Metformin side effects

I have taken Metformin off and on since I was diagnosed with PCOS . It makes me sick. My stomach hurts and I have diarrhea and even vomiting at times. I know I need to take this medication for my PCOS and the Dr says it is a common side effect. Does anyone else have this problem and if so have you found anything that helps. I started back taking it Friday and by yesterday I was sipping Gatorade and fighting nausea and diarrhea. The Dr says the side effects will subside as my body adjusts. How long does that take?? This is horrible!!! Any helpful advice would be appreciated! Thanks !


  • xcga33i
    xcga33i Posts: 26 Member
    Don't eat any white sugar...plain or baked into anything for a while and match any carbs you eat up with protien..even if it is a spoon full of pb. Also you have to work on finding what triggers the issues. I love morning coffee with 1/2 n 1/2 and sugar but I figured out I can't have the cream so I use 1% milk and light cool whip. It is less calories and very yummy.

    I have been taking Met again for 2 months now and the first month was hard. I really had to watch any and all carbs. I ate a lot of chicken. Hubby thought we were going to start At the time I was in the middle of couch 2 5k and I had a really hard time running because I didn't want to get that far from my house. But at almost 2 months...all is fine...but still no cream :(

    Oh and I am on 1000mg. I at 500 morning and night but I started out on just 500 in the am for a week.

    Keep taking it with lots of water and it will get better. I don't really even notice it now.
  • miranda_mom
    miranda_mom Posts: 873 Member
    ^ This is true about the triggers. Sometimes I would be fine and other times I wouldn't. My issues were never very severe though and they did get better with time. (I was on it for about a year and four months - went off of it at the end of my first trimester, in August).
  • aprilwilliams2729
    aprilwilliams2729 Posts: 107 Member
    Also, if your symptoms are severe (which it sounds like they might be) check with your doctor about switching to the extended release version of Met. I know of several people who that helped. :)
  • CariBgood
    CariBgood Posts: 88 Member
    I am one of the lucky ones I guess. I started just a couple of weeks ago and I really haven't had any serious issues. Just a truly heinous metallic taste in my mouth for a few days. Like the other ladies I would really recommend watching your carb intake, although I would add watching the amount of fats that you eat is another helpful hint. Consistency is the key though. I noticed that you mentioned you take it off and on. Since the medicine takes a couple of months to really work you need to be sure to take it every time you are supposed too.
  • I have been on Metformin for 2 years now for PCOS and i had bad affects like yours for awhile. My Endo said to expect it for 2 weeks while my body adjusts but when it went beyond that i spoke to a friend who also has PCOS and is on Metformin as well. She advised to change brands as she had similiar problems on certain brands of Metformin. So i spoke to the chemist and changed to a different brand of Metformin within 3 days of taking a different brand i was fine! Speak to your chemist about trying a different brand of Metformin, might work. The main ingrediants of the meds are the same it's just the smaller ingrediants different companies add that can cause reactions to be different.
  • kenzietate
    kenzietate Posts: 399 Member
    I agree with the white sugar triggers, though for me it was anything with carbs or sugar in it. I had to go low carb to control the symptoms. But that helped me even more because eating low carb helped me lose weight also. It is different for everyone though. Also, after I had been on it for a long time, the reactions were not nearly as sever as the first few months. Also, though most people seem to do better with the time release metformin, I do better with the regular tablets but taking them throughout the day. I hope you feel better!
  • boxem180
    boxem180 Posts: 63 Member
    I'm on the extended release and even with that, if I'm eating too many carbs over the course of the week, the digestive issues come on strong. Last Thursday-Saturday, I had a carb-fest (for no real reason) and by Sunday, the bowel issues were very severe. I've been on a no-grain diet since then and things have straightened out. It was a good reminder what carbs do to me.
  • alicebot
    alicebot Posts: 50 Member
    I am on Metformin for good five years now. Initially I used to take 1000mcg tablet and it made me sick all day long. But there are a few things I have done over hese five years and now it doesn't make me sick, in fact, makes me feel fuller for long. The only problem being: sugar cravings: I mean serious sugar cravings :)

    A few things that I did try:

    1. Talking to my doctor and taking slow-release metformin..
    2. Go back to smaller dosage and ask your doctor to increase the strength gradually as you adjust.
    3. Trust me: Stop eating fried food, metformin is at its worse when I eat junk/fried foods.
    4. Sugar: If I eat a lot of sugary stuff, I feel really tight in my tummy, idk how to explain but I am very uncomfortable.
    5. Last but the most important point: Exercise: As I strated working out, I have had really less to no pain. You will feel the change in your body, workout also helps relax your muscles which in turn makes pain a lot more bearable.

    All body typs are different, experiment with different things and keep a track of changes you observe. Soon, you'll know what works for you and what doesn't. It's a tough life with PCOS, but manageable. :) And it helps you lose weight too, if I am under my calorie limit and maintain a deficit, no cheat days whatsoever, it aids in weight loss.
    Hope you adjust to it soon and feel better. :flowerforyou:

  • bec_232
    bec_232 Posts: 32 Member
    Starting metformin should always be a gradual thing, according to my doctor. For example: If you are taking 500 mg than cut it in half. Take half before bed for 5-7 days. Then go to the full dose. If you are taking 1000 mg than take only 250 or 500 at night. Then work your way up to 500 at night and 500 in the morning. I've been on it for 20 years, only going off of it twice while pregnant and still had to do it gradually.

    Also really limit any alcohol and anything with sugar. No meal should be more than 50 carbs. Yes sometimes I go over but I pay for it later like you described. Increasing your protein is helpful too.

    The way I look at it is: - when I eat badly the fats and sugar turns into a poison inside my body and the metformin forces that poison out anyway it can. Therefore eating good is important! You will learn what foods bother you more than others.

    Best of luck.
  • mayakiss
    mayakiss Posts: 13 Member
    I am super sensitive to Metformin and the extended release did not help me either.
    What I had to do was cut one 500mg pill into 4 pieces (pill cutter from Rite Aid helped). I started take a quarter with breakfast, lunch, dinner. After a week I went up to half a pill with breakfast lunch dinner. I am in week three and still cannot do a whole pill at one time. Puts my belly into a big knot. So what I am doing is a half with the major meals and a quarter with the smaller snacks. That is getting me to 1000mg and the doctor is happy with that.

    Hope this helps!!
  • I just started back on Metformin about two months ago. For the first few weeks, I had stomach cramps and diarrhea like I did before; I was going almost every day. My body has gotten used to it, but now it seems to make me constipated for about two days and then I just go. It's kind of weird. You need to watch your carb and sugar intake like everyone else said and it should get better. If it doesn't, you should see about getting prescribed the extended release version.
  • gabbygirl78
    gabbygirl78 Posts: 936 Member
    Thanks everyone for the helpful tips... I was taking 500 mg twice a day.. Once in the morning and once at night. I started taking only 500 mg once a day for about a week and then added the 2nd dose back every other day then every day and I am symptom free now. That was horrible but thank goodness I got through it and now I am doing fine with it! Thanks again!:flowerforyou:
  • ragan4bama
    ragan4bama Posts: 58 Member
    Try taking it at night, that seems to help me.
  • ErinCoury
    ErinCoury Posts: 32 Member
    I have found through being on metformin for years, that when you take your medication, if you take it with a glass of milk it helps the side effects. When I first started taking it I was having the same issues as you, then I started taking it with a glass of milk and my side effects went away. I've taken it with water == horrible poops and gas and stomach cramps, as soon as I've taken it with milk, i don't have the issues as bad :)