Find A Doctor Common Conditions Recipes Forums Magazine

Home > Magazine > What Happens if You Accidentally Take Too Much Metformin?

Featured Medical Providers

Logo
www.DiabetesIQ.com

What Happens if You Accidentally Take Too Much Metformin?

What Happens if You Accidentally Take Too Much Metformin?

  By: Editors at DiabetesIQ  |  Published: March 07, 2021   
Published: March 07, 2021   

© Sherry Young | Dreamstime.com


Metformin is a medication often prescribed to people who live with type 2 diabetes. It's also prescribed to pregnant women who experience gestational diabetes. Doctors typically prescribe metformin to help patients get on top of their diabetes and manage their condition with greater confidence. As with any other medicine, metformin needs to be taken as prescribed by your doctor. So what happens if you accidentally take too much metformin? Read on to find out. 

 

How does metformin work for people with diabetes?

Many people who live with type 2 diabetes are concerned when they are first prescribed metformin. That's because there's no end date to the prescription and you'll have to take it every day for the foreseeable future. There are also side effects that you need to think about.

Metformin works by helping your body's insulin work better and reducing the amount of glucose your liver releases into the body. When you take metformin, the insulin you produce works better because the drug improves your insulin resistance. Moreover, metformin helps reduce the risk of heart disease, which can be a serious complication of diabetes. Unlike some other diabetes medicines, metformin doesn't cause weight gain. It's a medicine only prescribed to adults and children older than 10. The maximum daily dosage is 2,000 mg a day. 

 

What are the side effects of metformin?

It's recommended that you take your daily dose of metformin with a meal in order to minimize the side effects. Like with most medicines, you may experience some side effects when taking metformin, with some of the most common of them including:

 

  • Being sick or feeling nauseous
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach ache
  • Metallic taste in the mouth

 

The side effects above typically happen in more than 1 in 100 people. There are also some more serious side effects to watch out for. If you're experiencing any of these, it's important to call your doctor straight away.

 

  • Severe tiredness and a general feeling of discomfort
  • Fast or shallow breathing
  • A sore and red tongue, disturbed vision and muscle weakness
  • Yellow skin or the whites of the eyes turning yellow

 

What happens if you take too much metformin?

Because metformin is a drug that you need to take every day, you may sometimes forget that you've already taken it and accidentally take a second dose the same day. If that happens, the first thing to do is not panic and call your doctor or health care provider for advice. Diabetes pills such as metformin can cause low blood sugar if you take more than the daily dose that was prescribed to you. When you call your health care provider, you may expect them to suggest one of the following courses of action:

 

  • Watch for low glucose readings that go under 70 mg/dl
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels very closely that day and call back if you notice something out of the ordinary
  • Watch out for low blood sugar symptoms, which typically include feeling shaky, dizzy, sweaty, weak, or confused. 
  • Your health care provider may advise you to wear a medical bracelet because severe hypoglycemia may lead to seizures and fainting. 
  • You may also be required to exercise less and increase the amount of carbohydrates for the day. 

 

If your doctor has prescribed metformin, talk to them if you're concerned about the side effects. 

 

How to raise your blood sugar levels if you took too much metformin?

If you believe you took too much metformin, measure your blood sugar levels, and if they are too low, consume up to 15 grams of carbohydrates. It's always a good idea to have some fast-acting carbohydrates handy, with examples including saltine crackers, a tablespoon of honey, a couple of pieces of roll candy, or half a can of non-diet soda or fruit juice.

If you don't have any of these handy, you can try some milk or a regular chocolate bar. These shouldn't be your first choice because they also have fat, which delays the glucose from entering your bloodstream. This means that they will elevate your blood sugar levels, but not as quickly.

 

Can you stop taking metformin?

Don't stop taking the medicine if your doctor hasn't recommended it. This is typically a drug that you'll have to take for years, but some people can stop taking it eventually by putting their diabetes into remission. You can typically achieve this by losing weight and making changes to your diet.


