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Metformin~ Stomach Upset

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Old 10-22-2007, 02:34 PM   #1
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Default Metformin~ Stomach Upset

Hi All

Can someone please give me a little help with this problem? I am suppose to take 1000mg twice a day. When I take it this way I get terrible stomach upset. I try and break it down but then never get in all the dosage(i have 500mg tablets). I was thinking about taking something like pepto bismol before taking metformin. I do take it after eating but still feel ill when I take it.

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Old 10-22-2007, 03:14 PM   #2
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Hi CIRCLES . . . Sorry to hear you are having problems . . .

Stomach problems are quite common with Metformin, especially at the beginning, but they usually tend to subside after the first month or so on the mediction. How long have you been taking Metformin? Many doctors start patients at a relatively low dosage and then have them increase it after the system becomes used to the lower amount.

I would suggest that you call your doctor, or your pharmacist, to discuss the situation rather than attempting to take any kind of OTC medication with it.

Good Luck.
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Old 10-22-2007, 04:31 PM   #3
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Default Metformin

Hi Meowee

Thanks for the reply. I have been on Met for a little over a year now started on 500mg twice a day(1000mg). It was recently increased to 1000mg twice a day(2000mg). I did try and increase slowly, I even try to break it down to three times a day(missing a dose actually, the afternoon). It's when I try and take 1000mg at one time that I get sick from it. Maybe I can try and split a pill and take 750mg twice a day, but then again that's not 2000mg is it OH WELL, i'll figure something out.
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:01 PM   #4
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How about trying 750 for breakfast; 500 for lunch; and another 750 at dinner -- or even 500 mg, 4 times a day.

I also take 2000 mg daily but have really not had any particular problems with doing the 1000 twice a day. If it were me, I'd be tempted to try the 500 four times (just to avoid having to split the pills).

Be sure to eat something (even a glass of milk) with each dose and please don't forget to check with the doctor or pharmacist before changing the dosage. I'm certainly not qualified to give you medical advice.
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Old 10-23-2007, 03:54 PM   #5
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I had a lot of problems with Metformin and finally had to stop taking it. I take 2000 mg daily of the brand name Glucophage with no problems (except that my insurance company won't cover it). Discuss this with your doctor. I don't recommend you taking any over-the-counter medications for digestive problems without talking to your doctor.
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Old 11-05-2007, 12:03 AM   #6
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I was told that glucophage and metformin are the same things except that glucophage is brand name and metformin is the generic. I've had stomach upset with both but lately instead of stomach upset, I"ve been noticing that I'm feeling really bloated and not to be gross but it's reversed to constipation. UGH! I don't know if it's the medication or if its my diet.
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:02 PM   #7
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The active ingredient in Glucophage and Metformin are identical . . . but different manufacturers may use different fillers when they manufacture a drug. Many people have problems with using generics and have to go for the name-brands. Conversely, many people do better with the generics.

Usually the insurance companies will cover the more expensive name-brand if you have your doctor write them a letter stating that you have bad reactions to the generic.

Good luck
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Old 11-15-2007, 02:49 PM   #8
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The insurers will NOT cover a brand name when a generic is available, even with a doctor's note. I have to get my Glucophage from Canada.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:41 PM   #9
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Usually the stomach upset will pass - but it can take quite some time. There is an extended release form that some people have had better luck with. I hope you can adjust - with me it took a couple of months of really bad cramps, diarhea and nausea. ALSO - the Pepto could block the absorption of the Met - make sure you ask your doctor.
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:10 PM   #10
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Sorry to hear about your stomach problems. I have been taking metformin for almost a year now, and thankfully there have been no ill side effects. A positive side effect for me is it seemed to make me feel a little less hungry. I have a friend that took metformin for a long time then developed an allergy to it and it caused kidney failure. Best of luck for you.
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Old 01-20-2008, 12:25 PM   #11
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There is a slow release version of Metformin, ask your doctor to try you on that see if itís any better.

I swear by Metformin, touch wood I was lucky and didnít get any problems!
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:19 AM   #12
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One thing my diabetes nurse suggested to me that really helped with the stomach upset (i'm 1500 mg a day, split into 3 pills) is to take it either in the middle of your meal or right after you eat - It's a lot less hard on the stomach when there's already something in it. and EAT, not just drink something. The substance really helps, in my personal experience. Even if you can't get a lot down, try a yogurt or a piece of fruit. I have a friend who also swears by bananas with her metformin, when she doesn't have the appetite to eat.

Good luck, it took me a good 2 months to fully adjust so I know what you're experiencing.
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Old 01-31-2008, 03:34 PM   #13
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SARAH ~ that is right; my doctor told me to eat it with food; I always take it AFTER I am finished my meal (breakfast/lunch/dinner). The pharmacy here also put a sticker on the bottle saying it must be taken with FOOD.

I did experience a bit of nausea, and some hunger while taking it. Yes, the metformin did help bring my sugars back to a normal level again. But since I heard that it can be hard on the kidneys, my doctor agreed that I could cut my dose down (1500-1000-500-250); presently now only on 250 mg a day.

I can even go without it on days I stick to my eating plan well. Now that my sugars are back to normal, I only have to take it when I eat something sweet or if my sugars start creeping up again ...

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Old 02-11-2008, 10:43 PM   #14
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I experienced horrible cramping the first night I took my slow-release metformin. After that, and reading these boards, I took it right with my evening meal, and no more problems.

Hope you feel better soon!
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Old 02-27-2008, 07:30 PM   #15
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Metformin did the same thing to me, also gave me horrible diarreha. After a month my dr switched me to actos, and that worked wonders. It doesn't have the side effects metformin does.
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