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Glucophage XR is a medication used for the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus. It contains the active ingredient metformin hydrochloride, which is a biguanide medication that reduces the amount of glucose produced by the liver and helps the body respond better to insulin.
Glucophage works by helping your body respond better to the insulin it produces. It ensures that the insulin your body naturally generates is reacting correctly, reduces sugar production in the liver, and diminishes sugar absorption in the intestines. The medication uses a dual hydrophilic polymer matrix system to gradually release the drug in the upper gastrointestinal tract, making it more effective at maintaining control over your blood sugar levels.
Uses and Dosage
Glucophage XR is available in tablet form and is typically taken once daily with the evening meal. Avoid crushing or chewing this medication as that could release the entire drug at once and up the chance of side effects. Additionally, splitting the tablets should only be done if they have a score line and are approved by your doctor or pharmacist. Swallow the whole or split tablet without crushing or chewing it.
Make sure to give your doctor and pharmacist complete information on all products you use, such as prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, and herbal products. To minimize your risk of side effects like an upset stomach, your doctor may direct you to begin with a low dose and gradually increase your dosage. Follow your doctor's instructions accurately to avoid any adverse events.
The dosage of this medication is specific to your medical condition, the response to your treatment, and any other medication you might be taking. The usual dosage for Glucophage XR (metformin ER) usually begins at 500 mg once a day alongside your evening meal. If necessary, your doctor may increase your dosage if it does not result in unpleasant side effects, with a maximum daily dose of 2,000 mg.
Common Side Effects of Glucophage XR (Metformin Hydrochloride ER):
- Low blood sugar
- Upset stomach
Serious Side Effects of Glucophage XR (Metformin Hydrochloride ER):
- Feeling cold
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Slow or irregular heart rate
- Stomach pain
- Trouble breathing
- Unusual muscle pain
Form and strength
Glucophage XR (Metformin Hydrochloride ER) is available in the following forms and strength:
Glucophage XR: ER Tablet
- 500 mg
- 750 mg
- 1000 mg
Metformin Hydrochloride ER: ER Tablet
- 500 mg
- 750 mg
- 100 mg
- Glucophage XR can increase the risk of lactic acidosis, a rare but serious metabolic complication that can occur due to the accumulation of metformin in the body. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include muscle pain, weakness, tiredness, dizziness, severe fatigue, hyperventilation, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
- Metformin is excreted by the kidneys, so patients with kidney problems may have an increased risk of lactic acidosis. Your healthcare provider may need to adjust your dosage or monitor your kidney function closely if you have existing kidney problems.
- People with kidney problems may need to avoid the use of imaging agents such as iodinated contrast agents during or slightly before and after taking Glucophage XR as they increase the risk of developing lactic acidosis.
- When taken alone, Glucophage XR does not cause hypoglycemia. However, hypoglycemia can occur when used in combination with other glucose-lowering medications like insulin or sulfonylureas.
- Long-term use of Glucophage XR can lower Vitamin B12 levels in some patients. This can lead to nerve damage, anemia, and impaired cognitive function. Vitamin B12 levels should be routinely monitored and Vitamin B12 supplementation may be required in some patients.
- Glucophage XR may cause gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and loss of appetite. Patients may need to adjust their diet, take the medication with food, or switch to a different formulation of metformin to alleviate these side effects.
- Glucophage XR may cause a risk of heart and blood vessel problems, especially in patients with existing heart conditions. It may also cause an increase in blood pressure, so patients with existing high blood pressure should be monitored closely.
- Glucophage XR may cause liver problems in rare cases. Patients with existing liver disease should be monitored closely for signs of liver damage or liver failure.
- Alcohol can increase the risk of lactic acidosis in patients who are taking Glucophage XR. Patients should avoid excessive alcohol consumption and discuss their alcohol use with their healthcare provider.
- Patients who are taking Glucophage XR should inform their healthcare provider if they are scheduled for surgery or other medical procedures. It may need to be temporarily discontinued before the procedure to reduce the risk of lactic acidosis.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long does it take for Glucophage XR to start working?
Glucophage XR may start to lower blood sugar levels within a few days of starting treatment, but it may take up to two weeks to see the full effect.
Can Glucophage XR cause low blood sugar?
Glucophage XR is not likely to cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) when used alone, but it may increase the risk of hypoglycemia when used in combination with insulin or other medications that lower blood sugar.
Can Glucophage XR be taken with food?
Glucophage XR should be taken with food to reduce the risk of stomach upset and other gastrointestinal side effects.
How often do I need to have my blood sugar checked while taking Glucophage XR?
Your healthcare provider will determine how often you need to have your blood sugar tested while taking Glucophage XR based on your individual needs and medical history.
Can Glucophage XR be used in children?
Glucophage XR is not approved for use in children under 18 years old. Talk to your healthcare provider about other treatment options for children with type 2 diabetes.
It's important to purchase Glucophage XR from verified Canadian pharmacy.