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Metformin

Last updated on June 27, 2019.

Overview   |   Dosage   |   Side Effects   |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Metformin

CHINESE NAME: 甲福明

COMMON BRANDS IN HONG KONG: Diabetmin, Diaformin, Glucophage, Guamet, Melbin, Risidon 

What is Metformin for?

Metformin is the first-line medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. It can also be used for polycystic ovary syndrome. 

How to use it?

The dose of Metformin is gradually increased over time in order to avoid stomach related side effects such as stomach pain and diarrhea. You should initiate Metformin at a low dose (250 to 500 mg once daily) and gradually increase the dose as discussed with your doctor or pharmacist. Standard immediate release Metformin is usually taken 2 or 3 times daily. The extended release (XR), modified release (MR), sustained release (SR or retard) formulations of Metformin release the drug more slowly and are more conveniently dosed 1 time per day.

 

Example dosages for different uses, and formulations are shown below: 

For Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Orally using immediate-release medicines 

Adult 

Start with 500 mg once daily with breakfast for at least a week, followed by 500 mg twice daily with breakfast and dinner for at least a week, and then 500 mg 3 times daily with breakfast, lunch and dinner; The maximum daily dose is 2g. 

 

Orally using modified-release medicines

Adult 

Start with 500 mg once daily with dinner, increase gradually every 10-15 days if necessary up to 2 g once daily with dinner. If you glucose level cannot be controlled with this regimen, you may increase the dose to twice daily with meals. If it still fails, you may change to the immediate-release medicines. 

 

For polycystic ovary syndrome

Orally using immediate-release medicines 

Adult 

Start with 500 mg once daily with breakfast for a week, followed by 500 mg twice daily with breakfast and dinner for a week, then 1.5-1.7 g daily in 2-3 divided doses.

What are the side effects of Metformin?

Common side effects of Metformin include abdominal pain, decreased appetite, transient diarrhoea, gastrointestinal disorder, nausea and vomiting, and altered taste. 

Where to buy Metformin in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Metformin is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at http://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

For detailed information about the use of Metformin in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.

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