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Metformin, 2.85 / 5 (59 votes)

Metformin Side Effects

  • shakiness
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • sweating
  • nervousness or irritability
  • sudden changes in behavior or mood
  • headache
  • numbness or tingling around the mouth
  • weakness
  • pale skin
  • hunger
  • clumsy or jerky movements
If hypoglycemia is left untreated, severe symptoms may develop:
  • confusion
  • seizures
  • loss of consciousness
Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms of hyperglycemia or high blood sugar:
  • extreme thirst
  • frequent urination
  • extreme hunger
  • weakness
  • blurred vision
If high blood sugar is not treated, a serious, life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis could develop. Call your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms:
  • dry mouth
  • nausea and vomiting
  • shortness of breath
  • breath that smells fruity
  • decreased consciousness
Metformin may cause other side effects:
  • diarrhea
  • bloating
  • stomach pain
  • gas
  • constipation
  • unpleasant metallic taste in mouth
  • heartburn
  • headache
  • sneezing
  • cough
  • runny nose
  • flushing of the skin
  • nail changes
  • muscle pain
Some side effects can be serious:
  • chest pain
  • rash
  • Gloria Watkins

    Why are “Sulfanomides” included in so many of todays medicines when so many of us are “high allergic” to Sulfur?

    • I don’t know, but Metformin is not a Sulfanomide. It primarily has Nitrogen and Hydrogen in its chain. Nevertheless, it should probably be prescribed only for diabetics except for the studies to determine if it lengthens life. But no matter which of those uses it is put to (and those are the ONLY uses I know of for Metformin) you need to monitor for the development of Lactic Acidosis which can be fatal. But even for it, the counts are lower for it than other drugs in the same class that Metformin is in. But if you have problems with Metformin you will have to use something else. Most of the other diabetic treatment drugs in other classes don’t have as high of incidence of gastrointestinal problems as Metformin has. If you have any of the symptoms listed above with Metformin contact your health care provider immediately.

      • Terra

        My mom has diabetes1 and i have diabetes2 I’m more concern of my mom she been taking metformin now the Doctor telling her pancreas and her liver is bad what do i do?

      • paulla

        Henry, you need to get off of metformin if you are taking it. I and many others have bladder cancer since taking the drug. It may be good to lower your A1c, but it does give many patients who are prescribed the drug bladder cancer. I was prescribed the drug for type 2 elder diabetes and less than six months of taking the drug I was diagnosed. I am not looking for a class action suit, I have hired and attorney to represent me now.

    • Wanda Wyatt

      I am allergic to Pencillin and Sulfur. I hate Metformin and Benazipril.

  • protect honor

    These drugs need to be taken off of the shelf and need to be stopped being advertised on the Television. If there is harm and Metformin and other diabetes drugs do tremendous harm: they actually make people gain more weight and cause diabetes to become worse. All doctors take the Hippocratic Oath: do no harm, and don’t ever be talked into doing harm. So what is the deal? Why are doctors talking people into doing harm to their bodies?

    • Metformin is not advertised on television. It should not be taken by people with hypoglycemia because it is supposed to be used by hyperglycemics with Type 2 diabetics. Although iMetformin can be used to help Type 1 diabetics, most Type 1 diabetics also need insulin because their Pancreas doesn’t secrete enough insulin.

      Hmm, My weight has dropped 25 pounds while using the drug Metformin. It didn’t do all of it because I also modified my diet, exercise regularly, and finally stopped killing myself to help make people’s computers safer. Instead of working hard on the malware I just throw a lot of it away now and get my 8-10 hours of sleep per day. All of these things help. Although I am not strictly a diabetic, I have found that even potatoes can cause me to gain weight. I have learned to avoid sugary foods. But I have not drank sugar / Fructose flavored sodas for over 15 years and only drank them then very infrequently. I am even careful to limit how much milk I will drink because it contains a sugar named Lactose. Sugar is the enemy not only for diabetics but other people like me as well unless it is naturally occuring in form. Even then be careful to not get too much of it.

      If your doctor prescribes Metformin to you and you are a diabetic I advise you take it unless you have any of the side effects above. In that case, talk to your doctor and see if you can work out something that helps because Diabetes can kill you! Even the first person to walk across the river below Niagara Falls on a tight-rope who was in excellent condition when he was young died from Diabetes later in life.

      • Danell Matherly Hall

        why would a pain mgt doctor prescribe metformin for moderate paiin control assistance for a spinal disorder of adhesive arachnoiditis? Is it something that works on neuro imflammation?

