Skip to main content
Health Management and Education

Health Management and Education

Doctor writing a prescription Error processing SSI file

Pills for diabetes


Drug Name Brand Name Doses Available (mg) 
Metformin Glucophage® 500, 850, 1000
Metformin Extended Release Glucophage XR® 500, 750

These medications are members of biguanides class.

How biguanides work

  • Works on the liver to produce less glucose
  • Increases insulin sensitivity, primarily targeting muscle and fat cells
  • May lower blood fat levels and contribute to minor weight loss

Guidelines for use

  • Taken once, twice or three times per day with meals to avoid stomach upset
  • May be prescribed with other medications for treatment of diabetes

What to do if a dose is forgotten

  • It can be taken if it is less than 2 hours from your normal dosing time
  • Do not take 2 doses at the next meal

Side effects

Side effects may occur when starting a medication but will often lessen once your body is used to the medication.

  • Mild diarrhea, nausea or stomach upset
  • Low blood sugar may occur if taken with insulin

Who should NOT take this medication

  • People with kidney or liver problems
  • People who drink alcohol excessively
  • Pregnant women