Fortamet

DRUG DESCRIPTION

FORTAMET® (metformin hydrochloride) Extended-Release Tablets contain an oral antihyperglycemic drug used in the management of type 2 diabetes. Metformin hydrochloride (N, N?­ dimethylimidodicarbonimidic diamide hydrochloride) is a member of the biguanide class of oral antihyperglycemics and is not chemically or pharmacologically related to any other class of oral antihyperglycemic agents. The empirical formula of metformin hydrochloride is C4H11N5•HCl and its molecular weight is 165.63. Its structural formula is:

FORTAMET (metformin hydrochloride) structural formula illustration

Metformin hydrochloride is a white to off-white crystalline powder that is freely soluble in water and is practically insoluble in acetone, ether, and chloroform. The pKa of metformin is 12.4. The pH of a 1% aqueous solution of metformin hydrochloride is 6.68.

FORTAMET® (metformin hcl) Extended-Release Tablets are designed for once-a-day oral administration and deliver 500 mg or 1000 mg of metformin hydrochloride. In addition to the active ingredient metformin hydrochloride, each tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: candellila wax, cellulose acetate, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycols (PEG 400, PEG 8000), polysorbate 80, povidone, sodium lauryl sulfate, synthetic black iron oxides, titanium dioxide, and triacetin. FORTAMET® (metformin hcl) meets USP Dissolution Test 5.

System Components And performance

FORTAMET® (metformin hcl) was developed as an extended-release formulation of metformin hydrochloride and designed for once-a-day oral administration using the patented single-composition osmotic technology (SCOT™). The tablet is similar in appearance to other film-coated oral administered tablets but it consists of an osmotically active core formulation that is surrounded by a semipermeable membrane. Two laser drilled exit ports exist in the membrane, one on either side of the tablet. The core formulation is composed primarily of drug with small concentrations of excipients. The semipermeable membrane is permeable to water but not to higher molecular weight components of biological fluids. Upon ingestion, water is taken up through the membrane, which in turn dissolves the drug and excipients in the core formulation. The dissolved drug and excipients exit through the laser drilled ports in the membrane. The rate of drug delivery is constant and dependent upon the maintenance of a constant osmotic gradient across the membrane. This situation exists so long as there is undissolved drug present in the core tablet. Following the dissolution of the core materials, the rate of drug delivery slowly decreases until the osmotic gradient across the membrane falls to zero at which time delivery ceases. The membrane coating remains intact during the transit of the dosage form through the gastrointestinal tract and is excreted in the feces.

What are the possible side effects of metformin (Fortamet, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Riomet)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these symptoms of lactic acidosis: weakness, increasing sleepiness, slow heart rate, cold feeling, muscle pain, shortness of breath, stomach pain, feeling light-headed, and fainting.

Stop using metformin and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Fortamet »

What are the precautions when taking metformin hcl (Fortamet)?

See also Warning section.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to metformin; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: severe breathing problems (such as obstructive lung disease, severe asthma), metabolic acidosis (such as diabetic ketoacidosis), blood problems (such as anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency), kidney disease, liver disease.

Before having surgery or any X-ray/scanning procedure using injectable iodinated contrast material, tell your doctor that you are taking this medication. You...

Read All Potential Precautions of Fortamet »


Fortamet Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, diarrhea, weakness, or a metallic taste in the mouth may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. If stomach symptoms return later (after taking the same dose for several days or weeks), tell your doctor immediately. Stomach symptoms that occur after the first days of your treatment may be signs of lactic acidosis.

An empty tablet shell may appear in your stool. This effect is harmless because your body has already absorbed the medication.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Metformin does not usually cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Low blood sugar may occur if this drug is prescribed with other anti-diabetic medications. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about whether the dose of your other diabetic medication(s) needs to be lowered.

Symptoms of low blood sugar include sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet. It is a good habit to carry glucose tablets or gel to treat low blood sugar. If you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, rapidly raise your blood sugar by eating a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, or candy, or drink fruit juice or non-diet soda. Tell your doctor about the reaction immediately. Low blood sugar is more likely if you drink large amounts of alcohol, do unusually heavy exercise, or do not consume enough calories from food. To help prevent low blood sugar, eat meals on a regular schedule, and do not skip meals. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out what you should do if you miss a meal.

Symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) include thirst, increased urination, confusion, drowsiness, flushing, rapid breathing, and fruity breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor immediately. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication(s).

Stop taking this medication and tell your doctor right away if this very serious side effect occurs: lactic acidosis (see Warning section).

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

PRECAUTIONS: See also Warning section.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to metformin; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: severe breathing problems (such as obstructive lung disease, severe asthma), metabolic acidosis (such as diabetic ketoacidosis), blood problems (such as anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency), kidney disease, liver disease.

Before having surgery or any X-ray/scanning procedure using injectable iodinated contrast material, tell your doctor that you are taking this medication. You will need to temporarily stop this medication before the time of your surgery/procedure. Consult your doctor for further instructions.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

You may experience blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness due to extremely low or high blood sugar levels. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely.

Limit alcohol while using this medication because it can increase your risk of lactic acidosis and developing low blood sugar.

High fever, "water pills" (diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide), too much sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting may cause loss of too much body water (dehydration) and increase your risk of lactic acidosis. Stop taking this medication and tell your doctor right away if you have prolonged diarrhea or vomiting. Be sure to drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration unless your doctor directs you otherwise.

It may be harder to control your blood sugar when your body is stressed (such as due to fever, infection, injury, or surgery). Consult your doctor because increased stress may require a change in your treatment plan, medications, or blood sugar testing.

Older adults may be a greater risk for side effects such as low blood sugar or lactic acidosis.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Your doctor may direct you to use insulin instead of this product during your pregnancy. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.

Metformin can cause changes in the menstrual cycle (promote ovulation) and increase the risk of becoming pregnant. Consult your doctor or pharmacist about the use of reliable birth control while using this medication.

Metformin passes into breast milk in small amounts. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


Fortamet Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Fortamet, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Riomet

Generic Name: metformin (Pronunciation: met FOR min)

  • What is metformin (Fortamet)?
  • What are the possible side effects of metformin (Fortamet)?
  • What is the most important information I should know about metformin (Fortamet)?
  • What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking metformin (Fortamet)?
  • How should I take metformin (Fortamet)?
  • What happens if I miss a dose (Fortamet)?
  • What happens if I overdose (Fortamet)?
  • What should I avoid while taking metformin (Fortamet)?
  • What other drugs will affect metformin (Fortamet)?
  • Where can I get more information?

What is metformin (Fortamet)?

Metformin is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels.

Metformin is for people with type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes. Metformin is sometimes used in combination with insulin or other medications, but it is not for treating type 1 diabetes.

Metformin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of metformin (Fortamet)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these symptoms of lactic acidosis: weakness, increasing sleepiness, slow heart rate, cold feeling, muscle pain, shortness of breath, stomach pain, feeling light-headed, and fainting.

Stop using metformin and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • feeling short of breath, even with mild exertion;
  • swelling or rapid weight gain; or
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache or muscle pain;
  • weakness; or
  • mild nausesa, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, stomach pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about metformin (Fortamet)?

Do not use metformin if you have kidney disease, or if you are in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis (call your doctor for treatment with insulin).

Before taking metformin, tell your doctor if you have liver disease or a history of heart disease.

Some people have developed a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis while taking metformin. Get emergency medical help if you have any of these symptoms of lactic acidosis: weakness, increasing sleepiness, slow heart rate, cold feeling, muscle pain, shortness of breath, stomach pain, feeling light-headed, and fainting.

If you need to have any type of x-ray or CT scan using a dye that is injected into a vein, you may need to temporarily stop taking metformin. Be sure the doctor knows ahead of time that you are using this medication.

Know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to recognize them, including hunger, headache, confusion, irritability, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, tremors, sweating, fast heartbeat, seizure (convulsions), fainting, or coma (severe hypoglycemia can be fatal). Always keep a source of sugar available in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar.

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