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How Long Do Metformin Side Effects Last With An Impact?

Diabetes has various levels of severity. At the initial level, no medicines are generally required. Only a simple diet and exercise will help you to control the blood sugar level. However, if you face problems maintaining the blood sugar level with diet and exercise, medication will be necessary.  

Drugs like metformin and glyburide are anti-diabetic and help to keep the blood sugar under control. Does it mean they do not have any side effects? Not at all. In fact, most of the metformin users frequently ask about how long do metformin side effects last. 

You will have all the answers to that query here with a few effective tips to manage those side effects. 

how long do metformin side effects last
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Table of Content

What Are The Side Effects of Metformin?

Metformin side effects are diverse and can show up at almost any stage during medication consumption. Some of the side effects require immediate medical attention, whereas the others typically disappear with time. 

Check with your physician promptly if you notice the following symptoms. Especially while consuming metformin regularly:

Common side effects

  • Abdominal uneasiness
  • Shallow or fast breathing
  • Fever
  • Diminished hunger 
  • Looseness of the bowels 
  • Sensation of uneasiness 
  • Drowsiness
  • Hoarseness of voice or cough
  • Side pain or lower back
  • Muscle torment
  • Difficult in urination
  • Less common
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Depression   
  • Headache
  • Enhanced sweatingWarmth feeling
  • Nausea
  • Cold sweats
  • Chest discomfort
  • Confusion
  • Irregular, fast pulse or heartbeat
  • Coma
  • Pale, cool skin
  • Arms, face, neck, and upper chest redness
  • Difficult breathing
  • Nightmares
  • Seizures
  • Abnormal weakness 
  • Slurred speech
  • Shakiness
  • Nervousness
  • Chest tightness

Uncommon side effects

  • Conduct changes
  • Unusual sleepiness
  • Trouble with concentrating
  • Sleepiness 
  • Restless sleep
  • Behavioral change 
  • Lactic acidosis due to metformin build-up. 
  • Anemia
  • Hypoglycemia

Side effects that do not need medical observation

As I said before, some of the side effects do not require immediate medical attention. They are so short-lived that you don’t get the chance to ask how long do metformin side effects last. However, if they continue for long, you need to call your doctor. 

More commonly seen side effects:

  • Bloating
  • Corrosive or acrid stomach 
  • Burping 
  • An abundance of air or gas in the stomach or digestive tracts 
  • Acid reflux
  • Indigestion
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Passing of gas
  • Metallic taste inside your mouth
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach

Less common side effects

  • Difficulty with moving
  • Abnormal stools
  • Taste change
  • Fingernail discoloration
  • Sneezing
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Runny nose
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Unpleasant taste

How Long Do Metformin Side Effects Last?

Reactions may begin the moment you start consuming metformin. For certain individuals, side effects will disappear just after their body acclimates to the drug. But in the initial stage, the side effects may stay in the body as long as the medicine remains.

So, how long does metformin stay in your system?

Metformin (Glucophage) will affect your body for approx. 4 days, or if you count it in hours, then it will be 96.8. 

Anyway, some other factors show effects on metformin: 

  • The amount and frequency of the intake of the medicine. 
  • The rate of metabolism – a more sluggish rate of metabolism will expand the time a medication stays in your body. 
  • The health of your body and age– any chronic health problem and older age will enhance the affectivity time of the drug.  
  • Weight – Normally, the more the body mass, the more time medicine will stay in your body. 

What is the Best Time to Take Metformin

For other people, these impacts may become prolonged or turn out to be more awful. The vast majority take metformin for an extensive period. Hence in case, these impacts do not disappear, they might cause long-term harm. 

Some metformin long-term side effects may remain benign for long. So constant check-ups are fundamental.

Health Conditions Triggering The Side Effects

If you are suffering from any kind of disease or have any underlying issue, then the side effects may get aggravated. To prevent any type of severe side effects, tell your doctor if you are suffering from the following health problems:

Heart issues 

If you are suffering from acute heart failure or have experienced coronary failure, you must avoid metformin. 

Your heart might not be able to send sufficient blood to the kidneys. This will, in return, forestall your kidneys from eliminating metformin from the system just as they ordinarily would, increasing the danger of lactic acidosis. 

