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Metformin hcl


Glumetza is a prescription medication that is used in combination with a healthy diet and exercise primarily to treat Type 2 diabetes. Unlike metformin immediate-release, these tablets are taken orally, once daily. The medication controls high blood sugar and prevents kidney damage, problems like impaired nerves, and blindness. It is suitable for adults, but their dosage varies depending on the patient’s needs. Always remember to stick to your prescribed dosage to prevent any risks. Proper control of diabetes also results in reduced risk of heart attacks or strokes. Before making any decision regarding the tablets, consult with your doctor. 

Product Overview

Glumetza is an extended-release formulation containing metformin hydrochloride as its main ingredient. Metformin is mainly used for managing type 2 diabetes. When a patient has this type of diabetes, insulin formation by the pancreas cannot get sugar into the body’s cells. Thus resulting in various heart problems. Therefore, their blood sugar level remains balanced by taking metformin once daily. The drug helps restore the body’s proper response to natural insulin formation. It also reduces the amount of sugar in the liver, increases insulin sensitivity, and improves glucose uptake by the stomach or intestines.

The medication is available in two strengths and can be taken once daily with the evening meal to help maintain a steady level in the bloodstream. It is suitable for adults when combined with diet and exercise. The extended-release formulation allows for the gradual release of the medication, ensuring a prolonged effect without requiring multiple daily doses.

Common side effects include gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which often get better over time. Patients are advised to maintain regular doctor appointments to monitor their condition and medication effectiveness. If a dose is missed, take it as soon as you remember unless it is near the time of the next dose. Do not double the dose. In case of an overdose, seek immediate medical help. Store Glumetza in a cool, dry place away from direct light. Always follow your healthcare provider’s guidance for using this medication safely and effectively.

Uses of Glumetza

Glumetza is approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for the management of type 2 diabetes. 

How to Use Glumetza


It is available in two strengths:

  • 500 mg
  • 1000mg

Recommended Dosage for Different Patients

  • For Adults (18 to 79 Years): Take a 500 mg tablet daily with an evening meal. Your doctor will increase the dosage by 500 mg every week. If the medication cannot control your glucose with once-daily dosing, the doctor may divide the daily dose and prescribe that you take it two times daily. 
  • For Children (10 to 17 Years): Not recommended
  • For Children (Below 10 Years): Not recommended
  • Older Adults (Above 80 Years): Patients above 80 years of age are not advised to take this medication unless their kidneys are functioning normally. At this age, problems like lactic acidosis are highly likely. Therefore, if you fall under this age group and take metformin, do not exceed its maximum dose. 

[Note: Remember these recommendations may vary depending on person to person. Discuss it with your doctor, and they’ll customize your dosage accordingly.]

How to Take It?

  • Read the patient information leaflet carefully before using the medication.
  • Take the tablet by mouth as directed by a professional. 
  • Drink a lot of fluid or water while taking your medication.
  • Do not crush or chew the tablet, as it can release the drug at once, thus increasing the risk of side effects.
  • Do not split the tablets unless they have score lines or are told by your doctor/pharmacist.
  • Swallow the tablet at once as a whole.
  • If you can not swallow the tablet, tell your doctor. They will prescribe you a different medicine.
  • Before taking your medication, ensure that you have washed your hands thoroughly.
  • Talk to a medical professional if you want to discontinue or change the dosage of your medication.
  • Do not miss a dose.
  • Make sure to exercise and follow your diet chart.
  • Regularly test your blood sugar levels while taking Glumetza.
  • If you have any questions or concerns regarding the consumption of the medication, consult with your medical professional for detailed information.

[Note: Your doctor will decide the right amount for you based on your condition, following guidelines and studies on the drug. They’ll adjust it as needed over time.]

How Does Glumetza Work?

Metformin is categorized as an antihyperglycemic drug that improves glucose tolerance in people suffering from type 2 diabetes by reducing both basal and postprandial plasma glucose. The therapeutic mechanisms of the medication are different from other oral antihyperglycemic drugs. Metformin works by reducing glucose production in the liver and absorption in the intestines, improving insulin sensitivity by increasing glucose uptake and usage by peripheral tissues. In contrast to sulfonylureas, the drug does not produce hypoglycemia in either diabetic patients or healthy people nor does it trigger hyperinsulinemia. This process makes metformin a valuable option for managing blood glucose without the risk of lowering it excessively, thereby offering a safety advantage over some other diabetes medications.

