Precautions

Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to use it. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

If you are rapidly gaining weight, having shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort, extreme tiredness or weakness, irregular breathing, irregular heartbeat, or excessive swelling of the hands, wrist, ankles, or feet, check with your doctor right away. These may be symptoms of heart problems or fluid retention (too much water in the body).

Let your doctor or dentist know you are taking this medicine. Your doctor may advise you to stop taking this medicine before you have major surgery or diagnostic tests, especially tests that use a contrast dye.

Under certain conditions, too much metformin can cause a serious condition called lactic acidosis. The symptoms of lactic acidosis are severe and appear quickly. Lactic acidosis usually occurs when other serious health problems are present, such as a heart attack or kidney failure. The symptoms of lactic acidosis include: abdominal or stomach discomfort, decreased appetite, diarrhea, fast or shallow breathing, a general feeling of discomfort, muscle pain or cramping, and unusual sleepiness, tiredness, or weakness. If you have more than one of these symptoms together, you should get immediate emergency medical help.

Check with your doctor right away if you have pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.

Check with your doctor right away if blurred vision, decreased vision, or any other change in vision occurs while you are taking this medicine. Your doctor may want you to have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor).

This medicine may increase the risk for bone fractures in women. Ask your doctor about ways to keep your bones strong to help prevent fractures.

This medicine may increase your risk for bladder cancer if you take it for more than 12 months. Tell your doctor right away if you have blood in the urine, a frequent, strong, or increased urge to urinate, painful urination, or pain in the back, lower abdomen, or stomach.

This medicine can 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, or cannot eat because of nausea or vomiting or take certain medicines. Low blood sugar must be treated before it causes you to pass out (unconsciousness). People feel different symptoms with low blood sugar. It is important that you learn which symptoms you have in order to treat it quickly. Talk to your doctor about the best way to treat low blood sugar.

Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) may occur if you do not take enough or skip a dose of your medicine, overeat or do not follow your meal plan, have a fever or infection, or do not exercise as much as usual. High blood sugar can be very serious and must be treated right away. It is important that you learn which symptoms you have in order to treat it quickly. Talk to your doctor about the best way to treat high blood sugar.

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 with a list of all your medicines.

This medicine may cause some women who do not have regular monthly periods to ovulate. This can increase the chance of pregnancy. If you are a woman of childbearing potential, you should discuss birth control options with your doctor.

Limit how much alcohol you drink while using this medicine. Heavy alcohol use can increase your risk for lactic acidosis.

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.