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What Glucophage is and what it is used for
Glucophage contains metformin, a medicine to treat diabetes. It belongs to a group of medicines called biguanides. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that makes your body take in glucose (sugar) from the blood. Your body uses glucose to produce energy or stores it for future use. If you have diabetes, your pancreas does not make enough insulin or your body is not able to use properly the insulin it produces. This leads to a high level of glucose in your blood. Glucophage helps to lower your blood glucose to as normal a level as possible If you are an overweight adult, taking Glucophage over a long period of time also helps to lower the risk of complications associated with diabetes. Glucophage is associated with either a stable body weight or modest weight loss. Glucophage is used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes (also called ‘non-insulin dependent diabetes’) when diet and exercise alone have not been enough to control your blood glucose levels. It is used particularly in overweight patients. Adults can take Glucophage on its own or together with other medicines to treat diabetes (medicines taken by mouth or insulin). Children 10 years and over and adolescents can take Glucophage on its own or together with insulin
How to take Glucophage
Always take Glucophage exactly as your doctor has told you. Check
with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
Glucophage cannot replace the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Continue
to follow any advice about diet that your doctor has given you and
get some regular exercise.
Children 10 years and over and adolescents usually start with 500 mg
or 850 mg Glucophage once a day. The maximum daily dose is 2000 mg
taken as 2 or 3 divided doses. Treatment of children between 10 and
12 years of age is only recommended on specific advice from your
doctor, as experience in this age group is limited.
Adults usually start with 500 mg or 850 mg Glucophage two or three
times a day. The maximum daily dose is 3000 mg taken as 3 divided doses.
If you have reduced kidney function, your doctor may prescribe a lower dose.
If you take insulin too, your doctor will tell you how to start Glucophage.
• Your doctor will perform regular blood glucose tests and will adapt your dose of Glucophage to your blood glucose levels. Make sure that you talk to your doctor regularly. This is particularly important for children and adolescents or if you are an older person.
• Your doctor will also check at least once a year how well your kidneys work. You may need more frequent checks if you are an older person or if your kidneys are not working normally. How to take Glucophage Take Glucophage with or after a meal. This will avoid you having side effects affecting your digestion. Do not crush or chew the tablets. Swallow each tablet with a glass of water.
• If you take one dose a day, take it in the morning (breakfast)
• If you take two divided doses a day, take them in the morning (breakfast) and evening (dinner)
• If you take three divided doses a day, take them in the morning (breakfast), at noon (lunch) and in the evening (dinner) If, after some time, you think that the effect of Glucophage is too strong or too weak, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. If you take more Glucophage than you should If you have taken more Glucophage than you should have, you may experience lactic acidosis. Symptoms of lactic acidosis are non-specific such as vomiting, bellyache (abdominal pain) with muscle cramps, a general feeling of not being well with severe tiredness, and difficulty in breathing. Further symptoms are reduced body temperature and heartbeat. If you experience some of these symptoms, you should seek immediately medical attention, as lactic acidosis may lead to coma. Stop taking Glucophage immediately and contact a doctor or the nearest hospital straight away. If you forget to take Glucophage Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose. Take the next dose at the usual time. If you have any further questions on the use of this product, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Possible side effects
Like all medicines, Glucophage can cause side effects, although not
everybody gets them.
The following side effects may occur: Glucophage may cause a very rare (may affect up to 1 user in 10,000), but very serious side effect called lactic acidosis (see section ‘Warnings and precautions’). If this happens you must stop taking Glucophage and contact a doctor or the nearest hospital immediately, as lactic acidosis may lead to coma.
Very common side effects (in more than 1 in 10 people)
• digestive problems, such as feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting), diarrhoea, bellyache (abdominal pain) and loss of appetite. These side effects most often happen at the beginning of the treatment with Glucophage. It helps if you spread the doses over the day and if you take Glucophage with or straight after a meal. If symptoms continue, stop taking Glucophage and talk to your doctor.
Common side effects (in less than 1 in 10 people)
• changes in taste.
Very rare side effects (in less than 1 in 10,000 people)
• lactic acidosis. This is a very rare but serious complication particularly if your kidneys are not working properly. Symptoms of lactic acidosis are non-specific (see section ‘Warning and precautions’)
• abnormalities in liver function tests or hepatitis (inflammation of the liver; this may cause tiredness, loss of appetite, weight loss, with or without yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes). If this happens to you, stop taking Glucophage and talk to your doctor.
• skin reactions such as redness of the skin (erythema), itching or an itchy rash (hives).
• low vitamin B12 levels in the blood. Children and adolescents Limited data in children and adolescents showed that adverse events were similar in nature and severity to those reported in adults.
Reporting of side effects If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via Ireland HPRA Pharmacovigilance, Earlsfort Terrace, IRL
•Dublin 2 Tel: +353 1 6764971, Fax: +353 1 6762517, Website: www.hpra.ie, e-mail: [email protected] United Kingdom Yellow Card Scheme, Website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
How to Store Glucophage
Keep out of the sight and reach of children. If a child is treated with Glucophage, parents and caregivers are advised to oversee how this medicine is used. This medicinal product does not require any special storage conditions. Do not use Glucophage after the expiry date which is stated on the carton or the bottle or the blister after ‘EXP’. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month. Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines no longer required. These measures will help to protect the environment
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