Important Safety Information

Side Effects

Common side effects may include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Cough 
  • Not feeling hungry
  • Diarrhea
  • Fast or shallow breathing
  • Fever
  • Discomfort
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Muscle pain 
  • Painful urination
  • Sleepiness
  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Chest discomfort
  • Cold sweats
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Pale skin
  • Depression
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Nightmares
  • Slurred speech

Serious side effects may include:

  • Difficulty with concentrating
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of strength
  • Lactic acidosis
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Low vitamin B12 levels

[Note: This list may not cover all possible side effects. Always consult with your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects.]


  • Alcohol Intake: It has been noticed that consuming alcohol while taking metformin can increase the risk of lactic acidosis. Besides, it can also increase or reduce the blood sugar levels in patients. Therefore, it is advised that people should not drink alcohol while taking this drug.
  • Allergic Reactions: Metformin can cause serious allergic reactions, including hives, throat/tongue swelling, and difficulty in breathing. So, it is recommended to be a little cautious before starting this medication.
  • Kidney Problems: If you are a patient with moderate to severe kidney problems, you are likely to get lactic acidosis. Talk to your doctor for medical assistance.
  • Liver Problems: If you have any liver diseases, you are at a high risk of lactic acidosis. Consult with a medical professional before making any decision.
  • Imaging Procedure: It is advised to stop the medication for a short time if you plan to have a dye injection or imaging procedure. Failing to do so can affect kidney functioning and put you at a high risk of lactic acidosis.
  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis: Do not use this drug for treating diabetic ketoacidosis.
  • Heart Problems: If you have had a heart attack recently, avoid taking this drug, as there might be a high chance of developing lactic acidosis.
  • Type 1 Diabetes: Metformin is not prescribed for treating this condition. Talk to a specialist about alternate treatment options.
  • Pregnant Women: Insufficient clinical studies have restricted the usage of metformin in pregnant ladies. However, research in animals showed adverse effects on the fetus when given this drug to the mother. So, there might be chances that the same would happen to human fetuses. Consult your healthcare provider if you are planning to get pregnant.
  • Breastfeeding Women: The drug may pass into the breastmilk and cause adverse effects to the infants who are breastfed. Therefore, talk to your doctor to decide whether you need to discontinue or change your medication.
  • Vitamin B12 Levels: Long-term use of metformin has been linked with reduced absorption of vitamin B12 and folic acid in some cases. Hence, monitoring serum levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid is recommended in patients undergoing prolonged treatment with Glumetza.

Boxed Warning

  • While rare, lactic acidosis can become a serious complication that can develop due to the accumulation of metformin in the body. There are high chances of risks, especially for patients with conditions like sepsis, dehydration, excess alcohol consumption, hepatic problems, renal impairment, and acute congestive heart failure. 
  • The development of lactic acidosis often begins subtly with symptoms like general discomfort, muscle aches, respiratory issues, growing drowsiness, and non-specific abdominal pain.
  • Lab discrepancies often involve reduced pH, increased anion gap, and raised lactate levels in the blood.
  • If the condition is suspected in the patient, Glumetza should be discontinued and the patient should get hospitalized right away.


  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist beforehand if you are allergic to metformin or have any other allergies, as the medication contains several inactive ingredients that may cause allergic reactions.
  • Communicate with your medical professional about your medical history, especially lung diseases, blood problems, and kidney or liver impairment.
  • If you are undergoing surgery or a scanning procedure, tell the medical expert about all your medications, including prescription or nonprescription drugs and herbal products. 
  • Avoid driving or doing any machinery activity that demands alertness, as you can experience blurred vision and dizziness as a side effect of metformin. 
  • Limit your alcohol intake when taking this medication because it can raise the risk of lactic acidosis and developing low blood sugar.
  • Make sure you are drinking a lot of fluid while taking this medication, as dehydration can increase the risk of lactic acidosis. 
  • Do not take stress as it can increase your blood sugar level. Consult with your healthcare provider to suggest some techniques.
  • Discuss every risk and benefit before taking this medication to avoid any future problems.
  • Metformin can result in menstrual cycle changes, increasing the risk of becoming pregnant. Therefore, talk to your doctor; they will suggest alternatives for reliable birth control.


Glumetza is contraindicated in patients who are:

  • Hypersensitive to metformin or any ingredient in the formulation of the drug.
  • Having Type 1 diabetes.
  • Chronic metabolic acidosis, such as diabetic ketoacidosis, with or without
  • Having a history of ketoacidosis with or without coma.
  • Having a history of lactic acidosis.
  • Having renal impairment or serum creatinine levels exceeding the upper limit of normal range.
  • Having hepatic dysfunction.

Missed Dose

  • Take as soon as you remember, with food.
  • Skip the dose if it is less than hours before the next dose and continue taking the prescribed dose as per the schedule.
  • Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed dose.
  • If you are not feeling well or your at-home glucose testing machine shows high levels, consult a medical professional.

