metformin Diarrhea

At one point in your life, you might have experienced diarrhea. It is a common occurrence, although not severe. If it occurs, it lasts two to three days and resolves on its own. The following are symptoms of diarrhea:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loose or thin stools
  • Watery stools
  • An urgent feeling to have a bowel movement
  • Blood or mucus in the stool
  • Weight loss
  • Fever

The last three signs are an indication that the condition is severe. It may be triggered by drinking contaminated water, food or being in contact with someone having it. There are many causes of this disease, and Metformin can be one of them.

Metformin and Diarrhea

Metformin is a prescription drug to treat type II diabetes. It’s the first choice of patients with type II diabetes since it’s not expensive. However, it has other uses like treating: infertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, gestational diabetes, pre-diabetes and it’s believed to slow aging as the patients on the medication live longer.

The medication is effective in dealing with infertility and controlling blood sugar levels.

Is Diarrhea a Side Effect of Metformin?

Yes, it is; the patient using the medicine will encounter gastrointestinal adverse effects like abdominal pain, nausea, indigestion, loss of appetite, and diarrhea from Metformin. Maybe your friend had been on the medicine and didn’t encounter it and you aren’t convinced that the drug causes diarrhea. Bear in mind people are different in terms of height, weight and genetic make. Furthermore, the dosage and the period one is on the medication are determinants of diarrhea Metformin; some patients never experience this undesired effect.

Before the doctor puts you on the drug, it’s important to have a discussion on Metformin diarrhea. This helps you to be prepared for it and to adjust your daily routine if need be. For example, if your work involves traveling and the doctor prescribes the medicine, it’s important to minimize traveling to observe how you react to it. In case you, experience diarrhea you will visit the washroom more frequently.

Why Does This Medication Cause Diarrhea?

The drug interferes with the body functions, thus it is a response to the new substance introduced into the body. The good thing is that as your body adjusts to the medication, it will clear on its own. Nonetheless, if it persists or become bothersome, seek medical intervention. The medical care provider may give medicines or natural remedies for Metformin diarrhea control.

Another contributing factor is a higher dosage. If the starting dose is high or increased too quickly, this can cause diarrhea. The drug is available in the following forms:

  • Oral immediate release tablet
  • Oral extended release tablet
  • Oral solution

Patients on oral immediate release tablet are at a greater risk of experiencing Metformin with diarrhea after eating when compared to those on oral extended release tablet; it’s advisable to take the drug with food. An individual on the medicine may experience weight loss due to loss of appetite and diarrhea. This explains why the medication is prescribed for weight loss particularly, on obese patients who need to shed off the extra kilos. The question; can this drug cause diarrhea been tackled as expected? For more information or clarification on Metformin and diarrhea causes, consult the medical doctor or a pharmacist.

How to Control Diarrhea from this Medication

If you have been the drug for some time and have undergone Metformin diarrhea weight loss; you have lost a lot of water and electrolytes (potassium, chloride, sodium and bicarbonate) in your liquid stool, although you may lose water and electrolytes by breathing, vomiting, sweating and urinating. Dehydration may occur if the losses aren’t replaced with immediate effect; consequently, severe dehydrating which is life threatening occurs. Thus, as mentioned earlier, if diarrhea doesn’t stop on its own, one should seek medical attention. Below are tips on how to stop diarrhea from Metformin:

  1. Patients should be started on the lowest effective dosage, to get the desired response, the drug is increased gradually such as 500 mg per week; it can even take a month to get the correct dose, all these helps the body get used to the medication.
  2. If an individual is on the immediate release tablet, he or she should switch to extended release tablet since minimal diarrhea is associated with it. Nevertheless, it should be started at a low dose and increased slowly, if necessary.
  3. A Patient on a higher dose which is intolerable is lowered
  4. Take the medicine after a meal to reduce stomach problems like nausea, abdominal pains, gas as well as Metformin diarrhea
  5. Take lots of fluids such as soup, water, tea with honey and sports drink; drink these liquids between meals to stay hydrated
  6. The doctor may prescribe drugs to treat diarrhea
  7. An alternative medication to Metformin may be given if diarrhea continues

As earlier mentioned, it’s easy to spread diarrhea to other family members by coming into contact with infectious agents. So, do the following for Metformin diarrhea prevention at home if a loved one has it:

  1. Avoid sharing towels and utensils with the affected person.
  2. Clean and disinfect the toilet, the handle, and the seat after every use.
  3. After the last incident of passing watery stools, the patient should stay indoors for at least 48 hours.
  4. The rectal area may become sore as a result of the frequent bowel movement, you can experience itching, burning or pain on visiting the bathroom. Take a warm bath for relief and pat the area to dry (don’t rub) using a clean soft cloth and apply white petroleum jelly.

Also, avoid the following since they can trigger or worsen diarrhea while on the therapy:

  • Coffee
  • A lot of fiber
  • Alcohol 
  • Fructose 
  • Dairy 

Other side effects of This Drug

Apart from Metformin side effects diarrhea, there are other negative effects to look out and seek medical attention since for example:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Fever or chills
  • Sleepiness
  • Increased hunger
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety
  • Cramping or muscle pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Headache 
  • Dizziness
  • Increased sweating 
  • Cold sweats

In Conclusion

You have information on Metformin side effects diarrhea treatment and the precautions to take. Follow the guidelines given by the healthcare professional; follow the dosage, don’t take an overdose nor an under dose. If not sure concerning the dose, seek clarification. Furthermore, if the prevention measures given to deal with it are ineffective, refer to the doctor. However, considering all the benefits of the medicine, it’s worth the trial; the advantages outweighs the risks, consider taking it but be vigilant about the side effects.

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