Precautions

Drug information provided by: Micromedex

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits, especially during the first few weeks that you take this medicine. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Under certain conditions, too much metformin can cause lactic acidosis. The symptoms of lactic acidosis are severe and quick to appear, and are usually occur when other health problems not related to the medicine are present and are very severe, such as a heart attack or kidney failure. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include abdominal or stomach discomfort, decreased appetite, diarrhea, fast, shallow breathing, a general feeling of discomfort, muscle pain or cramping, and unusual sleepiness, tiredness, or weakness.

If symptoms of lactic acidosis occur, you should get immediate emergency medical help.

This medicine may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Low blood sugar can also occur if you delay or miss a meal or snack, exercise more than usual, drink alcohol, cannot eat because of nausea or vomiting, take certain medicines, or take this medicine with another type of diabetes medicine (eg, insulin, glimepiride, or pioglitazone). Symptoms of low blood sugar must be treated before they cause you to pass out (unconsciousness). People feel different symptoms with low blood sugar. It is important that you learn which symptoms you usually have so you can treat it quickly.

Symptoms of low blood sugar include anxiety, behavior changes similar to being drunk, blurred vision, cold sweats, confusion, cool, pale skin, difficulty with thinking, drowsiness, excessive hunger, fast heartbeat, headaches that continue, nausea, nervousness, nightmares, restless sleep, shakiness, slurred speech, or unusual tiredness or weakness.

If symptoms of low blood sugar occur, eat glucose tablets or gel, corn syrup, honey, or sugar cubes, or drink fruit juice, non-diet soft drinks, or sugar dissolved in water. Also, check your blood for low blood sugar. Glucagon is used in emergency situations when severe symptoms such as seizures (convulsions) or unconsciousness occur. Have a glucagon kit available, along with a syringe and needle, and know how to use it. Members of your family should also know how to use it.

Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) may occur if you do not take enough or skip a dose of your diabetes medicine, overeat or do not follow your diet plan, have a fever or infection, or do not exercise as much as usual.

Symptoms of high blood sugar include blurred vision, drowsiness, dry mouth, flushed, dry skin, fruit-like breath odor, increased urination (frequency and amount), ketones in the urine, loss of appetite, sleepiness, stomachache, nausea, or vomiting, tiredness, troubled breathing (rapid and deep), unconsciousness (passed out), or unusual thirst.

If symptoms of high blood sugar occur, check your blood sugar level and then call your doctor for instructions.

There may be a time when you need emergency help for a problem caused by your diabetes. You need to be prepared for these emergencies. It is a good idea to wear a medical identification (ID) bracelet or neck chain at all times. Also, carry an ID card in your wallet or purse that says you have diabetes and a list of all your medicines.

It is important to tell the doctor in charge that you are taking this medicine if you are going to have any medical or surgical procedures.

Pancreatitis may occur while you are using this medicine. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have a sudden and severe stomach pain, chills, constipation, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, or lightheadedness.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, angioedema, or certain skin conditions (Stevens-Johnson syndrome). These reactions can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, fever or chills, trouble breathing or swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, mouth, or throat while you are using this medicine.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.