Diabetes Home > Metformin ER

Metformin ER (a long-acting, extended-release version of metformin) is used to treat type 2 diabetes. The drug works by decreasing the amount of sugar that the liver makes and by decreasing the amount of sugar absorbed into the body. The medication comes in the form of a tablet that should be taken once a day with your evening meal. Possible side effects of this drug include diarrhea and nausea, among other things. Before taking metformin ER, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about any medical conditions you may have, such as kidney or liver problems.

What Is Metformin ER?

Metformin ER (Glucophage XR®, Glutametz®, and Fortamet®) is a prescription medication licensed to treat type 2 diabetes (also known as noninsulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes). The drug is a long-acting, extended-release version of metformin.
(Click Metformin Uses for more information on what metformin ER is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Metformin ER?

Generic metformin ER is made by several manufacturers. Glucophage and Glucophage XR are manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb. Glutametz is made by Depomed Inc., and Fortamet is made by Andrx Labs.

How Does Metformin ER Work?

Metformin ER works in several ways. For example, it decreases the amount of sugar (glucose) made by the liver. Metformin ER can also decrease the amount of sugar absorbed into the body (from the diet) and can decrease insulin resistance, helping the body to use insulin better.
Because metformin ER does not increase the amount of insulin produced by the body, it is less likely to cause dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), as many other diabetes medications can do (see Alternatives to Metformin).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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