When to Take Metformin Before or After Meals

In the last two decades, metformin has become the first-line drug in the treatment of type 2 diabetes worldwide. According to studies, it is safe and the most prescribed medicine these days. In this article, you will learn when to take the metformin before or after the meal.

Metformin with a proper diet plan is best to control sugar. By the improvement, in the ways your body handles insulin, metformin’s work for diabetes is the best option. According to research, it is safe and probably the most effective drug.

In addition to its effectiveness, it is the most affordable drug. When most of the drugs are out of reach for patients, you will get it at a reasonable price. Furthermore, controlling diabetes metformin prevents blindness, kidney damages, loss of limbs, and reduces the risk of stroke or heart attack.

Best Time to Take Metformin

Are you wondering about the best time to take metformin? First of all, let me make it clear that medication time matters a lot. You can ensure the best efficiency of the medicine by taking it at the ideal time. Usually, metformin comes into two different varieties. They are famous as standard and extended-release.Metformin

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, we can use standard metformin either as a liquid or a pill. You can use it two to three times a day and can take this medicine with a meal. When we use it with food, it reduces the side effects such as stomach pain.

Metformin HCL and extended-release are once-a-day medication. They are available in both liquid and pill form. The persons who experience adverse symptoms with standard metformin, extended-release can be a good option for them. You can take metformin HCL at night with food.

Metformin Before a Meal or After The Meal

People generally have a concern about the best time to take medicine. Patients’ information leaflet usually comes with the medicine. This leaflet gives you all the information about the medicine and makes sure you read it before using it. Ask your doctor if you have any query related to medicine.

Your doctor will give you a special meal plan to follow during the medication period. Taking medicine, according to the prescribed time, is important for its proper working and controlling of your conditions. Do regular exercise and test your sugar level as directed by your doctor.

If you have some side effects, you should take medicine with a meal, which will help reduce the side effects. You can swallow it with a glass of water, but don’t break, crush or chew it. If you are taking it in liquid form, the household spoon may not work; use a measuring spoon or medicine cup for measurement.

Can You Take Metformin Without a Meal?

There is no problem using metformin in an empty stomach. Metformin helps to maintain the amount of sugar your liver produces and lowers the risk of blood sugar falling too low. It helps your body to use insulin in a better way.

Like other diabetes drugs, it doesn’t cause weight gain, although it is useful in weight loss. Like any other medicine, it can have side effects. If you felt pain or discomfort in your stomach, try to use it with a meal and avoid empty stomach intake.

If you take metformin when you have an empty stomach or doing some hard physical activity, your blood sugar can fall too low. That’s the main reason why doctors recommend using it with a meal.

Is it Beneficial to Take Metformin at Night?

It is more beneficial to take metformin at bedtime instead of at other times. At bedtime, the intake of metformin improves the control of diabetes and reduces symptoms of hypoglycemia. It is observed in diabetes type 2 patients; it reduces the early morning hypoglycemia.

Metformin doesn’t act immediately and lower your blood sugar. Depending on your dosage, it may take 4 to 5 days to give you its full benefits. Maybe it doesn’t solve your problems at once, but it shows its effectiveness with time.

The result of metformin may not be the same for everyone as its effects vary from person to person.

Foods to Avoid While Taking Metformin

There are some foods that we have to avoid while we are using metformin. If you are using metformin to treat type 2 diabetes, you must have to limit your alcohol consumption.

Drinking alcohol can directly affect your diabetes. If you use alcohol and metformin together, they will affect your diabetes. Moreover, you may face a lot of other additional risks. You should ask your doctor about the food you have to avoid during the medication period.

Though it is rare, metformin and alcohol interaction can be harmful. In the medication phase, regular drinking of alcohol may have harmful effects. Sometimes, these effects can be life-threatening.

Their combination can result in hypoglycemia; in this condition, the person has an extremely low sugar level. It can also be the cause of lactic acidosis. It is rare but can have serious side effects. If there is a delay in its treatment, it can affect your organs.

According to the research, when you are taking metformin, avoid the usage of high fiber foods.

Who Can or Can’t Take Metformin

Metformin is prescribed for children age ten years or older.

Metformin is not suitable for every person. If you have the problems which are discussed below, ask your doctor before taking it.

  • Have uncontrolled diabetes
  • Have a severe infection in recent days
  • Facing a heart problem or have a heart attack in recent days
  • Experience an allergic reaction to metformin and other medicines in the past
  • Facing liver and kidney problems
  • The habit of drinking alcohol
  • Have troubles with your circulation and breathing

The working of medications varies from person to person. The doctor doesn’t recommend metformin to the person with the following conditions.

  • The person with stage 4 or 5 kidney disease
  • Prediabetes patients over the age of 60
  • Patients with type 1 diabetes
  • People experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis

Make sure to discuss your concerns about metformin with your doctor. Let your doctor decide whether to take it or not.

