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Phenformin

Information

Uses

Phenformin is used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes

How it works

Phenformin restores the body's ability to use insulin, lowering the blood sugar levels. Phenformin also decreases the amount of glucose absorbed from food in the intestine and decreases glucose production in the liver.

Common side effects

Nausea, Altered taste, Vomiting, Abdominal pain, Diarrhoea, Loss of appetite

Available Medicine

No medicine available

Expert advice

  • Phenformin is generally prescribed in newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with a proper diet alone or a diet along with exercise. Planned diet and exercising are always important when you have diabetes, even when you are taking antidiabetic medicines. 
  • Phenformin does not help patients who have type 1 diabetes.
  • Phenformin should be stopped for at least 2 days after a surgery or a radiological test done using dyes.
  • It is best to take Phenformin after meals to minimize nausea, indigestion or diarrhea. Unlike some other diabetes medicines, Phenformin doesn't cause any weight gain or lower blood sugar levels.
  • This is the only oral diabetes medicine that lowers complications and deaths in conditions related to diabetes. Low blood sugar is life-threatening. Low blood sugar may develop due to:
    Delay or missing a scheduled meals or snacks.
    Exercising more than usual.
    Drinking a significant amount of alcohol.
    Using too much insulin.
    Sickness ( vomiting or diarrhea).
  • Symptoms of low blood sugar (alarming signs) are fast heartbeat, sweating, cool pale skin, feeling shaky, confusion or irritability, headache, nausea, and nightmares. Make sure that you have access to quick-acting sugar sources that treat low blood sugar. Consuming some form of quick-acting sugars immediately after the appearance of the symptoms will prevent the low blood sugar levels from worsening.
  • Consuming alcohol may increase the chance of severe low blood sugar.


Content on this page was last updated on 22 February, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)