bismol); sulfa drugs (Bactrim and others); monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI); beta-blockers (Tenormin and others); or probenecid (Benemid).
Other medications may interact with metformin. Tell your doctor if you are currently using any of the following drugs: furosemide (Lasix); nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia); cimetidine (Tagamet) or ranitidine (Zantac); amiloride (Midamor) or triamterene (Dyrenium); digoxin (Lanoxin); morphine (MS Contin, Kadian, Oramorph); procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl, Procanbid); quinidine (Cardioquin, Quinidex, Quinaglute); trimethoprim (Proloprim, Primsol, Bactrim, Cotrim, Septra); or
vancomycin (Vancocin, Lyphocin).