Metformin is used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults and children over 10 years of age. This drug is taken orally and is available in the form of regular tablets, extended release tablets and solution. The regular pills come in dosage strengths of 500, 850 and 1000mg, whilst the extended release tablets are available in 500, 750, and 1000mg. As for the oral solution, the preparation is 500 mg/5 ml.
Starting Dosages for Metformin
The recommended starting metformin dosage is 500mg twice a day or 850mg once a day for adults being treated with the immediate release form of the drug.
In the case of extended tablets, the initial adult dose is 500mg or 1000mg once daily. For patients aged between 10 and 16 years, the starting dose is 500mg twice daily. This applies only to immediate release tablets, as the safety and effectiveness of metformin in its extended release form has not yet been established in patients less than 18 years of age.
Ongoing Metformin Dosage
In adults, the immediate release dose is incrementally increased by 500mg a week or 850mg biweekly depending on patient tolerance of the drug and the response of the glucose levels in the blood. The maximum daily dosage is 2550mg, which is divided into 3 separate doses.
With extended tablets, the dose can be increased by 500mg a week and the maximum dosage is 2000mg, which may be taken once daily or in 2 divided doses.
For pediatric patients, the dose may be increased by 500mg weekly up to a maximum dosage of 2000mg.
Dosage Tips and Warnings
- Metformin should be taken with food, preferably a full meal.
- If the patient takes 3 dosages a day, a dose can be taken with each main meal.
- In the case of 2 daily doses, the drug should be taken at breakfast and with an evening meal and for a single daily dose the medication should be taken with an evening meal. T
- The most common side effects are related to dosage, so if a patient starts experiencing nausea, vomiting, gas, bloating, diarrhea or loss of appetite, his or her healthcare provider may reduce the dose.
Although metformin is a useful drug, it must be handled extremely carefully. The medication should be taken exactly as prescribed by the patient’s healthcare provider. Patients with renal disease or liver disease should inform their healthcare provider before starting this drug. If a patient has any concerns or questions about the medication, he or she should consult their doctor.