Indicators Metformin Is Working (Or Is not Working)

When folks begin taking Metformin, it might probably take some time to see any optimistic change in blood sugar ranges or weight. 

Should you’ve not too long ago added this medicine to your day by day routine, you could be concerned to see outcomes and quick. 

This text will examine how you’ll know in case your Metformin is or isn’t working, and what you are able to do about it. 

Indicators Metformin Is Working (Or Is not Working)

Why do folks take Metformin? 

Metformin is a first-line remedy for prediabetes and sort 2 diabetes. 

The American Diabetes Affiliation recommends Metformin for individuals who have:

  • prediabetes between the ages of 25-59 years previous
  • an HbA1c of 6% or increased
  • a BMI of 35 or increased
  • fasting plasma glucose (fasting at the very least 8 hours) of 110 mg/dL or increased
  • a previous gestational diabetes prognosis 
  • a kind 2 diabetes prognosis.

Taking Metformin repeatedly may help enhance insulin sensitivity, scale back urge for food, decrease blood sugar, and HbA1c ranges, and might even assist folks lose a modest quantity of weight when used at the side of a nutritious diet and common bodily exercise. 

Unwanted side effects of Metformin 

Experiencing unwanted side effects of any new drug, together with Metformin, is extraordinarily frequent. Most of those unwanted side effects are minor and subside inside just a few weeks of taking the medicine. 

Experiencing unwanted side effects will not be a sign that your Metformin is working, per se. 

Maintain a be careful for the next signs and name your physician if any of those worsen or don’t go away on their very own after just a few weeks: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased urge for food 
  • Weight reduction 
  • Low blood sugar (particularly should you additionally take insulin)
  • Metallic style in your mouth 
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Gasoline
  • Constipation
  • Abdomen ache

Search emergency medical consideration should you’re experiencing extreme nausea and have low blood sugar, and can’t maintain something down with which to deal with it.

You possibly can be taught extra in our information Metformin Aspect Results: What You Must Know.

Indicators Metformin is working

There are just a few indicators that your Metformin is working, and the results of the medicine might construct over time, so don’t worry if you don’t see instant outcomes.

Decrease blood sugar ranges

Should you examine your blood sugars repeatedly at house, you could discover that your blood sugar ranges are persistently decrease when you begin taking Metformin, particularly after consuming, when you could be used to elevated ranges. 

Decrease HbA1c stage

If you don’t examine your blood sugars at house, you may contact your physician’s workplace after just a few months on Metformin and so they can run a glucose check (A1c check), which measures your common blood sugar stage over the earlier three months. 

Your common blood sugar stage ought to be decrease after just a few months on Metformin. If not, focus on different medicines to Metformin and/or life-style adjustments along with your physician.  

You can too measure your HbA1c at house with a easy check package you should purchase at your native pharmacy or on-line. 

You’ve misplaced some weight 

Moreover, you could discover that you just’re dropping some weight, particularly should you’re taking Metformin at the side of a nutritious diet and elevated bodily exercise. Nevertheless, weight reduction is usually modest and might be inconsistent. 

Indicators Metformin will not be working

Should you’ve been taking Metformin for a month or extra, however discover the next signs, it may be an indication that Metformin will not be working, and you could have to both improve your dose, work along with your physician and experiment with mixture medicine, or search an alternate medicine. 

Maintain a be careful for the next indicators. 

Your blood sugar ranges have remained stubbornly excessive 

In case your blood sugars proceed to spike after meals, or you might have been routinely waking up with excessive blood sugars regardless of taking Metformin, it might be an indication that Metformin isn’t working and it is best to name your physician. 

It’s best to trace your day by day blood sugar ranges you probably have an at-home glucometer. 

Your HbA1c stage has not improved

In case your baseline HbA1c stage was increased than you’d prefer it to be, however after some time on Metformin (often 3 months after starting therapy), your HbA1c hasn’t budged. It is a signal that Metformin will not be repeatedly bringing your blood sugars down. 

It’s vital to be cognizant of the indicators of excessive blood sugar. These embrace:

  • Elevated starvation
  • Elevated thirst
  • Blurry imaginative and prescient
  • Elevated and frequent urination 
  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Physique and headache
  • Fruity-smelling breath 
  • Weight reduction (which can be confused with Metformin working, however can also be an indication of dangerously excessive blood sugar ranges) 

You’re not reducing weight otherwise you’ve gained weight 

Metformin doesn’t trigger weight reduction in everybody who takes it, however many individuals do take pleasure in modest weight reduction (lower than 10 kilos) after taking the medicine for a number of months. 

Nevertheless, should you’re maintaining a healthy diet and exercising repeatedly at the side of taking Metformin, however your weight hasn’t budged otherwise you’ve gained weight, this may very well be an indication that you could be want to extend your dose or search an alternate. This can be an indication that you might want to contact your physician. 

Incessantly requested questions

How lengthy does Metformin take to work? 

The medicine wants time to construct up in your system, and oftentimes, your physician will begin you on a low dose, to keep away from uncomfortable unwanted side effects. 

Don’t count on a miracle throughout the first week of therapy, however after just a few weeks, it is best to begin to discover decrease blood sugar ranges, particularly after meals. 

Any weight reduction and enhancements in HbA1c ranges, nevertheless, might take a number of months of taking Metformin at your full dose. 

How lengthy ought to I be on Metformin earlier than giving up? 

Don’t cease taking Metformin earlier than it has an opportunity to completely work inside your physique, which may take as much as a month (or a number of).

By no means cease taking a prescribed medicine earlier than speaking along with your physician. Quitting any drug chilly turkey may cause disagreeable unwanted side effects, so weaning beneath the steerage of your physician is essential. 

How can I maximize the advantages of Metformin? 

Metformin by itself will not be a miracle drug. To benefit from the most advantages from the medicine, it’s best mixed with wholesome consuming and common bodily exercise. 

Work along with your physician or a registered dietitian (RD) to develop a meal plan and set of wholesome actions you can match into your life-style. 

The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) recommends that almost all adults purpose for 150 minutes of reasonable exercise per week, or about half-hour (or extra!) per day (like strolling, jogging, swimming, or biking), plus 2 days per week of muscle-strengthening actions, like weightlifting. 

What are the options to Metformin? 

If Metformin really isn’t working for you, there are options. Some folks with unmanageable blood sugars could also be finest suited to begin insulin remedy.

Different folks might go for an SGLT-2 inhibitor equivalent to Invokana, Farxiga, Jardiance, or Steglatro. 
Different options to Metformin embrace GLP-1 receptor agonists equivalent to Bydureon, Byetta, Ozempic, Adlyxin, Rybelsus, Trulicity, or Victoza. 

Some folks might go for oral medicines together with Sulfonylureas (SFUs), and DPP-4 inhibitors equivalent to Tradjenta, Onglyza, Nesina, Januvia, or Thiazolidinediones (TZDs).

Lastly, should you’re experiencing low blood sugar ranges or don’t really feel properly on Metformin, you could possibly wean your self fully off the medicine with out beginning something new. Discuss to your physician to be taught extra. 


Metformin is an reasonably priced and accessible drug that hundreds of thousands of individuals take for higher blood sugar administration. Nevertheless, you will need to maintain observe of any unwanted side effects you’re experiencing and take notes to see if the prescription medicine is or will not be working for you and your well being objectives. 

Don’t sit and endure in silence if Metformin is inflicting you uncomfortable unwanted side effects for quite a lot of weeks, or should you’re not seeing the outcomes you had been hoping for. There are options that will work higher for you and your well being objectives. 

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