Biguanides for Type 2 Diabetes: Uses and Side Effects

The Biguanides are oral drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes when an improved diet and exercise regime have not shown any improvement in blood sugar levels.

Metformin® is the most widely prescribed drug for lowering blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. They are believed to work by reducing glucose production in the liver and by enhancing sensitivity to insulin in the body tissues.

Unlike Amaryl and other diabetic medication, biguanides has the advantage of helping to promote weight loss, Metformin is therefore often recommended as a single drug treatment, particularly for obese patients.

The biguanides are often used in combination with Amaryl and other insulin secreting drugs, or even in conjunction with insulin itself.

The side effects of biguanides may include:

  • A metallic taste in the mouth.
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Anemia
  • Anorexia
  • Lactic Acidosis

Although rare, the most serious of these is Lactic Acidosis, the buildup of lactic acid in the body. The signs of lactic acidosis are rapid breathing, nausea, and stomach pains. This usually occurs in people who already suffer from kidney or liver problems, and as a result biguanides are not recommended for these patients.

Photo: Pixabay

More Articles

More than 71 million Americans suffer from high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol increases the buildup of...

A study at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that type one diabetes can be prevented in mice.

The Study

Using diabetes-...

Diabetic shoes are important as a common side effect of diabetes is "peripheral neuropathy," which causes loss of sensation in the extremities....

In the search for a diabetes cure, a study stunned even the experts involved. Scientists at a Toronto medical center published findings that...

Bilberry tea sounds like the favorite drink at a Hobbit cafe, but the mild sounding bilberry comes with a tall list of powerful health benefits....

More Articles

The bodies of those who suffer from type 1 diabetes cannot make insulin on their own. For this reason, patients are subject to multiple injections...

Ideally, we would go out to our garden and pick the produce we need for each day’s meals, but that scenario is far from reality for most of us....

The human body needs chromium, a trace mineral, for several essential functions including the normalizing of...

Diabetes can seem to have an almost limitless list of symptoms. Now headaches are added to the list. The ebb...

There is a connection between anxiety control, inflammation and type 2 diabetes, according to a new study conducted by Rice University researchers...

The most well-known variations of diabetes are type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes....

Cooking and baking with the ancient cereal grain sorghum has health benefits for people with diabetes, and those with weight control issues....

Anyone can develop a fungal skin infection, but people with diabetes are more prone to them. A common cause of fungal infections in those with...

This two-part article was written by Angela Meeks, the mother of 18-year-old Lilly, who was recently (and unexpectedly) diagnosed with Type 1...

Type 1 diabetes can affect individuals of any age, including infants and children. If you find out your baby has diabetes, it is important...

Both low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can cause any of a list of reactions in the body. Among these are sleep...

With diabetes, it all used to be really simple: Type 1 diabetes was known as “childhood-onset,” and type 2 was “adult-onset” diabetes. The cause...

Bilberry tea sounds like the favorite drink at a Hobbit cafe, but the mild sounding bilberry comes with a tall list of powerful health benefits....

There’s something inherently playful about bouncing, which is why so many people enjoy rebounding. Rebounding, or exercising on a mini-trampoline...

This poem was written by Michele Grima whose daughter, Zoe, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes two years ago.

This is something I...