Metformin is a drug prescribed to treat diabetes, and it's important to take it exactly as instructed by your doctor. If you end up taking too much metformin by accident, don't panic and get in touch with your health care provider as soon as possible to get advice on what to do next.


AS SEEN ON

AS SEEN ON

Do you have any questions about your diabetes condition or general questions about diabetes? You can now post those questions in DiabetesIQ Forum and have our diabetes experts answer your questions for FREE! Yes, there is absolutely no catch! - Registration only takes a few seconds and it's FREE. No credit card needed. You can ask any number of diabetes questions, all for FREE! Register today and join the conversation!

Find Best Doctors Near You
Latest In Forums
Latest In Forums
Topic Started By Posts Last Poster
Have high risk of diabetes, need advice
January 22, 2021 at 7:13 PM
dave
1
January 22, 2021 at 7:13 PM
dave
Have high risk of diabetes, need advice
January 22, 2021 at 7:13 PM
dave
I have LADA. Any advice?
January 18, 2021 at 11:21 PM
freddie_57
1
January 18, 2021 at 11:21 PM
freddie_57
I have LADA. Any advice?
January 18, 2021 at 11:21 PM
freddie_57
Sugar numbers jump
January 16, 2021 at 8:11 PM
alexrod
1
January 16, 2021 at 8:11 PM
alexrod
Sugar numbers jump
January 16, 2021 at 8:11 PM
alexrod
High blood test results - what to do?
January 15, 2021 at 1:16 PM
mike22
1
January 15, 2021 at 1:16 PM
mike22
High blood test results - what to do?
January 15, 2021 at 1:16 PM
mike22
Why my sugar jumped so high?
January 14, 2021 at 8:03 AM
jack5
1
January 14, 2021 at 8:03 AM
jack5
Why my sugar jumped so high?
January 14, 2021 at 8:03 AM
jack5
How to push my sugar down?
January 14, 2021 at 5:28 PM
frankie_a
1
January 14, 2021 at 5:28 PM
frankie_a
How to push my sugar down?
January 14, 2021 at 5:28 PM
frankie_a
Explain my test results
January 13, 2021 at 7:51 AM
johnny11932
1
January 13, 2021 at 7:51 AM
johnny11932
Explain my test results
January 13, 2021 at 7:51 AM
johnny11932
What burning off insulin means?
January 13, 2021 at 4:14 PM
sammy_v
1
January 13, 2021 at 4:14 PM
sammy_v
What burning off insulin means?
January 13, 2021 at 4:14 PM
sammy_v
What's the experinece of using a pump?
January 13, 2021 at 11:51 PM
ali27
1
January 13, 2021 at 11:51 PM
ali27
What's the experinece of using a pump?
January 13, 2021 at 11:51 PM
ali27
When my blood sugar will start going down?
January 12, 2021 at 10:10 PM
a_lawrence
1
January 12, 2021 at 10:10 PM
a_lawrence
When my blood sugar will start going down?
January 12, 2021 at 10:10 PM
a_lawrence
Find Best Doctors Near You
Expert advice & latest treatment information!
Get FREE Diabetes Newsletter.
By subscribing to our newsletter, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Featured Diabetic-Friendly Recipes

Featured Diabetic-Friendly Recipes

Cabbage and Avocado Salad

Cabbage and Avocado Salad

Baked Pumpkin

Baked Pumpkin

Steamed Tilapia

Steamed Tilapia

Featured Articles

Featured Articles

What happens to your body when you have diabetes

What happens to your body when you have diabetes

How To Know if you are Diabetic

How To Know if you are Diabetic

Can You Test Yourself for Diabetes? Everything You Need To Know

Can You Test Yourself for Diabetes? Everything You Need To Know

Featured Articles

Expert advice & latest treatment information!
Get FREE Diabetes Newsletter.
By subscribing to our newsletter, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Go To Top