Treatment of diabetes of the second type is long and requires the use of special drugs. The choice of drugs depends not only on the severity of the disease, but also on the individual condition of the patient, the characteristics of his body, the presence of additional diseases.
The drug Metformin in type 2 diabetes has been one of the most used for many decades. This is a derivative of biguanides (a class of artificially synthesized chemicals with a hypoglycemic effect), whose therapeutic effects cause a decrease in blood glucose levels and a therapeutic effect. As you know, diabetes of the second type is insulin-independent. And this means that there are two approaches to its treatment - reducing blood sugar levels and stimulating additional insulin production. The use of metformin for diabetics allows you to stabilize the level of glucose. Consider the main advantages and disadvantages of this drug.
Principle of Metformin
The active ingredient is metformin hydrochloride. From the class of biguanides, he is the only one who has a positive therapeutic effect.Patient reviews indicate that this drug works better than many others in its class. This is due to the fact that it acts at the cellular level, increasing their insulin sensitivity. Thanks to treatment with Metformin, the following effects are observed:
- the liver synthesizes less glucose;
- more fatty acids begin to oxidize;
- cells become more susceptible to insulin;
- less glucose is absorbed in the small intestine;
- muscles begin to consume more glucose;
- part of the glucose during digestion is converted into lactate (lactic acid).
Thus, the drug reduces blood sugar in an indirect way, since its main effect is to increase the body's sensitivity to insulin.
Due to the fact that the tool stimulates the oxidation of fatty acids, there are additional therapeutic effects that expand the group of those who are recommended to drink Metformin. They are as follows:
- the formation of atherosclerotic vascular plaques stops;
- decreases body weight, which has a positive effect on the treatment of metabolic syndrome;
- normal blood pressure.
It should be noted that the process of oxidation of fatty acids consists in their destruction and transformation into energy. Thus, fat reserves are reduced, the body becomes more slender. Therefore, the drug is often used for weight loss, because it stimulates the direct burning of fat.
The negative side of taking Metformin
Medical practice and patient testimonials indicate that this hypoglycemic agent also has negative effects. This is due to the same increased activity in the oxidation of lipids. In the course of this biochemical process, a lot of not only energy is generated, but also lactate (lactic acid), which often leads to acidosis, that is, the shift of the pH to the acid side. This means that there are more acids in the blood than is required, which makes it difficult for all organs and systems to work, even to death.
Lactic acidosis can occur both gradually and quite unexpectedly. The symptoms are usually mild and insignificant, but sometimes it comes to complications when even dialysis is required (i.e., connection to an artificial kidney apparatus). Symptoms of lactic acidosis are as follows:
- the appearance of weakness;
- shallow breathing;
- low blood pressure;
- low body temperature;
- muscle pain, etc.
Treatment of lactic acidosis is usually symptomatic, in rare cases hemodialysis is prescribed (a specialized blood purification procedure).
What is Metformin used for?
The use of the drug is aimed at the treatment of type 2 diabetes, as well as for the prevention of this disease. Often, doctors prescribe a means to combat obesity, accelerated aging, to normalize metabolism.
Contraindications to the use of Metformin
The remedy for the treatment of diabetes should not be used in the following cases:
- during pregnancy and lactation;
- children less than 10 years;
- low-calorie diet;
- after surgery and injury;
- with liver pathologies;
- with previous lactic acidosis;
- if there is a tendency to lactic acidosis;
- in the presence of renal failure in history.
How to take Metformin?
Patients who wish to recover from an excess of glucose in the blood, it is important to know how to take metformin in diabetes mellitus. It should be noted that there are products on the market with different dosages, ranging from 500 mg to 1000 mg. There are also drugs that have a prolonged effect. The initial dose is prescribed in the minimum dosage, after which the doctor may recommend an increase. The amount of use per day can also be correlated by a doctor, but the maximum allowed daily dose is no more than 2 g.
What to do in case of drug overdose
You should not increase the dose of the drug to enhance the effect of the drug or speed up the recovery time. Usually, an overdose ends miserably - causing tremendous harm to the body, there are often cases of death.
The danger of Metformin overdose is the development of lactic acidosis. Typical signs of the disease are abdominal (that is, in the abdomen) and muscle pain, digestive problems, rapid breathing, low body temperature, dizziness and loss of consciousness until the coma.
If you have at least one of these symptoms and you must immediately stop taking the drug and immediately consult a doctor. The hospital will take all measures to remove lactate from the body. In the most severe cases, hemodialysis is prescribed. It is most effective and gives quick results.
Interaction with other drugs
This biguanide derivative has a characteristic feature - almost all the substance is excreted through the kidneys unchanged, and the rest of it (about 10%) accumulates in the body. And if the kidneys start to work intermittently, Metformin cumulates more into the tissues, which leads to negative consequences, even to a coma.
It is also very important to harmonize the use of hypoglycemic agents with insulin. After all, if Metformin is in the blood more than expected, the patient with insulin may fall into the hypoglycemic coma due to a sharp decrease in glucose level.
Also, a sharp decrease in blood glucose is observed when combined with Metformin the following drugs:
- sulfonylurea derivatives;
- MAO inhibitors (classic antidepressants);
- ACE inhibitors;
And these drugs, while being applied with a hypoglycemic drug, on the contrary, reduce its activity:
- thyroid hormones;
- oral contraceptives;
- a nicotinic acid;
- calcium receptor blockers;
- isoniazides, etc.
So, Metformin is an excellent glucose-lowering drug, which is highly effective, but at the same time is not a universal remedy. It has its negative effects and contraindications. Most of them are minor and disappear within 1-2 weeks, but others may force you to stop taking it.
In order for the drug to be effective, it is necessary to coordinate the dosage with the doctor, follow all his recommendations, strictly adhere to the prescribed diet and carefully monitor the contraindications and its side effects. You also need to remember that the main enemy of Metformin is alcohol, so for the time of treatment they receive alcohol-containing beverages should be excluded. This is due to the fact that alcohol blocks the work of a number of liver enzymes. Thus, more Metformin enters the bloodstream, which leads to a sharp decrease in the level of glucose up to hypoglycemia. In addition, the alcohol in contact with the drug forms lactic acid. thus, its use at the time of treatment with this remedy is contraindicated.