[Note: If you have missed a medication dose and are unsure when to take the next one, consult your doctor or pharmacist immediately.]


An overdose of metformin can lead to severe side effects like lactic acidosis, a life-threatening condition caused by an accumulation of lactic acid in the blood. Its symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, passing out, or troubled breathing. In such cases, immediately call poison control. 

[Note: If you consumed more than the recommended dose, get medical help right away or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.]


  • Keep the medication at a temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • One can also keep the drug within the temperatures 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C) for a brief period of time.
  • Do not keep the medication in direct light or at high temperatures.
  • Do not store in moist or damp areas like bathrooms or the sink.
  • Keep the medication out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not flush the tablets. 
  • Discard the medication properly when it is past its expiration date.
  • Read your product labels carefully or consult a professional/pharmacist for detailed storage instructions.

[Note: Discuss with your healthcare professional the proper disposal of unused medicine and any questions you may have regarding its storage.]

Glumetza Interactions

  • Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors: Topiramate or other CAIs, such as zonisamide, acetazolamide, or dichlorphenamide, can decrease serum bicarbonate and induce non-anion gap, hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis. Therefore, simultaneous administration of these drugs with Glumetza may raise the risk of lactic acidosis.
  • Cationic Drugs: Components like morphine, procainamide, amiloride, digoxin, quinidine, quinine, ranitidine, triamterene, trimethoprim, or vancomycin that are discharged through the renal tubular secretion may possibly interact with metformin as they compete for similar renal tubular transport mechanisms. While such interactions are largely theoretical, careful monitoring and dose adjustment are recommended for people taking cationic medications.  
  • Drugs Affecting Glycemic Control: Certain drugs have the ability to produce hyperglycemia and may lead to loss of glycemic control. These drugs include, thiazides and diuretics like phenothiazines, thyroid products, corticosteroids, estrogens, oral contraceptives, phenytoin, nicotinic acid, sympathomimetics, calcium channel blockers, and isoniazid. Patients receiving Glumetza should be monitored carefully for loss of blood glucose control. 
  • Alcohol: Patients taking alcohol should be careful as it can increase the effect of metformin on lactate metabolism. Avoid consuming excessive alcohol.
  • Insulin Secretagogues: Combining Glumetza with an insulin secretagogue like sulfonylurea may increase the risk of hypoglycemia. So, patients receiving insulin secretagogues should be advised to take lower doses.
  • Diabetes Drugs: Taking certain diabetes drugs with metformin can result in low blood sugar levels. Therefore, if you start taking this medication, your healthcare provider may prescribe lower doses of other diabetes medication. For example: insulin and glyburide.
  • Blood Pressure Drugs: Diuretics are used to reduce blood pressure and increase blood sugar levels. Combining these drugs with metformin may react with its effectiveness. For example: furosemide and hydrochlorothiazide.
  • Cholesterol Drug: Coadministration of nicotinic acid with metformin may make the medication less effective in lowering blood sugar.
  • Hormone Drugs: Taking metformin with hormone drugs like budesonide, fluticasone, prednisone, conjugated estrogens, and estradiol may lower the effectiveness of metformin in reducing blood sugar levels.

[Note: This isn’t a complete list, and there could be other drugs that interact with Glumetza. Make sure to tell your doctor about any prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal products you’re taking.]

Glumetza Alternatives

[Note: Your doctor will choose what’s best for you. Don’t use any of these alternative medications without consulting your healthcare provider. Taking them by yourself may cause serious side effects.] 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time does Glumetza take to show its effect?

Glumetza comes in different brands, which may not work the same way. So, use the brand prescribed by your doctor. Generally, you may notice improvements in your blood sugar levels in 1 to 2 weeks, but the complete effect may take up to 2 to 3 months. For detailed information, you can ask your medical professional.  

Will Glumetza be helpful in weight loss?

Glumetza, a brand name for extended-release metformin, is primarily prescribed to improve blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes. While it is not specifically approved for weight loss, metformin has been associated with weight loss in some patients. This effect is considered a secondary benefit, especially in individuals with type 2 diabetes who may be overweight or obese.

What happens if someone takes Glumetza twice a day?

It has been noticed that patients who accidentally took a double dose of their medication have either no symptoms at all or showed side effects like nausea, vomiting, and troubled breathing. Therefore, it is advised not to overdose on your medication, and if you accidentally take 2 doses, seek medical assistance immediately.

Is Glumetza and metformin similar?

Yes, Glumetza and metformin are essentially the same in terms of their active ingredient, as Glumetza is a brand name for a specific formulation of metformin. Both are primarily used to manage blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. The primary distinction between Glumetza and other metformin products lies in its formulation.

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