Liver issues 

You must restrain from metformin if you are suffering from severe liver issues. Your liver helps in flushing out lactic acid from the body. 

Severe liver issues can prompt lactic acid storage in your body. Raise in the level of lactic acid increases the danger of lactic acidosis development. Metformin additionally enhances this danger, so consuming it if you have liver issues is hazardous. 

When Does the Liver fail to Control Diabetes?

Kidney issues 

Your kidneys do the removal of metformin. If your kidneys do not function properly, you will have more elevated metformin levels in the body. This increases your danger of developing lactic acidosis. 

If you have mild kidney issues, your physician might give you a low metformin dosage initially. 

But in case you have serious kidney issues, then metformin might not be appropriate for you. Again people above 80 years old are said to stay away from metformin. Your physician will probably test the function of your kidney before suggesting metformin. He may also recommend regular check-ups.


Avoid intake of metformin for 48 hours before any surgery or radiological examination. This is not safe as iodine contrast is utilized while performing these procedures. 

These processes can make the expulsion of metformin from your body slightly sluggish, increasing your danger of lactic acidosis. You should start taking metformin again after the surgery just when your ‘kidney function tests’ are back to normal.

Liquor use 

Consuming alcohol while you are on metformin might increase the risk of hyperglycemia. It additionally enhances the danger of lactic acidosis. This is because it enhances the levels of lactic acid in the body. 

You must not drink a lot of liquor while consuming metformin. This incorporates long-haul liquor use and constant drinking. If you prefer drinking liquor, talk with your physician. You need to know about the safety level of alcohol while consuming metformin.  

Besides consulting about these issues with your doctor, you can also try out diabetes control supplements like ‘Diabetes Freedom.’ This will help you to have a healthy life with optimum sugar levels. 

Management of Metformin Side Effects

Some negative impacts disappear all alone in the long run. In those cases, you don’t have to worry about how long do metformin side effects last. There are a couple of ways you can ease or evade issues:

  • Begin with a low dosage: Your body can easily acclimate to the medication while you start with a low dose. 
  • Ingest the medicine with food: The body can handle the medicine well if taken with food. But you can have it on an empty stomach as well.
  • Get some information about the extended-release type of metformin: It is better to take medicine once a day instead of twice. It exhibits milder reactions as the drug does not get released in a single burst.
how long do metformin side effects last
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Only 10% of individuals were seen to have diarrhea who were having extended-release medicine. On the contrary, 53% of people experienced diarrhea after having the standard formula.

Simply 7% had nausea, contrasted to 26%. Furthermore, less than 1% of individuals stopped taking extended-release metformin due to its negative impacts.


What foods to avoid while taking metformin?

As per Michigan university, you must restrain from consuming fiber-enriched food after metformin intake. The reason behind this is that it may bind to the drug and lower the concentration of it. 

Metformin levels tend to reduce while consumed with a  greater quantity of fiber (>30mg daily). Also, avoid diuretics, corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, and antipsychotic drugs. 

What is the benefit of taking metformin at night?

If you consume metformin at night, then it might prevent hyperglycemia in the morning. Also, it might decrease your requirement for insulin. Hence consider taking it before bedtime rather than taking it with the daytime meal. This should be taken with food to prevent the side effects like stomach discomfort or pain. 

Can I take metformin while fasting?

You can take metformin while fasting. But in case you feel sick after having this drug, then you should stop the medicine. You may consider decreasing the medicine dosage. Also, changing the time will help if you take it after breaking the fast. 

What happens if you take metformin without food?

Significantly, metformin doesn’t stimulate the secretion of insulin. So, there is a little danger of hypoglycemia whenever consumed without food. But it is insignificant compared with different antidiabetic medicines. 

Metformin may also enhance the danger of hypoglycemia whenever utilized combining with other antidiabetic meds.


Metformin is a regular medicine that is frequently used to treat diabetes and help you to maintain your blood sugar at the optimum level. 

This article, ‘How long do metformin side effects last,’ gives you an insight into the probable side effects of metformin. It also narrates how long they would stay in your body. To prevent the side effects, consult with your doctor if you have any medical condition other than diabetes. 

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