Glucophage, Glucophage XR

DRUG DESCRIPTION

GLUCOPHAGE® (metformin hydrochloride) Tablets and GLUCOPHAGE® XR (metformin hydrochloride) Extended-Release Tablets are oral antihyperglycemic drugs used in the management of type 2 diabetes. Metformin hydrochloride (N,N-dimethylimidodicarbonimidic diamide hydrochloride) is not chemically or pharmacologically related to any other classes of oral antihyperglycemic agents. The structural formula is as shown:

GLUCOPHAGE® (metformin hydrochloride)  Structural Formula Illustration

Metformin hydrochloride is a white to off-white crystalline compound with a molecular formula of C4H11N5• HCl and a molecular weight of 165.63. Metformin hydrochloride 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.

GLUCOPHAGE tablets contain 500 mg, 850 mg, or 1000 mg of metformin hydrochloride. Each tablet contains the inactive ingredients povidone and magnesium stearate. In addition, the coating for the 500 mg and 850 mg tablets contains hypromellose and the coating for the 1000 mg tablet contains hypromellose and polyethylene glycol.

GLUCOPHAGE XR contains 500 mg or 750 mg of metformin hydrochloride as the active ingredient.

GLUCOPHAGE XR 500 mg tablets contain the inactive ingredients sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, hypromellose, microcrystalline cellulose, and magnesium stearate.

GLUCOPHAGE XR 750 mg tablets contain the inactive ingredients sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, hypromellose, and magnesium stearate.

System Components and Performance

GLUCOPHAGE XR comprises a dual hydrophilic polymer matrix system. Metformin hydrochloride is combined with a drug release controlling polymer to form an “inner” phase, which is then incorporated as discrete particles into an “external” phase of a second polymer. After administration, fluid from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract enters the tablet, causing the polymers to hydrate and swell. Drug is released slowly from the dosage form by a process of diffusion through the gel matrix that is essentially independent of pH. The hydrated polymer system is not rigid and is expected to be broken up by normal peristalsis in the GI tract. The biologically inert components of the tablet may occasionally remain intact during GI transit and will be eliminated in the feces as a soft, hydrated mass.

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 Glucophage, Glucophage XR »

What are the precautions when taking metformin hcl (Glucophage, Glucophage XR)?

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 Glucophage, Glucophage XR »


Glucophage, Glucophage XR 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.

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 at 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.


Glucophage, Glucophage XR Patient Information Including Side Effects

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

Generic Name: metformin (Pronunciation: met FOR min)

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

What is metformin (Glucophage, Glucophage XR)?

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 (Glucophage, Glucophage XR)?

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 (Glucophage, Glucophage XR)?

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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