Weight Loss

How to Get Metformin?

How to Get Metformin?

Metformin is a commonly used and well-tested first-choice treatment for type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) also recommends metformin for people with prediabetes to prevent them from progressing to type 2 diabetes.1 It has a very good safety profile, has been used for many years, and has a clinically tested ability to lower blood sugar without causing hypoglycemia. Preventing or managing type 2 diabetes can help prevent other chronic diseases and the side effects of diabetes, such as blindness, kidney damage, nerve damage, strokes, and heart attacks.

Metformin may also reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease, according to Diabetes Prevention Program research.2 In one study, researchers found that patients taking metformin had a 33% reduction in heart attack risk and a 27% reduction in the risk of death from any cause.3

These benefits help people live longer, meaning metformin has the potential to act as a longevity drug. The Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) trial is a nationwide clinical trial that plans to enroll 3,000 people between the ages of 65 and 79 and follow them over six years. Researchers hope trial results will provide proof of the concept that aging can be treated just like other chronic diseases.

Metformin use may also reduce the risk of dementia, especially in patients who have used metformin for more than two years.4 Several studies have also indicated that metformin may inhibit the growth of tumor cells. As a result, several clinical trials are underway to test metformin as an anti-cancer drug.5 Metformin has many benefits beyond reducing blood sugar and treating type 2 diabetes.

If you want to take advantage of these benefits, how do you get metformin? Metformin is a prescription medication. Whether online or in-person, your first step to getting metformin is an appointment with a healthcare provider. After that, you can get a metformin prescription online.

What is metformin?

Nearly 38% of the U.S. adult population has prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar is higher than what is considered healthy, but not high enough to meet the criteria for type 2 diabetes. When specialized cells in the pancreas need to work harder to bring your blood sugar down, they will eventually burn out or be unable to compensate for the increased demand for insulin. The most likely cause of prediabetes and insulin resistance is being overweight or having obesity. When researchers noticed that weight loss was a common side effect of metformin use, interest increased in using it as a tool for weight management.

signs of diabetes

Metformin lowers your blood sugar and can help you manage your weight. Metformin controls the amount of glucose in your blood and the amount released by your liver.  

Metformin:6

  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Reduces inflammation in the body
  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Reduces blood lipid levels

How metformin helps with weight loss is not fully understood, but it may work by:7

  • Decreasing liver glucose production
  • Altering gut microbiome
  • Suppressing appetite-stimulating brain cells in the hypothalamus
  • Increasing leptin sensitivity
  • Suppressing appetite by increasing lactate production
  • Reversing age-related metabolic changes
  • Altering bile absorption
  • Changing signaling in the gut

How is metformin usually prescribed?

Metformin comes in immediate-release and extended-release pills. The dosage for the immediate-release pill is typically 500 mg twice daily or 850 mg once daily, with a maintenance dose of 2,000 mg total per day. The extended-release pill is typically prescribed as 500 to 1000 mg by mouth daily, to a maximum of 2000 mg/day. Your doctor may choose a different dosage based on other medical conditions you may have, especially kidney or liver disease.

Before writing a metformin prescription, your doctor will review your medical conditions and outline the proper metformin dosage and any special precautions when taking this medication. To avoid stomach upset and other gastrointestinal side effects, your doctor will probably recommend that you take metformin with a meal and gradually increase your dose until you reach a maintenance dose.

What are metformin’s side effects?

The most common side effects of metformin include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain or cramping

More serious side effects of metformin include:

  • Lactic acidosis: Lactic acidosis is a rare but potentially serious side effect. It is important to tell your doctor if you have kidney disease, as this may increase your risk for lactic acidosis. Other risk factors for developing lactic acidosis include older age, a history of heart attacks, coma, heart disease, or stroke. Some medications and excess alcohol consumption can also increase the risk of lactic acidosis. The symptoms of lactic acidosis are often subtle and nonspecific initially, but they often progress to severe fatigue, muscle aches, respiratory distress, difficulty staying awake, and abdominal pain.
  • Anemia: Metformin can cause decreased vitamin B12 by interfering with its absorption from the gastrointestinal tract. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anemia. However, this side effect is rare.
  • Hypoglycemia: Metformin does not affect insulin secretion like many medications that are used to treat diabetes, but you should watch for symptoms of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), such as weakness, tiredness, nausea, and lightheadedness. Hypoglycemia occurs in 1% to 10% of patients taking metformin.

To reduce the risk of side effects from metformin, your doctor will probably start you at a lower dose and gradually increase it if you do not have significant side effects. In addition, taking metformin with a meal can reduce many of the gastrointestinal side effects.

diabetes risk factors and complications

Can I get metformin over the counter?

No, metformin is a prescription medication and cannot be purchased over the counter. Metformin is available as a generic medication, but it also requires a prescription.

Can I get a prescription online for metformin?

Yes, you can get a prescription online for metformin after making an appointment with an online medical professional.

What is a good substitute for metformin?

Metformin synergy combines metformin with leucine and sildenafil to synergistically activate the SIRT 1 pathway to increase potential weight loss and improve lipid metabolism. Researchers found that this combination of medications optimally activated SIRT 1, a pathway that regulates glucose and fat metabolism in the liver. The combination also increases blood supply to the liver and decreases inflammation. Talk to an Invigor Medical specialist to learn more about metformin synergy and see if it will support your weight loss efforts by improving glucose utilization, increasing overall energy, boosting metabolism, and reducing inflammation.

Looking to get metformin? See how Invigor Medical can help today!

Disclaimer

While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider.  You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case.  The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice. 

References

1. Diabetes Prevention Program Research G. Long-term Effects of Metformin on Diabetes Prevention: Identification of Subgroups That Benefited Most in the Diabetes Prevention Program and Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study. Diabetes Care. 2019;42(4):601-608. doi:10.2337/dc18-1970

2.  Aroda VR, Ratner RE. Metformin and Type 2 Diabetes Prevention. Diabetes Spectr. Nov 2018;31(4):336-342. doi:10.2337/ds18-0020

3. Holman RR, Paul SK, Bethel MA, Matthews DR, Neil HA. 10-year follow-up of intensive glucose control in type 2 diabetes. N Engl J Med. Oct 9 2008;359(15):1577-89. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0806470

4. Chin-Hsiao T. Metformin and the Risk of Dementia in Type 2 Diabetes Patients. Aging Dis. Feb 2019;10(1):37-48. doi:10.14336/ad.2017.1202

5. Zi F, Zi H, Li Y, He J, Shi Q, Cai Z. Metformin and cancer: An existing drug for cancer prevention and therapy. Oncol Lett. Jan 2018;15(1):683-690. doi:10.3892/ol.2017.7412

6. DeFronzo RA, Goodman AM. Efficacy of metformin in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The Multicenter Metformin Study Group. N Engl J Med. Aug 31 1995;333(9):541-9. doi:10.1056/nejm199508313330902

7. Yerevanian A, Soukas AA. Metformin: Mechanisms in Human Obesity and Weight Loss. Curr Obes Rep. Jun 2019;8(2):156-164. doi:10.1007/s13679-019-00335-3

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Published: Nov 1, 2022

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