Contain active ingredient : Metformin HCl which is a type of antidiabetic medicine called a biguanide. It works in a number of ways to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Firstly, it increases the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin. This enables these cells to remove sugar from the blood more effectively. Secondly, it reduces the amount of sugar produced by cells in the liver. Finally, it delays the absorption of sugar from the intestines into the bloodstream after eating so that there is less of a spike in blood sugar levels after meals.
Metformin is taken regularly every day to help control blood sugar levels both between and directly after meals.
In polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS many women have high insulin levels, and as a result their cells become resistant to the action of insulin. The high insulin levels also cause an increase in the male hormone testosterone. Both problems can cause some of the symptoms of PCOS, such as hair growth, weight gain, irregular periods and fertility problems.
As metformin improves the sensitivity of cells to insulin, this can help insulin levels to fall in PCOS. This has a knock-on effect of causing testosterone levels to fall. So although it's not licensed for this condition, metformin can be helpful in managing some of its symptoms. Your doctor can give you more information about this.
What is it used for?
Controlling blood sugar levels in adults, adolescents and children aged 10 years and over with type 2 diabetes. Metformin is used when diet alone has failed to fully control blood sugar. It may be used on its own, in combination with other oral antidiabetic medicines, or with insulin.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This is an off-licence use of metformin, so you won't find it mentioned in the information leaflets that come with the medicine. However, metformin is a widely used and established treatment option for this condition.
How does it work?
In type 2 diabetes the cells in the body, particularly muscle, fat and liver cells, become resistant to the action of insulin. Insulin is the main hormone responsible for controlling the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood. It makes cells in the body remove sugar from the blood. When the cells are resistant to insulin this makes blood sugar levels rise too high.