There are countless drugs for human use. Some are over the counter drugs and others are prescription drugs. Since medicines alter the body functions, it’s advisable to visit a health care facility and avoid self-medication in case you fall ill. Metformin 500 mg (contain hydrochloride or HCL as the active ingredient, thus also known as Metformin hydrochloride) is an example of a prescription drug which has been in use for a decade and the drug has been helpful to many.
To buy Metformin 500 mg you must have a prescription from your doctor. It’s important to take note that the drug is available in different strengths and 500 mg is the smallest available pill and the starting dose for many patients; although the doctor may opt to start you on a different strength depending on what you are being treated for.
What is Metformin HCL 500 Mg Used For?
The drug uses are:
- To treat type II diabetes
- To treat PCOS
- To prevent and manage cancer
- A remedy for weight loss
The main use of this medciation is to treat type II diabetes. Type II diabetes is a condition in which your blood glucose piles up in the bloodstream and your cells eventually become insulin resistant. The condition develops slowly and you may tend to ignore the symptoms since they are very mild. The early signs of type II diabetes may include:
- Constant hunger
- Energy loss
- Weight loss
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
- Dry mouth
- Itchy skin
- Blurry vision
You can dismiss the signs above as they seem to be normal, for example, fatigue, if your day is full of activities, you may relate feeling exhausted with the daily activities. However, be watchful and visit a doctor if you detect the above symptoms before diabetes gets out of control. With time, the signs worsen and so does the disease. If blood glucose remains elevated for a long time, you will experience the following:
- Foot pain
- Yeast infection
- Cuts and sores taking time to heal
- Dark patches on the skin
Don’t wait when it’s too late if you note any sign, seek medical intervention with immediate effect. Remember, if type II diabetes isn’t treated, it can lead to death. Scared? That’s why you must be vigilant with issues concerning your health and spot anything out of the ordinary and avoid self-medication as earlier mentioned. Type II diabetes has an impact on the heart, such as heart attack and heart failure. For pregnant women with type II diabetes, they are at risk of complications if blood glucose levels aren’t controlled. Once you see the doctor, he or she will give Metformin 500 mg tablets. The drug comes in the form of:
- Oral immediate-release tablet
- Oral extended-release tablet
- Oral solution
How to Take
How to take this medication will depend if it is a tablet or a solution. For the tablet, you swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water without chewing, breaking or crushing it. For the oral solution, you don’t need water. The oral solution and the tablet must be used during meals or after meals. One of the initial signs of type II diabetes is constant hunger, and as a response to hunger, you will eat even if it means junk food. What happens next? You will constantly add weight and may become obese. That’s why it’s crucial to incorporate diet and exercise for these tablets to be effective and shed the extra pounds; diet helps the heart to be healthy and maintains the blood glucose levels within the normal range. Diet for type II diabetes don’t have to be boring and complicated, the recommended diet for diabetic patients can be followed for anyone: the following are the basics of the diet:
- Plan meals and snacks and adhere to the schedule.
- Opt for foods rich in nutrients and low in calories.
- Avoid overeating.
- If you purchase processed foods, read the labels keenly, though processed foods are highly discouraged.
Eating carbohydrate in the diet is inevitable, but go for the carbohydrates rich in fiber such as:
- Legumes for example beans
- Whole grains
Your body requires fats, choose healthy fats from:
- Olive oil
- Peanut oil
Bear in mind the above monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good but contain calories, thus consume them in moderation. When it comes to dairy products, low fat is the best.
This medication has other uses which are off-label. The drug for PCOS is beneficial to women with polycystic ovary syndrome. If you have the condition, you have challenges with insulin control in the body. Left untreated it can cause type II diabetes and lead to infertility. Don’t allow the PCOS to get to such levels, see a doctor if you note the following:
- Irregular or no periods
- Difficulty conceiving
- Too much hair growth on the face, buttocks, back and chest
- Weight gain
- Hair thinning or hair loss
- Oily skin or acne
The drug gives a ray of hope to cancer patients or those at risk of getting cancer. The use of the drug to prevent and manage cancer is controversial as those against using tablets for cancer points out that the results are inconsistent. The beneficiaries of the drug are mainly breast cancer patients.
Metformin for Weight Loss
Weight loss is a dilemma to many. People struggle to lose weight to attain their ideal weight and go to the extremes of starving themselves. Excess weight can affect one’s self-esteem. Metformin and weight loss are closely related. Research has proved that tablets can help you shed off the extra pounds. It’s unclear how the drug works for one to lose weight; one theory claims that one of the side effects of Metformin is the loss of appetite causing you to eat less thus weight loss. One rule of losing weight is to burn more calories and consume less.
