Preventing Diabetes
Improving Men's Health

Uses, Interactions, Side Effects, and Mechanism of Action of Metformin in Australia

Are you searching for a reliable medication to handle your diabetes? Metformin is a perfect choice! It has become an indispensable aid in managing type 2 diabetes, helping people across Australia to control and sustain their blood sugar levels and general well-being. But what makes Metformin so potent, and what do you need to know before taking it? Our comprehensive guide will cover the usage, interactions, side effects and mechanisms behind Metformin – giving you all the necessary knowledge for taking charge of your health. So if you’re starting with Metformin or updating information on its advantages and potential issues, read through this insightful piece!

Metformin medicine

What is Metformin?

A prescription medication called Metformin is used to manage type 2 diabetes. It belongs to a class of drugs called biguanides.

Metformin’s exact mechanism of action is unknown, but it is thought to work by decreasing the amount of sugar (glucose) made by the liver and improving insulin response.

What is Metformin used for?

A medication called Metformin is used to treat type 2 diabetes. It works by helping to control blood sugar levels and assisting with weight loss. Metformin may also be used for other purposes not listed here.

How does Metformin work?

Metformin lowers blood sugar by improving the body’s ability to use insulin. It is typically prescribed to people with type 2 diabetes who cannot control their blood sugar by diet and exercise alone. It is also possible to combine Metformin with other diabetes medications, such as insulin or sulfonylureas.

Metformin diabetes

When you ingest food, your digestive system turns it into a sugar known as glucose. This enters the bloodstream and causes your blood sugar level to go up. In response, your pancreas manufactures insulin, a hormone designed to reverse this effect. If someone has type 2 diabetes, however, their body does not produce enough of this hormone, or their cells have developed resistance. Consequently, too much glucose remains in their blood, increasing the risks of heart disease, nerve damage, eye problems and kidney disease.

Metformin lowers blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity by decreasing the glucose your liver releases into the bloodstream.

What are forms of Metformin available?

Type 2 diabetes can be treated with Metformin, a biguanide medication. Besides treating type 2 diabetes, it also treats polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). By increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing liver glucose production, Metformin works as a first-line therapy for type 2 diabetes.

The two main types of Metformin are immediate-release and extended-release. Quick-release Metformin is available as tablets or suspensions, while extended-release Metformin is available as tablets or capsules. An extended-release formulation can be taken once a day, while an immediate-release formulation can be taken multiple times daily.

Metformin online

A metformin product should be chosen based on the individual’s needs and preferences. The immediate-release product may appeal to some people because it can be taken with meals, while the extended-release product may appeal to others because it requires less frequent doses. Talking to a healthcare provider is essential to find out which formula works best for each individual.

Before Using Metformin

In addition, it is essential to inform your doctor if you are pregnant, to breastfeed, or planning to become pregnant. Metformin may not be suitable for all pregnant or breastfeeding women.

If you have any of the above conditions, speaking with your doctor before taking Metformin is crucial. Additionally, certain medications can interact with Metformin and should not be taken together. Tell your doctor about all medications you are taking, prescription and over-the-counter.

Metformin missed a dose – what should I do?

Taking Metformin according to your doctor’s instructions is crucial if you have diabetes. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If your following amount is almost due, skip the missed dose and continue your regular schedule. It would be best not to take twice as much to compensate for a missed dose.

Should I take any special precautions?

You should be aware of Metformin’s potential side effects and interactions if you are taking it. In addition to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, you may also experience gastrointestinal side effects when you take Metformin. If you experience any of these side effects, contact your doctor immediately.

It is also essential to inform your doctor about all your medications, as Metformin can interact with others. It would help if you discussed all possible interactions with your doctor before taking Metformin. Metformin should not be taken with alcohol or certain other drugs that can increase the risk of lactic acidosis.

Should I follow any special dietary instructions?

To control your blood sugar levels, you must follow a special diet. You can manage your diabetes with Metformin, a medication that lowers your blood sugar levels. However, you should still eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

manage diabetes with Metformin

When you’re on a metformin diet, you should keep these things in mind:

1. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins in a balanced diet.

2. Consuming sugary foods and drinks and fatty and processed foods should be limited.

3. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol.

4. You should discuss Metformin interactions with your doctor or pharmacist if taking other diabetes medications.

What are the possible side effects of Metformin?

In addition to diarrhea, nausea, nausea, and vomiting. Other potential side effects include headache, muscle pain, and lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis occurs when Metformin accumulates in the bloodstream. This can happen when the acidosis does not function correctly.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following side effects.