Metformin For Diabetes

Metformin is among the most effectual medicine use in type 2 diabetes treatment. At the time of diagnosis, it is the preferred treatment recommended by most doctors. If kidney function is monitored, it can be used throughout the life of a type 2 diabetes patient.

In type 2 diabetes patients, it works by reducing the excess production of glucose by the liver. As a result, it reduces the liver and muscles’ insulin resistance and improves their sensitivity towards it. Doctors recommend taking metformin with meals as it appears to increase its absorption.

For type 2 diabetes, the patient’s metformin maintains the level of their blood sugar, especially when combined with exercise and a healthy diet.

Metformin For Weight Loss

According to studies, metformin plays a key role in the weight loss journey of many people. The reason behind the weight loss benefit of this medicine is not clear. One theory behind its appetite is that it reduces the appetite and prompts you to eat less.

Although metformin is found to be useful in weight loss, it is not counted as a quick-fix solution. Generally, weight loss due to metformin occurs gradually in one or two years. The weight loss ratio due to metformin varies from person to person.

The average amount of weight loss due to metformin is seven pounds after seven years. In addition to the intake of metformin, if you don’t follow the healthy habits, you may not get its advantage.

During exercise, metformin boosts the calories you may burn through exercise. If you adopt a healthy diet and exercise routine during medication, you will have a faster weight loss. You will likely not have all the benefits if you don’t do exercise daily.

There is a possibility that weight loss lasts as long as you are taking medicine. When you stop taking the dosage of metformin, there are chances that you come back to your original weight.

Pro Tips: What to Know Before You Lose Weight With Metformin

Metformin and Keto

Are you willing to start a low carbohydrate or keto diet with metformin? If you are willing to adopt a keto diet and have type 2 diabetes, then it is good to go for it. These changes in your diet plan can reverse the changes and improve the control of your blood sugar level.

Start your keto diet after having complete information about metformin and your diet plan. Once you get started with your low carbohydrate diet, maybe your doctor will advise you to lower your diabetes medications.

When you lower your carbohydrates intake in the keto diet, it will automatically lower your medication demand. It can be dangerous if you continue to take the same diet as you take before the no carb diet.

If you want to adjust your medications, you must test your sugar level since starting your diet. For this, I would recommend you to take the assistance of a doctor or an expert nutritionist. In the treatment of diabetes with diet, there is no risk of low blood glucose levels.

The Ideal Time to Take Metformin For Weight Loss

You can’t use metformin as a magic diet pill as it works slowly. The ratio of weight loss in metformin varies from person to person. It’s one of the unique benefits if it can’t help you in weight loss; it also doesn’t become the cause of your weight gain.

If you are prediabetes or type 2 diabetes patients or the one suffering obesity, then metformin can prove to be the best option. Through metformin, you can manage your weight and can lower the risk of developing diabetes.

Doctors can prescribe you metformin for weight loss even if you don’t have diabetes or its symptoms. If a person does regular exercise and adopts a healthy diet in addition to metformin, then the chances of weight loss improve.

End words by the writer

In conclusion, no doubt, in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, it is the most effective oral medicine prescribed by doctors. Like other diabetes medicines, it doesn’t result in side effects and weight gain. It is not only beneficial from a health point of view, but it is also cost-effective.

If you want to take maximum benefits, there are some foods to avoid while taking metformin. With a healthy diet plan and regular exercise, it works best for weight loss. Metformin boosts the number of calories burn the person who exercises daily.

The FAQS About Taking Metformin Before or After Meals

How Long Before a Meal Should You Take Metformin?

There is no specific time for taking metformin. You can take it any time you want or as prescribed by your doctor. But there are some conditions for its work the best. When it comes to taking it before a meal, take at least one hour before or after a meal. You can take it at the start or during the meal.

When Should I Take My Diabetes Medicine Before or After meals?

If you have side effects by using metformin, try to take it with a meal. When you use it with a meal, it reduces its side effects. It will become more beneficial if you use it at bedtime. Its use at night reduces the chances of hypoglycemia and improves your control of diabetes.

Can Metformin be Taken on an Empty Stomach?

There is no issue in using metformin on an empty stomach. But it may not suit some people, and they felt pain in the stomach. In such cases, it is better to use it with a meal to reduce their symptoms. Taking metformin on an empty stomach can result in low sugar levels and hypoglycemia.

Why is Metformin Taken After Food?

Metformin may show some side effects in the first few weeks of medication. Doctors recommend taking it after a meal as it proves to be beneficial in reducing the symptoms of bowel's side effects.

SM Kamal Hasan

Dr. SM Kamal Hasan, MBBS(Medicine), Rangpur Medical College and Hospital Rangpur- Dinajpur Highway, Cantt, Near Central Jail, Rangpur 5400, Bangladesh

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