Medications (Metformin) that helps one to keep control of Type-2 Diabetes (Part 3 of 3)


In Part-1 of this series covered what Type-2 diabetes is. In Part-2, we narrated possible effects of diabetes and how to measure diabetes.

In this last Part-3, we discuss medications that help one control diabetes. We focus on a drug called Metformin.


Metformin is considered the first line of defense for people with the condition, as it is safe, effective, and affordable. It’s not linked to weight gain and it puts very little stress on the internal organs. But metformin has side effects for some people. Metformin doesn’t immediately lower your blood sugar. It can take four or five days to experience the full benefit, depending on your dosage.


Metformin, which is also sold under the trade names Glucophage, Fortamet, Glumetza, and Riomet, is of the class of drugs called biguanides, which inhibit the production of glucose in the liver.

How does metformin work?

Metformin does not increase insulin levels in the body, but instead lessens the amount of sugar the body produces and absorbs. As it lowers glucose production in the liver, metformin also lowers blood sugar by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin. It also decreases the amount of glucose that our bodies absorb from the foods we eat.

Metformin is considered a safe, cheap, and effective medication worldwide, and is widely accessible in most countries.

Metformin does cause side effects in some people, but many of these are mild, and are associated with taking the medicine for the first time. Nausea and gastric distress such as stomach pain, gas, bloating, and diarrhea are somewhat common among people starting up on metformin.

People who experience mild gastric side effects when they start taking metformin find the side effects go away if they drop my carbs to 30-50 grams per day. If the side effects are severe and persist, switching to extended-release version of metformin can keep the symptoms of the side effects at bay.

When one takes metformin for the first time, the body may react as though the blood sugar level has fallen too low (hypoglycemia – below 70mg/dl). Measurements of glucose levels need to be done to make sure that the body’s reaction is “faux low” or real.

Note that especially for type 2 folks who are on metformin and insulin or sulfonylureas (drugs that make pancreas to secrete more insulin), hypoglycemia is a real risk. There will be times when you do need to treat hypoglycemia with glucose tablets or orange juice or the like.

If you are a person with type 2 diabetes, there are plenty of benefits to taking Metformin for its original, intended purpose. Its side effects are minimal for most people. It’s affordable and covered by Medicare and most insurance plans. It helps the body to process insulin.

Metformin acts to reduce production of glucose by the liver where semaglutide increases production of insulin to metabolize glucose.


Semaglutide, sold under the brand names Ozempic and Rybelsus, is an anti-diabetic medication used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Semaglutide acts like human glucagon-like peptide-1 such that it increases insulin secretion, thereby increasing sugar metabolism.

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