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Glucophage SR (Metformin SR)

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Glucophage SR is a biguanide medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a long-term condition causing blood sugar to become too high. Glucophage SR works by reducing the amount of glucose your liver releases into your bloodstream.
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Glucophage SR

What is Glucophage SR?

Glucophage SR is a biguanide medicine, used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes is a long term condition that causes a person’s blood sugar to become too high. Glucophage SR can be used in combination with appropriate diet and exercise to lower the risk of developing diabetes in overweight or obese patients.

Glucophage SR is a prescription only medication. You must have a valid prescription from a GP in order to buy Glucophage SR. Alternatively, we can prescribe it to you following a brief online consultation. Contact us to find out more.

Glucophage SR can also be used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome. We only prescribe it to treat diabetes.

Each tablet contains the active ingredient metformin hydrochloride. For more information about Glucophage SR, consult the patient information leaflet.

How it works

The active ingredient in Glucophage SR, metformin hydrochloride, works by reducing the amount of glucose your liver releases into your bloodstream. It also increases the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin, which is responsible for removing glucose from the blood more effectively. It also delays the absorption of glucose from the intestines into the bloodstream after eating, so that there is less of an increase of blood glucose after eating.

Glucophage SR is particularly effective in obese or severely overweight patients, or those who have developed diabetes during pregnancy. Glucophage is available as immediate release or prolonged release tablets.

Before you take it

You should not take Glucophage SR if you are allergic to the active ingredient metformin hydrochloride. Speak with your doctor to discuss an alternative treatment for your diabetes.

It is important that you follow your doctor’s advice in regard to diet and exercise while taking Glucophage SR. It is especially important that you ensure to eat a sufficient amount of carbohydrates during the day.

Glucophage SR is usually prescribed when dietary changes and exercise alone have not been enough to lower blood glucose level. You must attempt dietary changes and implement an exercise regime before taking Glucophage SR to reduce blood glucose levels.

If you are older than 75 years old, Glucophage SR may not be effective in preventing type 2 diabetes. Speak with your doctor to discuss a more suitable treatment.

Glucophage SR has the potential to cause a very rare but serious condition called lactic acidosis. You are at particular risk of lactic acidosis if you suffer from kidney impairment. If you have uncontrolled diabetes, if you fast for a prolonged period of time or if you drink alcohol, or have a condition whereby any part of your body has a reduced supply of oxygen, such as acute severe heart disease or heart failure, this may increase the risk that you develop lactic acidosis.

If you notice any of the symptoms of lactic acidosis, you must stop taking Glucophage SR and go to your nearest hospital immediately. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include vomiting, stomachache, muscle cramps, a general feeling of unwellness, severe fatigue or tiredness, or reduced body temperature. Lactic acidosis is a medical emergency and when left untreated, it can lead to a coma.

You may see some of the remains of your tablets in your stools. This is normal and is no cause for concern.

Do not take Glucophage SR in combination with any other oral antidiabetic medication.

During treatment with Glucophage SR, your doctor will check your kidneys every 6 - 12 months. They may wish to do this more regularly if you are elderly, or if you have worsening renal function.

You should only take Glucophage SR during pregnancy with the specific approval of a medical professional.

If you require an injection of a contrast medium such as iodine, such as during an X-ray or a scan, you must stop taking Glucophage SR at the time of injection. Your doctor will tell you when to stop taking Glucophage SR and when you can restart.

If you are taking any of the following medications, you must tell your doctor as Glucophage SR may interact with them:

  • Water tablets/diuretics to increase urine production, such as furosemide
  • Any medication used to treat pain and inflammation, such as NSAIDs or COX-2 inhibitors, such as ibuprofen or celecoxib
  • Medication to treat high blood pressure, such as angiotensin II receptor antagonists
  • Steroids such as prednisolone or beclometasone
  • Sympathomimetic medicines such as dopamine and epinephrine
  • Medications that change the level of metformin in your blood, such as cimetidine, verapamil, rifampicin, ranolazine and dolutegravir

This is not a complete list of warnings and interactions. For a complete list, consult the patient information leaflet or contact your doctor.

Dosage Instructions

You must always take Glucophage SR exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has prescribed. Never exceed the stated dose. If you are in any way unsure of how to take Glucophage SR, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.

The recommended starting dose is 500mg per day. After taking Glucophage SR for around two weeks, your doctor will review your blood glucose levels and decide whether your treatment should be increased. The maximum daily dose you may be prescribed is 2000mg per day.

If you have reduced kidney function, you will be prescribed a lower dose. You must always take your medication exactly as prescribed.

Take your tablets once per day, with food. Swallow the tablets whole with water. Do not suck, crush or chew them. In some cases your doctor may ask you to take tablets twice a day. Always take them with food.

Store Glucophage SR in a cool, dry place, away from heat and moisture. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

Common Side Effects of Glucophage SR

Glucophage SR may cause side effects. These are typically mild to moderate in nature, and should go away within around two weeks as your body becomes used to the medicine. However, if they persist, you may wish to consult your doctor for advice. Potential side effects include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Stomachache
  • Loss of appetite

Glucophage SR can also cause more serious side effects, but these are comparatively rare. You can report side effects of this nature to your doctor if they concern you. They include:

  • Taste disturbance
  • Decreased vitamin B12 levels
  • Skin rashes, including redness, blistering or peeling

Glucophage SR may also cause a serious allergic reaction. This is extremely rare, but an allergic reaction is an emergency. You must immediately seek medical advice if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Tightness in the chest or throat
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, mouth or throat
  • Skin rash, including redness, swelling, itchiness or blistering
  • Hives or nettle rash

This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. For a full list, consult the patient information leaflet or see your doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Glucophage SR suitable for children?

No. Glucophage SR should be taken only by adults. Additionally we do not prescribe any medication to anyone under the age of 18.

I’m pregnant. Can I take Glucophage SR?

You must only take Glucophage SR during pregnancy with the specific approval of your doctor or medical professional.

What happens if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Glucophage SR, take it as soon as you remember, with food. Never double up to make up for a missed dose.

What happens if I take too much?

An overdose of Glucophage SR is unlikely to harm you. If you do not notice any side effects, continue to take the medication as normal. However, if you notice side effects, you should contact your doctor. It is extremely important that if you notice any of the symptoms of lactic acidosis (read above) after you have overdosed, you must immediately go to a hospital and seek emergency treatment.

More Information
Dosage Instructions Please see medicine label for the dosage instructions.