Which is better metformin or Glucophage?
Diabetes is a common disease affecting more than 500 million adults around the world. In fact, 3 in 4 adults with diabetes in low and middle-income countries. In Malaysia alone, approximately 18 percent of adults have diabetes which makes up 1 in 5 adults. Diabetes is a chronic health condition affecting the way of the cell in the body to convert food into energy. It is characterised by high levels of blood sugar. There are many kinds of medicine used to control blood sugar known as the antidiabetic drugs such as Glucophage 500 mg.
Metformin and Glucophage may be causing confusion in patients with diabetes but the fact is, it is the exact same thing. Glucophage contains metformin as its active ingredient. Glucophage is one of the many brands that is marketed for metformin. Metformin belongs to the drug class known as biguanide. It works by lowering the amount of sugar produced by the liver. It also improves insulin sensitivity which means it helps the cells in the body to be sensitive to insulin and increase sugar absorption in the intestines. Thus, the question of which is better among metformin and Glucophage, is best answered as both are equally good in treating diabetes.
Insulin is a hormone that plays a vital role in maintaining the blood sugar level. Insulin exists in a human body and helps the cells to bind with sugar from food. This enables the cell metabolism to function properly. In people with diabetes, insulin resistance is an issue. Thus, insulin injection is given to help improve the resistance and contribute to good blood sugar control. In terms of Glucophage, it does not work by injection such as insulin but it does work to control blood sugar level.
Glucophage is usually prescribed for patients with diabetes and is overweight or obese. This is because it is able to help patients lose weight while controlling their blood sugar. Studies show that 29% of people lost 5% or more of their initial body weight and 8% lost around 10% of their initial body weight. It is worth noting that the 29% of people that do lose some weight, do not necessarily rely on the Glucophage medicine alone as they also made changes in their lifestyle which includes a good healthy diet and exercise. Hence, metformin such as in Glucophage should not be used as a fat burner or a weight loss pill because it is not approved by the US FDA (United States Food and Drugs Administration).
Medication does bring benefits but it also comes with possible side effects. Common side effects include light-headed, low blood sugar level (hypoglycaemia), nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fatigue and upset stomach. If these side effects get worse, do tell your healthcare provider. If there are serious side effects such as lactic acidosis marked by unusual muscle pain, sudden feeling of cold, breathing difficulty and stomach pain, you should seek immediate medical advice by visiting the emergency department even if the symptoms are mild. If a patient experiences hypoglycemia when using this medication, it is likely probably due to use of other anti-diabetic medication or because of a certain lifestyle such as not consuming enough calories from food or after heavy physical activities. Hypoglycemia symptoms include sweating, shaking, hunger, dizziness, tingling hands or feet or fast heartbeat. Patients are advised to keep a quick source of sugar such as candy or fruit juice in hand when they start to experience hypoglycemia. After the hypoglycaemia episode subsides, patients should let their healthcare provider know about this.
Glucophage at times may be combined with another type of antidiabetic drugs especially in patients that have been deemed to fail in controlling their blood sugar level with only one antidiabetic medication. In general, Glucophage is taken 2 to 3 times a day with meals or right after meals. Patients should drink plenty of clear fluid while taking this medication unless instructed otherwise by their healthcare provider. Patients are advised to avoid eating food heavily laid in sugar such as candy, soda or simple carbohydrate food such as chips or crackers. These kinds of foods will not only cause a spike of blood sugar but may affect the metformin to work properly in the body. The latter is a person may be needing a higher dose of the medicine or are forced to be given other medication to help control the blood sugar.
In essence, both metformin and Glucophage have no differences. None of them is better or superior than the other. Glucophage or metformin is a type of antidiabetic medication. Patients should take medicine regularly and always as instructed by the doctor. It is worth noting that there is no medicine that can cure diabetes but medicine available helps to control blood sugar level. It is important to treat diabetes even though it seems like a harmless disease. This is because the complications from diabetes that go uncontrolled can cause great disability, more risk for other medical problems such as heart diseases or even death. Getting regular health screening is beneficial to improve metabolic disease such as diabetes.