  • Taylor

    Metformin damaged my kidneys. I’ve never had kidney problems before taking this nor do I have diabetes. I was prescribed this because my blood sugar and metabolism needed stabilzed.

    • That is an incorrect use for Metformin. Not only that but it wasn’t monitored properly to discover whether you were developing Lactic Acidosis. See the Wiki link I point to elsewhere here. You need to understand that your blood sugar isn’t steady state anyway. After a soda flavored with either sugar or fructose from corn you will have a fairly high spike in your blood sugar level. When I come back from a hard bicycle ride my blood sugar can be quite low. You don’t need a prescription to purchase a blood glucose measuring device so I have my own along with my own Sphygmomanometer to measure my blood sugar and blood pressure. I use the Advocate Redi-Code because the test strips are the least expensive and work just as well as the industry standard from Abbot Labs or the exhorbitantly expensive Freestyle Freedom-Lite test strips. I am monitoring for performance.

      If you want something to stabilize your blood sugar, cooked cracked wheat cereal goes down like a ton of bricks and stays there providing a steady trickle of sustained power all day long with only a low initial spike. It is even better than rolled oats. But rolled oats are better than quick oats. Do you get the idea? The closer you are to natural food the better off you are. Vegetables aren’t even counted for your carb counts for diabetics. Corn is not a vegetable! It is a grain, albeit one with higher carbs and almost no gluten. In case you are wondering, gluten is the protein in grains that that complements the proteins from legumes that can give you a balanced protein source from plants rather than animals.

      • George S.

        TY and my doctor said I was borderline diabetic that’s why he prescribed me Metformin I’ve never had any kind of kidney problems and just not sure on what to do .

    • Duke

      Did you use A lawyer because now I’ve got bad kidney problems and I’ve been taking metformin so I’m seeking a lawyer to represent me

  • Randy Sanders

    A vast majority of synthetic “medications” produced by todays pharmaceutical companies,and prescribed by doctors are dangerous,some to the point of producing death in patients so often,that commercials for medicines on tv now have verbal disclaimers stating they can cause death. If anyone opened up a physicians desk reference (PDR) and read it, you’d never want to take any synthetic drug ever again. Most doctors now tell their patients, “The benefits outweigh the risks”,so that patients will accept the meds given them…no matter what a warning label may say.

  • Tim

    I had sharp pain in my left side rib cage which restricted my ability to breath. The next day I had a large buildup of fluid in my left elbow and it’s still there.

    • Metformin shouldn’t cause that. If you are diabetic it is possible that an injury could cause your problem but it sounds more like a blood clot is moving through your cardiovascular system or maybe some infection is traveling through your lymph system. Seek somebody with medical expertise immediately. There are just too many things it can be. You may need a cholesterol fighting drug like Lovastatin or Pravastatin (the generic drugs). But the only way you can discover that is with a good blood test. That is just a start. Even cancer cells can spread quite rapidly. The sooner you find out what the problem is, the less problems you will have.

      • Koby333

        Hey, Henry, I don’t know who you are, but STOP right now, STOP. Stop telling people about drugs – especially if you are not a pharmacist, registered psychotropic distributor, or an MD. JUST STOP. You are getting carried away with yourself and the little bit of knowledge that you have.

        Statins as drugs are loaded with problems. Tell the person to consult with a pharmacist or their existing doctor, but you are not doing anyone any favors by suggesting such meds. It is bad enough that they even exist.

        Give it all a rest and reconsider your position.

  • Constitution First

    I was Prescribed metformin for appetite control, it doesn’t work for that.
    Unless you call being so sick you don’t want to eat and persistent diarrhea.

    • The doctor that prescribed Metformin for you needs some education. Metformin has no appetite suppression control. It works strictly by helping to lower your blood sugar level. If your blood sugar level is in a normal range of A1C 4.5% to 6% with a healthy diet and even a few desert treats, then it is possible that Metformin could actually make you hypoglycemic (a blood sugar level that is too low). When your sugar level goes too low that causes you to even be more hungry, not less. Do you see what I mean by Metformin won’t help you suppress your appetite?

      Just eating smaller food portions and then doing something else right after eating is what you need. It takes time for the digestion to make sugar available to your body so you end up eating more than you need because your body is telling you that need energy when in fact you probably have enough but just not instantly. It takes time to get it.

      Unless you are allergic to gluten (the protein that is in wheat and some other grains but not in corn), a breakfast of cooked cracked wheat with milk on it in the morning will last almost all day long. If you are Lactose intolerant, then use Soy milk or Almond Milk instead. The whole grain has organic Chromium in it that is a GTF (Glucose Tolerance Factor). What that does is spread the starch to sugar conversion throughout the day which will keep you satiated longer.

