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March 15, 2006

Other, Pills for Diabetes

Question from Columbus, Georgia, USA:

I have been taking metformin twice a day. I recently discovered that I was taking 1000 mg more than I was supposed to be taking due to incorrect instructions on the pill bottle. Also, I discovered that I have been taking the metformin like that possibly since 2004. I know this because of some old pill bottles I had saved to use for other uses. What types of damage could this have caused to my system or organs? I have to say to that I do not feel well most of the time and can't even say how long that has been. I don't feel like doing anything and tire out quickly when I do attempt activity. What should I look for as possible damage due to taking all this metformin? I also take glyburide, 5 mg and Actos, 30mg (Actos added within this last year), twice daily as well.

Answer:

The biggest issues are the gastrointestinal side effects with nausea, vomiting, and loose stools. If you have your physician do a complete physical with laboratory tests, you should be able to find most of the issues. At one time, there was also a warning of B12 deficient anemia. You should also have this checked. Liver and kidney function should also be part of this. I would recommend you discuss this completely with your physician so that plans can be made for follow-up of this.

JTL