When do you take your Metformin? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 01-05-2008, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I started taking 500 mg a day of Metformin one year ago for PCOS. I was put on 1000 mg a day in April. I'm on 1500 mg of Metformin a day now. I've been taking that dosage since September. I have not really noticed any changes. I heard miraculous stories about weight loss and periods behaving and even ovulating. I'm 0 for 3. The only change I have found is that I'm only really having 3 or 4 days of incredibly heavy bleeding (instead of the "normal" 10-15 before). But before and after that I will have around 5 days of veryyyy light bleeding. It's almost discharge like.

Now that I have the TMI stuff (sorry!) out of the way...How do you take yours? I was not given any direction as to the time of day or spreading the pills out through the day. I take all three 500 mg pills mid morning. Does timing have something to do with success? I'm wondering if I should spread the dosage out.

TIA!
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#2 of 20 Old 01-05-2008, 10:41 PM
 
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I take each pill with a meal. One with breakfast, one with lunch, one with dinner. I feel MUCH better, but still no regulation on the cycles though. I did have the light wierd bleeding though. I think that's where regulation starts.
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#3 of 20 Old 01-06-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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I asked my doctor last time I was on it, and she said not to take them all at once. She wanted me to space them out so that the level in my blood was fairly constant. Right now I try to take one around lunch time and one at bedtime (I'm on 1000mg).

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#4 of 20 Old 01-06-2008, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gosh, I wonder if that is the reason I have not seen much change! I'm going to try spacing mine out. Is it necessary to take them with food? I generally don't. If it's not necessary to take them with food I think I may try taking them every 8 hours I think. 7 am, 3 pm, and 11 pm.
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#5 of 20 Old 01-06-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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My bottle says to take with food and I find that I feel really bad, headache wise, if I don't take it with food. If I do take it with food and it still makes me have a headache then I know I've eaten something I shouldn't have eaten.
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#6 of 20 Old 01-06-2008, 04:48 PM
 
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I also take them with food - if nothing else than a piece of toast or something small like that. I'm only on one 850 mg tab/day. But when I was taking 3 of those/day I always took them with meals. Of course I always got sick with them, because my brilliant RE at the time forgot to mention how much I had to limit my carbs intake while on met. :

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#7 of 20 Old 01-06-2008, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm starting to feel like a bit of an idiot. Or maybe my GYN is...

I don't have severe issues with the medication. However, starting around the same time I started taking Metformin I started having really bad headaches that seemed to turn into migraines. I went to the ER because of one and my bp was through the roof at 165/100. So since then I've been on lisinopril 5 mg a day for my bp and I have an extensive supply of medication for migraines. Since the bp meds I've only needed the migraine medication like once or twice. But I do have headaches almost every other day. Now I'm wondering if it's because of the way I'm taking the metformin!! I do have acid reflux and I've been off medication for that for quite some time until late fall of 2007. I was having really weird stomach aches and I figured they had to be because of the AR. Hrmmm....

So what is this deal about HAVING to eat low carb with it? I was told it was a good idea because it will help with weight loss but no one ever said I had to. Do the headaches and such get worse when you don't eat low carb??? Can I get some more information on this please? lol Thanks!
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#8 of 20 Old 01-06-2008, 05:54 PM
 
