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Metformin Fact Sheet

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Medication Name (brand): 
Medication Name (clinical): 

Various, available as a generic.

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Off-label use for weight loss


Unclear; increases insulin sensitivity, decreases glucose absorption from GI tract.

  • Metformin IR (immediate release) supplied as 500 mg, 850 mg, and 1000 mg tablets.

  • Start with 500 mg QPM (with dinner), titrate gradually up to 850 mg BID with meals.
  • Metformin SR (slow release) or XR (extended release) supplied in 500 mg and 750 mg strengths.
  • Start at 500 mg QPM and titrate up to maximum of 2000 mg QPM with dinner.

Side Effects: 
  • Common: Diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramping.

  • Most serious is lactic acidosis, which is rare.

Drug-drug Interactions: 
  • No significant drug-drug interactions.

  • Contraindicated for patients with kidney or liver disease.


Excreted unchanged in the urine, no liver metabolism. .

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