Pharm

Glucophage

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Glucophage, Metformin, Biguanide, Glumetza

  • See Also
  • History
  1. Other Biguanides removed from U.S. market in 1960's
    1. Toxicity limited prior use (Lactic Acidosis)
    2. Metformin has not demonstrated increased Lactic Acidosis risk
  2. Oldest Diabetes Mellitus agent
    1. Derivative of Goat's Rue (French Lily)
    2. Used in medieval Europe for Diabetes Mellitus
  • Pathophysiology
  1. Decreases hepatic Glucose production (gluconeogenesis)
  2. Increases peripheral Glucose uptake (sensitizes peripheral tissue to Insulin)
  3. Slows intestinal Glucose absorption
  • Indications
  1. First line agent in Type II Diabetes Mellitus
    1. Obese patients
    2. Hyperlipidemia
    3. Children over age 10 with Type II Diabetes
  2. Metabolic Syndrome
  3. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  4. Induces Ovulation (with or without Hyperandrogenism)
    1. Carmina (2004) Am J Obstet Gynecol 191:1580-4 [PubMed]
  5. Other indicators
    1. Hemoglobin A1C <9%
    2. High Fasting Blood Glucose 160-250 mg/dl
    3. Dyslipidemia
  • Contraindications
  1. Risk of Lactic Acidosis (theoretical based on older Biguanides)
    1. Avoid in Renal Insufficiency
      1. Newer guidelines (2012)
        1. Avoid if GFR <30 ml/min
        2. Reduce Metformin dose to half if GFR 30-50 ml/min
        3. (2012) Presc Lett 19(11): 64
      2. Older guidelines
        1. Avoid if GFR <60 ml/min
        2. Avoid if Serum Creatinine >1.5 mg/dl in men and >1.4 mg/dl in women
    2. Avoid with Alcohol Abuse
    3. Avoid concurrent IV Iodinated Contrast Dye use
      1. Allow 48 hour wash-out of dye or
      2. Confirm normal Renal Function tests after dye
    4. Large review found no associated increased risk of Lactic Acidosis
      1. Salpeter (2003) Arch Intern Med 163(21): 2594-602 [PubMed]
      2. Salpeter (2010) Cochrane Database Syst Rev (4):CD002967 [PubMed]
  2. Avoid in hepatic insufficiency
    1. Also avoid if excessive Alcohol
  3. Hold prior to Iodinated Contrast Dye or surgery
  4. Avoid in Proteinuria
  5. Avoid in Peripheral Vascular Disease
  6. Avoid in Coronary Artery Disease
  7. Not contraindicated in stable Congestive Heart Failure
    1. Eurich (2007) BMJ 335(7618):497 [PubMed]
  1. Maximum daily dose of Metformin is 2500 mg (for either regular or XR)
  2. Effective maximum dose is 2000 mg daily
    1. Effect drops off above 2000 mg
  3. Dose related drop in Fasting Blood Glucose
    1. Metformin 500 mg decreases Fasting Blood Glucose by 19 mg/dl
    2. Metformin 1000 mg decreases Fasting Blood Glucose by 31 mg/dl
    3. Metformin 1500 mg decreases Fasting Blood Glucose by 41 mg/dl
    4. Metformin 2000 mg decreases Fasting Blood Glucose by 78 mg/dl
    5. Metformin 2500 mg decreases Fasting Blood Glucose by 62 mg/dl
  4. References
    1. Garber (1997) Am J Med 103(6):491-7 +PMID: 9428832 [PubMed]
  • Dosing
  • Short acting
  1. Week 1: 500 mg orally twice daily
  2. Week 2
    1. Example 1: 1000 mg orally qAM and 500 mg orally qPM
    2. Example 2: 850 mg orally twice daily
  3. Week 3: 1000 mg orally twice daily
  • Dosing
  • Long Acting
  1. Start: Metformin XR 500 mg daily
  2. Increase by 500 mg weekly until at 2000 mg or at goal Blood Sugar
    1. May divide dosing to twice daily
  • Cost
  1. Most formulations (except Glumetza) are generic and very affordable
  2. Most cost-effective agent in the Type II Diabetes Mellitus arsenal of medications
  3. Avoid Glumetza (nearly $7000 extended release Metformin)
  • Adverse effects
  1. Gastrointestinal side effects (up to one third of patients)
    1. Symptoms
      1. Abdominal discomfort
      2. Diarrhea
      3. Metallic Taste
      4. Nausea or Vomiting
      5. Anorexia
    2. Prevention (improving compliance)
      1. Expect gastrointestinal adverse effects to be transient (days to weeks)
      2. Slow titration from 500 mg daily (or 250 mg) up to 2000 mg over 1-2 months
      3. Extended release formulations have less adverse effects (and may be divided twice daily)
      4. Take during after a large meal
  2. Folic Acid Deficiency
    1. Decreased Folic Acid absorption
  3. Vitamin B12 Deficiency (due to decreased absorption)
    1. See Vitamin B12 Deficiency for management
    2. Consider periodic screening every 2-3 years in higher risk patients
      1. Proton Pump Inhibitor use
      2. Vegetarians
      3. Elderly
    3. Check serum B12 when Peripheral Neuropathy occurs (do not assume Diabetic Nephropathy only)
      1. Recheck serum B12 if new numbness or Paresthesias occur
    4. Ting (2007) Arch Intern Med 166:1975-9 [PubMed]
  4. Lactic Acidosis Risk
    1. See contraindications above
    2. Despite theoretical risk, no evidence that Lactic Acidosis occurs with Metformin
      1. Salpeter (2003) Arch Intern Med 163:2594-602 [PubMed]