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Oh honey...let me tell you about the headaches. I've NEVER had a headache in my LIFE that was not fever related (90 something% of headaches are hydration related and I drink a lot of water, always have). Well, let me tell you I have headaches all the time now, but it always when I'm not eating right. If I eat very low carb (no starchy foods, sugary foods, etc.) I'm fine, feel great, BUT if I start to eat whatever I want, pack it up, headache BIG time and gastrointestinal issues. My doctor didn't tell me this either, but I read it and did it. HUGE difference when I eat right. If I took 3 metformin at once instead of one with each meal, I believe I'd have to be put in a straight jacket and given morphine.
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#9 of 20 Old 01-06-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Earthly_Joys View Post
So what is this deal about HAVING to eat low carb with it? I was told it was a good idea because it will help with weight loss but no one ever said I had to. Do the headaches and such get worse when you don't eat low carb??? Can I get some more information on this please? lol Thanks!
Yeah, my RE didn't tell me this either... she said to cut back on everything white (flour, sugar, rice was all she said). She never told me to stop eating them, or that not doing so would lead to some very unpleasant consequences. She also didn't tell me that eating anything greasy would be detrimental either (this lead to some very embarrassing problems since I was out of town at the time). Personally, being grain-free and sugar-free, my problems this time with the Met (headaches, nausea and moodiness) are minor compared to the problems I had last time (when I wasn't diet controlled)... depression, extreme lethargy, constant PMS-like mood swings. Last time I spent 6 months in a fog, and had no idea until 2 or 3 days after I stopped taking the Met, and it was like walking into the sunshine after a rainstorm. I was flabbergasted, and DH was SOOOO happy to have me back. We did a lot of talking about it before I went back on the Met this time, we were hopeful that the diet would make the Met unnecessary, but it didn't work out that way.

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#10 of 20 Old 01-06-2008, 07:26 PM
 
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Personally, being grain-free and sugar-free, my problems this time with the Met (headaches, nausea and moodiness) are minor compared to the problems I had last time (when I wasn't diet controlled)... depression, extreme lethargy, constant PMS-like mood swings. Last time I spent 6 months in a fog, and had no idea until 2 or 3 days after I stopped taking the Met, and it was like walking into the sunshine after a rainstorm.
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#11 of 20 Old 01-06-2008, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is nuts! What the heck?? I really believe that this is what is causing all of my issues!! I don't normally have PMS at all and since increasing the Met I've had crazy PMS like mood swings, I've actually gone on Welbutrin because of the change. I'm kind of mad. I mean...I should have researched better but come on! Shouldn't doctors inform you about this kind of stuff when they prescribe it? I've been living in agony thinking I was just a terribly unhealthy 23 year old and dragging my husband with me through it when there is a good chance if I changed the way I take the medication and my eating habits that I won't have these issues. WTH? here I am thinking that I actually handle the meds WELL. Lol


I shouldn't complain..I'm a grown up..I should be able to handle this. But PCOS comes with enough obstacles and stuff thrown at me..it'd be nice if I could trust my doctor who is over seeing it to be on top of my symptoms and explain every thing thoroughly.
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#12 of 20 Old 01-06-2008, 08:10 PM
 
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Wait, hang on! The way you take it depends on what kind of metformin you're taking!

Is it regular metformin or Glucophage, with no letters after it?

Then take the pills spaced evenly throughout the day.

Does the drug name have an XR or an ER after it (meaning extended release)?

Then take it all at once.

This is really something your doctor should have gone over with you -- or your pharmacist. Ditto the eating habits. Different people respond differently to foods but in general greasy or fatty things, super-carby things (like white flour, white potatoes), and salad can cause problems, especially if you don't combine them with a protein food.

If you're taking non-ER metformin all at once, that might be a reason you're not getting results. If you don't get good answers from your doctor, it might be a good idea to ask your pharmacist -- they're often better informed about this stuff than doctors.

By the way, I've really preferred the extended release version for myself -- fewer side effects, and don't have to think about how to space the pills. There's a generic now so it shouldn't be a problem with insurance...

Good luck!
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#13 of 20 Old 01-06-2008, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ohhhh I didn't even think about that! My prescription bottle says Metformin 500 mg ER. So I guess I should be taking them all at once??

I'm still not sure my doctor knows what is up. He okayed me to go ahead and start taking 2000 mg a day about a month ago but the pharmacy would not fill it the way he wrote it because you can't take that much at once. When I went back to him about that I explained the really funky light period for 5 days, then heavy for 3, then light for 5 and he said he thought the metformin was doing something right and told me to hold off on 2000 mg.

