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Sonshyn
Total Posts: 110
Registered on: ‎01-14-2011

How quickly does metformin act?

Metformin confuses me a little. I was told it takes a few weeks to build up, and it seems I am having more tests within target range now. So I figured - it's not super fast acting, right?

So yesterday I forgot to take it, and woke up to a 130 this morning. Before lunch it was up to 153, when I took today's dose (500 mg once daily). By two hours after lunch, my test was down into the 120's. So - how quickly does a dose work, once it's built up in your system? Was the drop from taking met, or something else? Is there any general rule?
Type 2, dx'd Jan 2011 with A1C 6.7.
A1C June 2014 6.0, Met 2000 mg daily
lizzylou
Total Posts: 13,930
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Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

How quickly does metformin act?

No, it does not act immediately.  For some people it even takes several months to be fully active. After that it doesn't act when you take a dose it maintains a certain level in your system.  It not like other pills you can take and they start working to lower the numbers after you take them click here 

You woke up at 130, it was 153 before lunch.  What and when did you eat in between?  If you didn't eat that means that the numbers were continuing to climb because you didn't eat.  To have a lower number after eating then before means that you went too long without food and your liver was starting to dump glucose into your system because of that.  Eating signals the liver that it can stop dumping glucose because food is on board.  This would happen regardless of if you took the metformin or not.  It just happens that you ran into a coincidence.

There are no rules that determine how long it will take to build in your system.  Everyone is different.

Lizzy
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Frequent Responder
rbrugler
Total Posts: 457
Registered on: ‎12-02-2010

How quickly does metformin act?

 
Hi!  Others will have more complete answers for you, but for now:

1.  Yes, met takes a while to build up in your system.

2.  In all probablity, your dr will increase your dosage.  Don't fret about that.  They build it up slowly to a level that helps you.

3.  forgettng to take a dose will not impact your readings.

4.  You don't say how long you have been taking it, but i would guess your #'s are due to what you ate rather than the met.   Just a guess.

Good luck, and again, others can explain it a lot better than I can. 

Ron from Cleveland
New Member
princessbeiter
Total Posts: 107
Registered on: ‎01-29-2011

How quickly does metformin act?


As far as I can tell, Metformin doesn't take that much time to start working.  The reason, I believe, that doctors start out at a lower dose and gradually increase it is to prevent the side effects, like diarrhea, from being too bad.

But, someone else may be able to tell you more.  I'm pretty new at this, myself.

I have diabetes, diabetes does not have me!

Life without humor is not worth living!

Get Thee behind me Satan, and DON'T PUSH!

lizzylou
Total Posts: 13,930
Topics: 565
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Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

How quickly does metformin act?

Metformin does take time to start working.  It can take anywhere from several weeks to several months depending on the person.

It is usually given in small doses to start and then increase to help with the side effects however.  That's correct.

Lizzy

Knowledge is Power!





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New Member
princessbeiter
Total Posts: 107
Registered on: ‎01-29-2011

How quickly does metformin act?


Thanks, Lizzy.  I was just going by the limited information I found on Drugs.com.  I do know that my numbers dropped rapidly when I first started taking it, but that was most likely due to what I was eating.

Can anyone recommend some sort of device to keep me from eating all the time?  Maybe a taser?  lol

I have diabetes, diabetes does not have me!

Life without humor is not worth living!

Get Thee behind me Satan, and DON'T PUSH!

mollythed
Total Posts: 5,898
Topics: 75
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Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

How quickly does metformin act?

 

"Molly" (aka mollythed)
Type 2 diabetes diagnosed in 1995, now managed with Lantus, Humalog and Metformin; diet and exercise.
My husband and three adult sons also have type 2 diabetes.





mollythed
Total Posts: 5,898
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Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

How quickly does metformin act?


I wouldn't deny that metfromin begins to work gradually, and seems to take a month or more to build up to its most effective state for many people.  On the other hand, I began to see an effect in less than a week, perhaps just three or four days.

Perhaps part of the reason was that I went for nine years without meds before I got to the point of needing medication.  Many people start metformin right at the beginning, soon after they are diagnosed with diabetes.  When they start metformin, they are learning how to adopt a healthier way of eating.  When all is said and done, it is hard to pick out exactly which actions played what role in lowering blood glucose. 

I began metformin on two 500mg tablets a day.  Doctors often start patients off on just a single table for the first week or more.  Now, that is a wise strategy if it means that it reduces some of the side effect that affect about 60% of those who start metformin, but it may be too small a dose to have any measurable effect on blood glucose right away, so those people may not see much benefit until they go to an increased dose and stay there for a while.

In any case, metformin doesn't work by lower high blood glucose so much as it works by inhibiting a rise in glucose.  It work to, in a sense, calm down the liver and make it less like to turn its supply of glycogen into glucose and ship it out into the blood when it is not really necessary.  It does also seem to work to minimize insulin resistance, so that we can make better use of the insulin our bodies make, but it doesn't seem to cause us to produce more insulin that we would have otherwise.

Half the metformin we take is cleared out of blood plasma in only about six hours, and none of it is detectable after twenty-four hours.  It seems to accumulate in red blood cells but even there, half of it is gone after  about 18 hours.  It's not so much that it accumulates in our bodies over time as that its continuous presence over time has a cumulative effect on the way, for instance, that the liver responds to lower blood glucose by not overproducing extra glucose.

I do think that metformin can begin to go to work in a matter of days, and continue to increase in effectiveness for several weeks.  I don't think that we can expect to see a noticeable effect from a single extra dose, or a single forgotten dose.

"Molly" (aka mollythed)
Type 2 diabetes diagnosed in 1995, now managed with Lantus, Humalog and Metformin; diet and exercise.
My husband and three adult sons also have type 2 diabetes.





Frequent Responder
rbrugler
Total Posts: 457
Registered on: ‎12-02-2010

How quickly does metformin act?


Maybe Rae could come up with something like the purple pigmy puma or whatever it is!   LOL

Ron from Cleveland
lizzylou
Total Posts: 13,930
Topics: 565
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Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

How quickly does metformin act?

Can anyone recommend some sort of device to keep me from eating all the time? Maybe a taser? lol

I know that's a joke, but back in the 70's it because popular for people to have their jaws wired shut for diets.

Of course the inventive ones found out just how much food can be sipped through a straw, especially milkshakes.

Lizzy
Knowledge is Power!





Here's some useful links, click on the titles


Testing 101
 
 All About Carbs

Resources For The Un-insured and Discount Medicine and Equipment

LizzyLou Videos



Lizzy's Blog
for lots more