There have been several studies looking at the effects of metformin ER for type 2 diabetes. In these studies, metformin ER has been shown to decrease fasting blood sugar and to decrease hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). HbA1c is a test used to measure long-term blood sugar control in people with diabetes. Normal HbA1c levels are usually less than 6 percent in people without diabetes; people with diabetes usually have higher HbA1c results.
Studies have shown that the higher the HbA1c, the greater the chance for developing long-term problems related to diabetes. This includes problems such as heart disease, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy, and diabetic nephropathy. By getting blood sugar levels under control with metformin, it may be possible to decrease the chances for developing these diabetes complications.
Some studies also suggest that metformin ER may lead to weight loss (see Metformin and Weight Loss).
(Click Benefits of Metformin for more specific information on the beneficial effects of metformin ER.)
Some general considerations for when and how to take metformin ER include:
- Metformin ER comes in tablet form. It should be taken once daily with your evening meal.
- Be sure to take metformin ER with food to reduce stomach upset.
- Metformin ER should be swallowed whole and should not be broken or crushed.
- Metformin ER should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level of the drug in your blood.
- For metformin ER to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Metformin ER will not work if you stop taking it.