This is all just really frustrating. I'd like to see some results after a year. Last January I was hoping to have this figured out by now. I just need to get it under control. It is really messing with my life in a lot of ways. On top of that I really don't like taking medication. Over all it's just plain frustrating. Thank you ALL for your advice and comments.
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#14 of 20 Old 01-06-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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Maybe he (the doctor) has Metformin XR and ER mixed-up.
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#15 of 20 Old 01-07-2008, 09:23 PM
 
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Hi,
I am on glucophage xr 1500 mg.I take all 3 horse pills before I go to bed.
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#16 of 20 Old 01-07-2008, 09:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CalebsMome View Post
Maybe he (the doctor) has Metformin XR and ER mixed-up.
XR and ER are the same thing -- extended release versions of metformin. The generic is called metformin ER, the name brand Glucophage XR.


Some drug info here, including dosing times and amounts.
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#17 of 20 Old 01-07-2008, 10:39 PM
 
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Remember too that some women with PCOS take absolutely enormous dosages of met to be therapeutic -- like 3000 mg/day. I ovulate on 1500, but started at 500.

Met really does work for some women with PCOS, and above and beyond its effects for fertility, there's some data that long-term treatment with met can delay or prevent type II diabetes. That alone kept me on it after each pregnancy. Despite the -- ahem -- side effects.

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#18 of 20 Old 01-13-2008, 01:09 AM
 
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I'm just jumping on here because I just started taking Metformin as well. I'm just on day 2, 500 mg a day to start. I'm suppose to go up to 1500 mg. I'm watching what I eat but am not sure how I'll make it to 1500. I can tell that if I eat much more then I am things won't be too good in my lower half. Also, wondering if this is successful on it's own would the dr. have me continue taking this through a pregnancy. That would be pretty awful. One thing I have noticed is that drinking water, and lots, really helps. I drink a lot while I'm at work 2-32 oz servings. As I've felt bad today I drink a couple glasses of water and it seems to help.

Just curious, what do people eat. I think I'm a pretty healthy eater but I do lean more towards carbs and less from meat. Prefer to get protein through milk and beans. I did eat some brown rice today and that didn't seem to be too bad. I would say this is scaring me into eating better. Oh yah, my nearly 3 yo DD keeps saying "who smells?", "you smell nasty ma-ma". I'm not looking foward to work on Monday.
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#19 of 20 Old 01-13-2008, 09:32 PM
 
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I'm just jumping on here because I just started taking Metformin as well. I'm just on day 2, 500 mg a day to start. I'm suppose to go up to 1500 mg. I'm watching what I eat but am not sure how I'll make it to 1500. I can tell that if I eat much more then I am things won't be too good in my lower half. Also, wondering if this is successful on it's own would the dr. have me continue taking this through a pregnancy. That would be pretty awful. One thing I have noticed is that drinking water, and lots, really helps. I drink a lot while I'm at work 2-32 oz servings. As I've felt bad today I drink a couple glasses of water and it seems to help.

Just curious, what do people eat. I think I'm a pretty healthy eater but I do lean more towards carbs and less from meat. Prefer to get protein through milk and beans. I did eat some brown rice today and that didn't seem to be too bad. I would say this is scaring me into eating better. Oh yah, my nearly 3 yo DD keeps saying "who smells?", "you smell nasty ma-ma". I'm not looking foward to work on Monday.
Milk was a terrible thing for me. It's got so many carbs with the protein, I always had side effects from the met with it.

Give yourself time. You will be able to increase your met dosage, but it might take a month or more.

For a lot of reasons, most people with PCOS do better on a low-carb diet, especially with met. The nice thing is that the met side effects can kind of keep you on the low-carb thing, because they can be so unpleasant.

I stayed on met through my first trimester. If I have another pregnancy, I'll probably stay on the whole time. I'm so constipated in pregnancy that I personally noticed the side effects less.

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#20 of 20 Old 01-13-2008, 09:47 PM
 
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I didn't have great results with extended release Met. I took regular Met for a couple years and switched to the extended to see if it worked the same or better but it was actually not as good. It took me 60 days to ovulate vs about 45 with regular Met. Try regular Met (but beware, some people have worse GI s/e with it.)
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