      The more refined the sugar is, the faster it goes through your system. Artificially sweetened foods will cause you to have massive blood sugar level swings from low to high. The closer to nature you get the better off you will be. If you want fruit juice, get a juicer and juice fresh fruits rather than buying fruit in a can which usually has added sugar anyway.

      • George S.

        TY Mr. Henry for that advice and i’m gonna start doing that from now on .

        • Roger

          I was started on metformin 5-6 years ago. Slowly my brain was fogging. I had a gaul bladder removed, had kidney failure, and lost equilibrium so bad I could hardly walk. Was sent to physical therapy to no avail. Checked in with another doctor and he said “stop taking Metformin’. Next morning I was able to walk. Still some brain fogging problems, but slowly getting better. I can not believe that it is still being prescribed.

  • Ray

    I too have taken metformin and every time my doctors put me on the medicine my kidney levels decreased. I have stage 3 renal failure and never had kidney issues before taking metformin. I would love to go after the manufacturer but have never found a class action lawsuit for this drug.

  • Jynean Wolf

    My wife, Jackie was diagnosed with diabetes 3 weeks ago, she was put on Metformin. She had bad, bad headaches, stomach pain, and nausea.
    She had a follow up apt with Doctor one week later and told the doctor about her issues with the drug. Doctor told her to stay on the drug, that these issues should go away soon. Last Sunday she passed out, went to ER, was admitted to hospital. Last Monday, they called in a Urologist because her kidneys had completely quit working. He put her on Dialysis to try to clean out the Metformin. She had fluid build up in chest and lung. She got pneumonia in both lungs, had congestive heart failure along with heart failure. She died on Friday. All because she was put on Metformin.

    • Cynthia Brown

      Jynean, I am so sorry for your loss 🙁 but all of this happened to my loving mother that has been on Metformin for 6 years!! April 6th within minutes she went from shortness of breath, to slurred speech, then went into Cardiac arrest. Lost my very best friend Due to Negligence by doctors and the Government that know they are killing our loved ones.

  • Bill Shultz

    Metformin also damaged my kidneys. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes a few years ago and put on Metformin. All went well for over a year and then on a routine physical my doctor noticed Renal problems. I was taken off metformin and sent to a kidney specialist. My kidney function had dropped to only 31 percent. Never had kidney problems before Metformin. I wish there was something that could be done about it. I am now at 41 percent and holding steady. Also on a new diabetes drug. I guess as long as my function stays level I’ll be okay. I’m another advocate of removing Metformin from the pharmacy shelves. It seems to do more harm than good and there are better answers to treating type 2 diabetes.

    • Robbie

      My husband was on Metformin when diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes. He took it for over 15 years. He changed primaries and was taken off of said drug. He now has been diagnosed with renal failure and has had numbers as low as 13% function. He has been placed on a transplant list at a local hospital. Is there any way to prove that this BAD DRUG had something to do with his current situation. I’ve heard other horror stories concerning Metformin.

    • Reen

      Hi…I was wondering what the name of the new drug is that you were switched to?

  • Crissy

    My ex has been taking metformin since he was 18 and was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He’s now 39 and in complete renal failure. The doctors dismissed the early warning signs of his kidney disease and wrote them off as side effects of his diabetes. I told him when we first got together (he was 28 then) that something wasn’t right and that his urine shouldn’t be foamy. He dismissed my concerns and said that the doctors said it was nothing. It wasn’t until after he was diagnosed with Stage 3 Kidney disease at 34 that we found out that that was what it was warning us about already. He has no hope for a kidney because his heart has already become too damaged as well and has been described as the heart of an unhealthy 70 year old. So, now his family and our two young children have to watch as he deteriorates every day. He sleeps most of the time now, can barely move and is slowly losing his mind and can’t remember who he’s with at times. We don’t expect him to make it past his 40th birthday.
    I think everyone should be pushing back at these doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies when we think and feel that we are being bullied into doing damage to our bodies. We don’t work for them. They’re supposed to be working for us and for the money that we pay out for them to take care of us and the money that we pay for insurance to cover the rest I think that they need to take more than five minutes to address our concerns. I fired an Obgyn for not giving me the time of day and talking over me and it’s a good thing I did because my next one told me that the medication that he had prescribed for me would have caused my unborn child to have brain, kidney, and heart damage. And I fired my sons Behavioral Therapist after she addressed my concerns about his anger issues with a prescription to numb him and turn him into a zombie without even considering sending him to someone to help him address his issues and learn how to handle them in an appropriate way. Even if you’re on government funded insurance you have a right to be heard and to be taken care of as a human being.

