If you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, your doctor has likely recommended changes in your diet and exercise. But diet and exercise alone won’t relieve you of the symptoms of diabetes, and often medication is prescribed to help regulate glucose levels.

Metformin is the most prescribed medication for Type 2 Diabetes. And with good reason. It is effective and has little-known side effects. If you are purchasing metformin online, it’s important to know what the optimal metformin dosage is.

Optimal dosages vary depending on each person’s particular circumstances.

Adult — Metformin Dosage

Metformin comes in three variations, immediate-release and extended-release tablets and liquid solution.

If you’re taking the immediate-release, then take in divided doses 2 to 3 times a day with meals. The extended-release is taken once a day in the evening with a meal. Taking the immediate-release versus the extended-release depends on which one achieves better glycemic control.

Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on each individual.

Immediate-release:

  • Initial dose: 500 mg orally twice a day, or 850 mg orally once a day
  • Dose titration: increase in weekly increments of 500 mg or 850 mg every two weeks
  • Maintenance dose: 2000 mg daily in divided doses
  • Maximum dose: 2550 mg

Extended-release:

  • Initial dose: 500 mg (Glucophage(R) XR, Glumetza(R) or with a sulfonylurea) to 1000 mg (Fortamet(R)), orally once a day
  • Dose titration: Increase in 500 mg weekly increments as tolerated
  • Maintenance dose: 2000 mg daily
  • Maximum dose: 2500 mg daily

Swallow the extended-release tablet whole with a full glass of water. If part of the tablet is seen in your stool, this is normal and not a reason to worry.

Liquid solution:

  • Initial dose: 5 mL two times a day, or 8.5 mL once a day with meals
  • Dose titration: 5 mL
  • Maintenance dose: 25.5 mL a day
  • Maximum dose: 25.5 mL a day

Liquid doses should be measured with a syringe or medicine cup and not a household teaspoon, which can be inaccurate.

Pediatric–Metformin Dosage for Children 10 years or older

Immediate-release metformin should be taken in divided doses 2 to 3 times a day with meals and then titrated slowly to minimize gastrointestinal side effects. Extended-release is not recommended for children.

Immediate-release:

  • Initial dose: 500 mg orally twice a day
  • Dose titration: Increase in 500 mg weekly increments as tolerated
  • Maintenance dose: 2000 mg daily
  • Maximum dose: 2000 mg daily

Liquid Solution:

  • Initial dose: 5 mL twice a day with meals
  • Dose titration: Increase 5 mL a day
  • Maximum dose: 20 mL a day

Precautions

Patients who are elderly, debilitated, or malnourished patients should not take the maximum dose. If you are already on insulin therapy can take metformin at 500 mg once a day and gradually increase 500 mg weekly. When glucose levels decrease to less than 120 mg/dL, then insulin doses may be reduced over time.

There are many resources of information about metformin, so be sure to get all your questions answered before taking this or any drug.

Metformin should be taken with meals to help reduce stomach distress that may occur during the first few weeks of taking it.

It is likely that you’ll soon see results in your blood glucose levels, but the full effect may take up to 2 months or more.

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