Glucophage

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Glucophage (GLOO-koh-fayj) is a drug used to treat diabetes mellitus (a condition in which the body cannot control the level of sugar in the blood ). It is also being studied in the treatment of cancer. It decreases the amount of glucose (a type of sugar) released into the bloodstream from the liver and increases the body’s use of the glucose. Glucophage is a type of antidiabetic agent. Also called metformin hydrochloride.

Information about Glucophage

Metformin is a first line agent for the treatment of type 2 diabetes that can be used alone or in combination with sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones or other hypoglycemic agents.

Liver safety of Glucophage

Metformin has not been linked to serum enzyme elevations during therapy and is an exceeding rare cause of idiosyncratic clinically apparent acute liver injury.

Mechanism of action of Glucophage

Metformin (met for' min) is a biguanine and acts as an insulin sensitizing agent, probably through activation of adenosine monophosphate dependent (AMP) kinase in liver and muscle tissue. Metformin is often associated with weight loss making it a preferred, first line agent for management of overweight patients with type 2 diabetes. Initial concerns about the possibility that metformin (like the related biguanine phenformin) could induce lactic acidosis have been largely resolved, although the agent is contraindicated in patients with renal dysfunction because of this reason and should be used with caution in patients with significant liver disease.

FDA approval information for Glucophage

Glucophage was approved for use in the United States in 1995 and is currently one of the most commonly used drugs for the therapy of diabetes, with more than 30 million prescriptions filled in the United States yearly.

Dosage and administration for Glucophage

Metformin is available in many generic forms in tablets of 500, 850 or 1000 mg, the recommended regimen being to start with 500 or 850 mg once daily and increase based upon tolerance to 1000 to 2550 mg daily taken in two divided doses.

Brand name for Glucophage

Commercial formulations include Glucophage, Glumetza, Fortamet and Riomet. Metformin is also available in extended release formulations and in combinations with sulfonylureas such as glipizide (Metaglip) or glyburide (Glucovance), DDP-4 inhibitors such as alogliptin (Kazano), linagliptin (Jentadueto), saxagliptin (Kombiglyze) and sitagliptin (Janumet), as well as thiazolidinediones such as pioglitazone (Actoplus) and rosiglitazone (Avandamet).

Side effects of Glucophage

Metformin is generally well tolerated but side effects can include diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset, abdominal pain, nausea, weakness, headache, dizziness and rash.

Antidiabetics

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