Metformin was opened in 1922, and was widely used only in the late 90s. Endocrinologists prescribe it for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Also known destination when overweight, obesity, polycystic ovaries and infertility.
The World Health Organization has recognized metformin as one of the most effective medicines.
And although his popularity is high, the effect of metformin is not fully understood: and today, studies are being conducted that reveal new facets of his “talent”. This and wanted to pay a little attention today.
Most important the effect of metformin is the suppression of glucose production by the liver.
Metformin activates the secretion of liver enzyme AMPK, which is responsible for the metabolism of glucose and fat. This activation leads to the effect of suppressing glucose production in the liver. That is excess glucose expense metformin is not formed.
In addition, metformin increases sensitivity to its own insulin and increases peripheral glucose uptake (with insulin, glucose is delivered to all cells of the body and becomes a source of energy), increases fatty acid oxidation, reduces glucose absorption in the gastrointestinal tract.
Delaying metformin glucose absorption in the gastrointestinal tract allows you to maintain lower levels of glucose in the blood after a meal, as well as to increase the sensitivity of target cells to their own insulin. This property of metformin allows its use when prediabetes – for the prevention of diabetes with a tendency to such.
After oral administration, metformin is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, its active action begins after 2.5 hours. Metformin is eliminated by the kidneys after some 9-12 hours. It should be noted that metformin able to accumulate in the liver, kidneys and muscles.
The use of metformin start with taking 500-850 mg 2-3 times a day during or after meals. A further gradual increase in dose is possible depending on the results of analyzes of glucose concentration in the blood.
Maintenance dose of metformin is usually 1500-2000 mg / day .
To reduce the side effects of the gastrointestinal tract, the daily dose is divided into 2-3 doses. The maximum daily dose of 3000 mg / day , divided into 3 doses.
Original drug metformin is French Glucophage .
Still, to reduce the side effects of metformin (gastrointestinal disorders) and improve the quality of life of patients with type 2 diabetes in France, a long-acting metformin was developed and released under the name Glucophage Long with delayed absorption of active metformin . GlucophageLong can be taken 1 time per day, which of course is much more convenient for patients.
The absorption of prolonged metformin is in the upper gastrointestinal tract.
Side effects of metformin
- With long-term administration of metformin , a decrease in the absorbability of vitamin B12 may be observed. If megablastic anemia is detected , additional intramuscular administration of vitamin B12 is necessary.
- There are often problems with the gastrointestinal tract (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (diarrhea), abdominal distension, abdominal pain, change in taste, loss of appetite). In this case, metformin should be taken with food to reduce irritation of the gastrointestinal tract.
- With prolonged use, as well as metformin with large doses of alcohol, lactic acidosis may occur – a high level of lactic acid in the blood, which can endanger the patient’s life. Occurs more often with an overdose of metformin and in patients with renal insufficiency.
- Very rarely, skin reactions – erythema, rash, pruritic dermatosis.
- Very rarely, liver dysfunction, hepatitis, disappearing with the abolition of the drug.
Metformin is prescribed only by a doctor’s prescription, and his leave is assumed only by prescription.
Unique properties and new uses of Metformin
Metformin is being researched in many countries: the Internet is replete with reports of its newly discovered unique properties. So, what are the uses of metformin and cautions today?
- Metformin prevents and controls type 2 diabetes.
- Metformin does not reduce sugar immediately after taking the first dose. Its action begins after 2.5 hours. Decrease in blood glucose occurs in a few days – from 7 to 14 days.
- Does not cause hypoglycemia in therapeutic doses, with overdose – extremely rare.
- Metformin can be combined with insulin, mannil , etc.
- R. Bernstein (USA) claims that metformin reduces the risk of cancer and also suppresses the hormone of hunger, thereby helping to stabilize the weight.
- According to research by Craig Kerry, metformin can be successfully used in complex treatment of oncology and cardiovascular diseases.
- Metformin promotes the growth of new neurons in the brain and spinal cord.
- In Alzheimer’s disease, the number of nerve cells in the hippocampus , the part of the brain where new memories are formed, is significantly reduced . Experience shows that taking 1000 mg of metformin per day for people weighing 60 kg significantly improves the ability to create new memories.
- There is also an opposite opinion that metformin itself increases the risk of dementia. Taiwanese researchers led by Dr. Ichun Kuan conducted a study of 9,300 patients with type 2 diabetes, analyzing the effects of metformin on the control group of patients. Their conclusion: the longer the patient took Metformin and the higher the dose, the higher the likelihood of developing dementia. This opinion is questioned by many experts.
- Metformin suppresses systemic inflammation – one of the causes of aging, protects the heart and blood vessels from aging.
- The drug improves cholesterol, reducing low-density harmful cholesterol.
- Metformin reduces elevated levels of liver enzymes and can treat non-alcoholic fatty liver in patients with diabetes mellitus.
- Reduces the risk of mortality from a bunch of diabetic complications by about 30%.
- Metformin has no absolute contraindications for diseases of the kidneys, liver, chronic heart failure. If there are any, the doctor adjusts the dose, and the patient continues to use metformin . However, the decision of the doctor in severe pathologies of the heart, liver and kidneys of the patient may not be in favor of taking this drug.
- Metformin is able to reduce the level of vitamin B12, so when it is used it is necessary to monitor blood counts.
- It is used in the absence of ovulation in patients with infertility.
- Metformin stabilizes weight when recruiting, caused by antipsychotic drugs.
- Can not be combined with alcohol in order to avoid complications such as lactic acidosis (a deadly complication).
- Metformin is a candidate for becoming a cure for old age.
- It is being studied as a potential drug for the possible treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in patients with type 2 diabetes.
From this list, new uses of metformin (except for type 2 diabetes), which have been investigated by scientists, are highlighted . For the sake of justice, I must say that many of these new indications for use disproved the work of other researchers. So, experts are still arguing – reduces the weight of metformin or not. Some papers indicate successful stimulation of ovulation with metformin , while others tell about the minor effects of the drug on the reproductive system.
Therefore, it is impossible to take this drug as an absolutely healthy remedy for aging and from aging, although the media advertise metformin as an old drug that is ready to become a new “ rejuvenating apple.” In metformin has a list of indications, which in our country (and the world) lies primarily in the treatment of diabetes of the second type.