More common

  • abdominal or stomach discomfort
  • cough or hoarseness
  • decreased appetite
  • diarrhea
  • fast or shallow breathing
  • fever or chills
  • the general feeling of discomfort
  • lower back or side pain
  • muscle pain or cramping
  • painful or difficult urination
  • sleepiness
  • less common
  • anxiety
  • blurred vision
  • chest discomfort
  • cold sweats
  • coma
  • confusion
  • cool, pale skin
  • depression
  • difficult or laboured breathing
  • dizziness
  • fast, irregular, pounding or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • feeling of warmth
  • headache
  • increased hunger
  • increased sweating
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • nightmares
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • seizures
  • shakiness
  • slurred speech
  • tightness in the chest
  • unusual tiredness or weakness


  • behaviour change similar to being drunk
  • difficulty with concentrating
  • drowsiness
  • lack or loss of strength
  • restless sleep
  • unusual sleepiness

Side effects do not require medical attention. Some may disappear during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Your healthcare professional can advise you on preventing or reducing some of them. If any of the following side effects persist or become bothersome, contact your healthcare professional:

More common

  • acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • bloated
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • full feeling
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • loss of appetite
  • metallic taste in the mouth
  • passing of gas
  • stomachache
  • stomach upset or pain
  • vomiting
  • weight loss

Less common

  • abnormal stools
  • bad, unusual, or unpleasant (after) taste
  • change in taste
  • difficulty with moving
  • discolouration of the fingernails or toenails
  • flu-like symptoms
  • joint pain
  • rash
  • sneezing
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • swollen joints

Other side effects not listed here may occur in some patients. Check with your healthcare professional if you notice any other products.

For medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or the TGA at 1-800-020-653.

How should I store and dispose of this medication?

Metformin should be stored in a cool, dry place and out of children’s reach. It should also be disposed of properly when no longer needed.

It should be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place. When no longer needed, it should be disposed of properly.


Symptoms of metformin overdose include hypoglycemia, lactic acidosis, and gastrointestinal distress. Call triple zero (000) immediately if you or someone you know thinks you may have overdosed on Metformin.

What is the best time to speak with my doctor?

alternatives to Metformin

If you are considering taking Metformin, speaking to your doctor first is essential. Metformin can interact with other medications and may not be suitable for everyone. If you take Metformin, your doctor can advise you about its suitability and monitor your progress.

Metformin can cause side effects, some of which may require medical attention. If you are concerned about any symptoms you are experiencing, please consult your doctor.

What are the alternatives to Metformin?

Type 2 diabetes can be treated with alternative medications to Metformin, including sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, meglitinides, and DPP-4 inhibitors. Patients with blood sugar levels that cannot be controlled with oral medications may also benefit from insulin therapy.


Metformin is a medication used to manage type 2 diabetes. It belongs to a class of drugs called biguanides. Metformin’s exact mechanism of action is unknown, but it is thought to work by decreasing the amount of sugar (glucose) made by the liver and improving insulin response. Metformin can cause headaches, nausea, stomach pain, gas, and diarrhea.

Frequently Asked Questions

Metformin helps manage type 2 diabetes by decreasing the amount of sugar the liver makes and improving the body’s response to insulin. Metformin is a biguanide-class medication that works differently than other drugs used to treat diabetes. Its exact mechanism of action is still unknown. However, it can help reduce glucose levels in the blood and prevent long-term complications from diabetes. While this medication is generally safe, there can be some unpleasant side effects, including headaches, nausea, stomach pain, gas and diarrhea.
Metformin carries some risks that should be discussed with your doctor. The most common side effects are gastrointestinal upset, such as nausea, abdominal pain, gas, and diarrhea. In rare cases, taking too much medication can lead to a serious condition called lactic acidosis, which may be fatal if not treated immediately. It is essential to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking Metformin.
Metformin can help maintain a stable blood sugar level, reduce the risk of serious long-term complications associated with diabetes, like nerve damage or kidney disease, and even delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes. Metformin can also offer potential weight loss benefits and beneficial effects on cholesterol and triglycerides.
People who are allergic to Metformin, have kidney or liver problems, drink alcohol excessively, have had a stroke or heart attack in the past six months, are pregnant or breastfeeding, and have severely low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) should avoid taking Metformin. Furthermore, people who regularly consume large amounts of alcohol may require lower doses of Metformin. If you think you qualify for any of these categories, it is best to consult your doctor before taking Metformin.
Taking Metformin as prescribed can help you manage type 2 diabetes more effectively. Metformin works by decreasing the amount of sugar your liver makes and improving insulin response, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Following your doctor’s instructions closely when taking this medication is essential to experience the full benefits with minimal side effects. Side effects could include headaches, nausea, stomach pain, gas, and diarrhea.
Metformin is typically used long-term as a maintenance medication to help manage type 2 diabetes, but it is also commonly prescribed for short-term use. Taking Metformin precisely as your doctor prescribes and continuing it until instructed otherwise is recommended. Talk with your doctor about the long-term benefits and risks of taking Metformin.
You should avoid foods high in simple sugars like candy, baked goods, sugary drinks, and processed snacks. Excess sugar can interfere with Metformin’s effectiveness. Additionally, it is essential to be mindful of portion sizes and ensure you get plenty of fibre-rich whole grains, fruit, and vegetables to help manage blood sugar levels.