) is a prescription medication that is licensed to treat type 2 diabetes
(also known as noninsulin-dependent diabetes
or adult-onset diabetes). Metformin also comes in:
is made by numerous manufacturers. Glucophage and Glucophage XR are manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Metformin is part of a class of diabetes medications
known as biguanide medications. The drug works in several ways. For example, it decreases the amount of sugar (glucose) made by the liver. It can also decrease the amount of sugar absorbed into the body (from the diet) and can make insulin
receptors more sensitive, helping the body respond better to its own insulin. All of these effects cause a decrease in blood sugar levels.
Because the medication 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)