    • Koby333

      Crissy, what a lot of sorrow to carry. Are you receiving the help and support that you feel you need?

      Keep yourself above the fray and help your children and yourself to get through these difficult times.

      If you have kept good records of your husband’s health contacts, visits, and medications, you will have set a right position from which to emerge from.

      You sound as if you have been monitoring your son’s health very well, at some point he will need to be able to participate in making decisions using his own intuition, but for now he has you in his corner – Brava!

      I know this next will sound weird – maybe, but the Archangel Michael carries both a sword and shield. As I was writing the above, I felt that to merge with St Michael, I would have to see the sword red hot coming from the forge, fire cascading from its edges. To go after the agencies and governmental bureaucracies that are plugging up the works – dig deeply, amputating the branches and groups that only create obstacles and then cauterize the wounds. Thus, stopping the flow – staunching it as it were, removing the necrotic and dying areas that no longer serve the people. Strongest vision I have had about this yet. Thank you for sharing your righteous anger.

  • Asheley Suzanne

    I found this is my grandma’s bible today. She had taken Metformin. December 26, 2015, she passed away from congestive heart failure. You killed my MeeMee; you assholes. She was a wonderful woman. She didn’t deserve your careless mistakes & crappy drug just for you to make money off of her illness.


    • Koby333

      So sorry for the loss of your MeMe. She had the wherewithal to cut and keep that article for you to discover.

      I am on what seems like an endless journey with little hopes of discovering the information which you sound like you are also seeking. Not sure about this. Attorneys here in Michigan seem not to be too interested in pursuing this. Must have been warned off of doing so.

      I once made the acquaintance of a younger woman who as a legal student researched Michigan’s refusal to permit pursuing suits against drug companies. It seems from her research that Michigan legislators signed a law forbidding its citizens to go after the big pharma’s. So, woe to Michiganders who die as a result of taking bad medicine.

      You might want to check this out for the state where you reside.

      Oh, I took Metformin for a short while – could only stand trotting down the hall (at a week long residency) for just so long.
      Irritable, weakness, short of breath, diarrhea (constant), frequent urination, heart palpitations – overall, just mean and nasty-making. I had been given it to address issues around diabetes, but it seemed to overwhelm any existing sensitivities to my own self-monitoring system leaving me confused as to my internal experiences.

      If the doctor’s behaviors were any indication of what was to come – turned GOTH (showed up with jet black hair), she ‘divorced’ me, and refused to participate in anything related to healthy choices. I was left to find another source of information regarding diabetes care.

      Best of luck. Class action suits may exist, I just have not found anything yet.

  • Lisa Stone

    My mom was taking metformin as well had all the symptoms the headaches chest pain sever rash and more complications my mom lost her life 4 years ago at just the age 44. She turned 41 or 42 she had to start seeing both a Lung and heart doctor. She passed from heart failure. She was constantly in need of something to drink what can be done about the fact that she did take this medication?

  • Lisa Stone

    Before my mom passed away my father asked her if any of the medication she was taking could have caused her to stay thirsty all the time and the rash she had and the bad headaches here pcp told her that non of her medication could cause any of the problems she was having before she became diabetic and was placed on metformin she was in good shape my father noticed a change in my mother’s health not to long after staring metformin.

  • Martha Schwartz

    Wow! I’m scared right now. It happened to me too. Last year I was diagnosed with diabetes and they gave me 1000mg of metformin. Then this year now I’m to stop and see a kidney specialist myself as they reduced me on using januvia. Anyone have any advice on THIS drug?! I’m so nervous on what’s going in my body.

    • Reen

      Hi Martha…how have you been feeling taking Januvia? My doc wants to put me on it instead of Invokana,
      thats why I ask…

  • Esha Callahan

    I was prescribed Metformin for poly cystic ovarian syndrome and have had to seek emergency medical care for several of the listed side effects. i am NOT diabetic.

  • Isaac barry

    I was given metformin ended up with lactic acidosis every organ in my body failed I ended up also with three brain strokes heart attack kidney failure and ended up on dialysis all from metformin after testing extensively thinking I was drinking rubbing alcohol possibly antifreeze which was all found to be false end result was that it was from metformin what could I do I live in Canada and no lawyers want to take the case doesn’t make any sense

    • Isaac barry

      I forgot to mention was in a coma for 2 weeks because of Metformin also