It’s paramount to bear in mind that the drug doesn’t work instantly but calls for patience. You will note the weight loss effects after one to two years, don’t expect results overnight, you will only get frustrated. After one to two years, you may have lost at most seven pounds. Nonetheless, if you take the drug without diet and exercise, you may not lose any pound. Furthermore, the lost weight can be temporal as you take Metformin HCL 500 mg weight loss. Once you finish the prescribed dose, greater chances are you can go back to your original weight. Additionally, while on the medication, you can still add extra kilos gradually. To record positive effect and enjoy the benefit of the drug, exercise and diet are vital; the medication can’t work on its own. In short, Metformin is a magic pill and need to be supported with diet and exercise. Exercise is good for the overall health of the body.
Can the doctor prescribe the tablet for weight loss? If you have pre-diabetes, type II diabetes or PCOS and you are obese. The doctor can give a prescription considering the circumstances. Also, the physician can administer the drug even without the mentioned conditions to assist you in losing weight. As mentioned earlier, this is an off-label use as it’s not authorized by the FDA, this explains why there is limited information on the effectiveness of Metformin 500 mg for weight loss as well as the other uses which are off-label. As you lose the extra pounds, remember other situations or conditions can lead to weight loss. Weight loss due to the medication must be gradual if you lose weight at an alarming rate; it’s advisable to check with your health care provider. The physician will determine the cause of the rapid weight loss and if need be receive the right medication for the condition responsible for the rapid weight loss.
You can follow the diet outlined above in combination with exercise. If you feel hungry, eat a healthy snack like nuts. It is advisable to avoid the following foods as you adhere to the diet:
- Foods with a lot of saturated fat
- Baked foods
- Sugary drinks
- Processed foods and snacks
- Salty foods
- Fried snacks
You can find a nutritionist to come up with a diet plan with preferred food low in calories but tasty and which will fit your lifestyle and are readily available. As for the exercise, they will aid in weight loss, minimize chances of getting heart ailments, regulate blood glucose and promote your blood flow. For a patient with type I diabetes one can exercise, but with close monitoring to avoid hypoglycemia. On the other hand, patients with type II diabetes are at a risk of experiencing low blood sugar because of exercise. It’s recommended to take appropriate precautions. If concerned about the negative effects of blood sugar or less motivated, giving up on exercise isn’t the solution, remember your goal is to lose weight. The tips below can assist you to make exercise part of your lifestyle as you take measures:
- If you have chronic ailments or diabetes, talk to the doctor first.
- If necessary, the medical provider may advise you to take an exercise stress test before engaging in an exercise program, particularly if you are over 40 years. The test confirms if the body, more so the heart is in good condition for you to enjoy the exercise. As you exercise, be prepared with items like glucose tablets, healthy drink containing sugar, and quick snacks such as gel or fruit
- You can wear a bracelet to indicate you are diabetic and the drugs you are on; in the case of an emergency, the people near you will have knowledge of your condition and the first aid to give.
- Exercise in moderation, avoid strenuous exercise
- Measure your blood sugar levels prior and after exercise, if the glucose levels are low eat something first
Along with the medication needed effects, you will encounter side effects for Metformin 500 mg. As the body becomes used to the medication, the negative effects clear on their own. Side effects are innumerable, some serious, severe, mild, common and rare. The drug affects people differently, so, you can experience a few side effects or none at all. The less severe unfavorable effects can turn out to be serious to you because of your genetic makeup and the period you will be on the medication. Whether you are using the drug for weight loss, treat diabetic or any other use, you have to consult the doctor in advance to be prepared in case the side effects occurs.
Follow the doctor’s prescription and if uncertain on the dose, contact the doctor for clarification. Are you an alcoholic? Do away with alcohol as it can lower the effectiveness of the drug or cause severe side effects Metformin 500 mg, for example, lactic acidosis. If unable to give up the alcohol, be open to the doctor about it to give you the way forward. Drugs can react with Metformin, if on any medication; let the doctor know for him to manage all the medications you are on. To minimize drug interactions, have your prescription filled at one pharmacy, the pharmacist can detect any possible drug interaction. The following drugs may interact with Metformin:
- Diabetes medicine
- Blood pressure medication
- Cholesterol drugs
- Glaucoma drugs
- Pain medications
- Malaria drugs
- Hormonal drugs
- Tuberculosis drugs
- Thyroid drugs
The drug is for patients with type II diabetes but not type I.
Common negative effects are:
- Stomach pain
- Gas or sour stomach
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Flu like symptoms
- Abnormal stool
The usual unwanted effects of this medication may clear with time and are not bothersome. If the common negative effects persist you can contact your doctor; he may give medications to improve the side effects or give tips to manage and lessen the side effects.
Severe negative effects are:
- Lactic acidosis
- Low blood sugar
- Fever or chills
- Painful urination
- Fast breathing
- Lower back pain
- Muscle pain
The severe negative effects need medical attention, once you spot them, check with the health care provider. Discuss with the doctor the unwanted effects for more clarity and the symptoms for lactic acidosis and low blood sugar. The undesirable effects shouldn’t put you off from using the drug; the medication is safe for human use. Any drug, even over the counter drugs leads to negative effects, focus on the benefits of the drug. To ensure you get the most from this medicine and you are fit to use it, inform the doctor on your medical history, such as disease of the kidney, heart or liver.