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December 4, 2001

Pills for Diabetes

Question from San Diego, California, USA:

Why do they say metformin is not recommended for people who are not obese? Does lactic acidosis tend to happen in thin people?

Answer:

Lactic acidosis tends to occur in people with conditions in which the medicine is not appropriately eliminated and the drug hangs around a long time. Such conditions include heart failure, liver failure, and kidney failure. These happen to be the contraindications for Glucophage [metformin] use.

JTL

[Editor’s comment: Depending on circumstances, lactic acidosis could occur to anybody no matter what their weight. I am unaware that there is any recommendation about using or not using metformin based on body weight.

WWQ]