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Glucophage (Metformin) is used for treating type II diabetes in adults and children.

Drug Name

Glucophage (Metformin)

Drug Uses

Metformin is used for treating type II diabetes in adults and children. It may be used alone or in combination with other diabetic medications. Metformin also has been used to prevent the development of diabetes in people at risk for diabetes and to treat polycystic ovaries.

How Taken

For adults, metformin is usually started at the dose of 500 mg twice daily or 850 mg daily. The dose is gradually increased by 500 mg weekly or 850 mg every two weeks as tolerated and based on the response of the levels of glucose in the blood. The maximum daily dose is 2550 mg, given in three divided doses. If Glucophage XR tablets are used, the starting dose is 500 mg daily with the evening meal. The dose can be increased by 500 mg weekly up to a maximum dose of 2000 mg once daily or in two divided doses. Glumetza tablets are given once daily. Metformin should be taken with meals.

Drug Class and Mechanism

Metformin is an oral medication that lowers blood glucose (sugar) and is used for treating type II diabetes. Insulin is a hormone, produced by the pancreas that lowers glucose levels in blood by reducing the amount of glucose, made by the liver and by increasing the removal of glucose from the blood by muscle and fat tissues. Diabetes results because of reduced production of insulin and reduced uptake (and effects) of insulin on the body's tissues. Metformin acts by increasing the sensitivity of liver, muscle, fat, and other tissues to the uptake and effects of insulin. These actions lower the level of sugar in the blood. Unlike glucose-lowering drugs of the sulfonylurea class, e.g. glyburide (Micronase; Diabeta) or glipizide (Glucotrol), metformin does not increase the concentration of insulin in the blood and, therefore, does not cause excessively low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia) when used alone. In scientific studies, metformin reduced the complications of diabetes such as heart disease, blindness and kidney disease. Metformin was approved by the FDA in December of 1994.

Missed Dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and only take the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose.


Store at room temperature between 20-25 degrees C (68-77 degrees F).