Should I stop taking Metformin?
by Ken812, Apr 08, 2010
I've been taking Metformin 500 mg once a day every morning. My blood glucose level has been stablized and between safe range, 70 to 85 for fasting test and 80 to 120 at 2 hours after meal. I believe the improvement in blood sugar is because of exercise and diet rather than medication.

My question is: should I stop taking Metformin 500 mg? I've heard that this is a very low dose and does not affect much on controling blood sugar.
Thanks a lot in advance for your advice and suggestions.

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Member Comments (15)
by tito55, Apr 08, 2010
Hi I also take this medication, but I take is at night along with 5 mg of Diabeta. I have been a diabetic for over 25 years. And have had it somewhat under controlled with exercise and diet. But for 15 years I controlled it only by exercise, diet, and maybe you have been recently diagnosed? If this is the case first consult with your Dr.
by Ken812, Apr 08, 2010
I was diagnosed in January this year (A1C test was 7.5). One year ago, I was diabetes free. I guess the disease developed just for the last few months before diagnosis.

After having been on diet with intense exercise for just a few weeks, my blood sugar was stablized and fell within the safe range. I called my doctor in February to ask im if I should stop taking medication, and he asked me to wait until the next visit on April 17.
However, I'd like to know public opinions from this forum to see if you have any other ideas.

by Zoelula, Apr 08, 2010
It's always better to manage on just diet and exercise if you can get good results that way. Some people are able to do that for years before needing oral meds. It sounds like you went on meds right away so really don't know if that was the cause of your good results or not. I would definitely ask the doctor to see if you can try it for awhile. You can always go back on the medication if your numbers rise. Many doctors don't trust their patients to be diligent about diet and exercise and are a bit too quick with the meds imho.
by WaveRider, Apr 08, 2010
"My question is: should I stop taking Metformin"

You have less than 11 days (04/17) until you see your doctor. You might try cutting the tab in half (pill cutters found at most drug stores). Try that for a 5 days as you continue to test and monitor your blood glucose. If your numbers remain in the normal range stop taking Metformin the last 5 days, but don't stop testing. Hopefully your glucose meter has memory where it stores up to two or more weeks of test results. Take the meter to your doctor and show him/her your results.

Keep up with the exercise and proper nutrition.
by Ken812, Apr 08, 2010
To Zoelula:

I felt that my doctor didn't trust me on diet and exercise from his own experience, I guess.
I've been taking metformin for the last three months and missed two occasions. I tested my blood sugar on those days and they were normal.

To WaveRider: I will have blood work on 04/12 and will see the doctor on 4/17. He will judge how good I've been based on the the blood test (including cholesterol, A1C, and so on).
by caregiver222, Apr 09, 2010
You have received excellent advice from Zoelula and Waverider.

The question you probably have is whether there can be any harm, other than the glucose levels, from discontinuing Metformin. for a period of time. This is a legitimate question, because some medications must be "tapered down" or cause dangerous problems when summarily discontinued.

Metformin is not in this category. You can go on and off it, depending on the blood sugar situation. Some period go on Metformin, lose weight, exercise, and then find they can control blood sugar without the drug. Missing a day or two really isn't that great a problem. Try to remember to keep an extra tablet in your wallet. Also try to take it with food at the same time, under the same circumstances every day.

by Ken812, Apr 10, 2010
Thanks for your comments. I actually stopped taking Metformin yesterday and today. As a caution, I exercised more and ate less carbs. The fasting glucose numbers yesterday and today were 81 and 78, respectively. The blood sugar levels at 2-hrs after meal were even better than before stopping the meds, 96 and 97, respectively.
Hopefully the A1C test that I will test on Monday shows a nice number so my doctor will let me off the metformin for good.

by Zoelula, Apr 11, 2010
Way to go!
by tito55, Apr 12, 2010
Good job! I went through the same experience. But remember this from this old man, half  my family are Diabetics and I would always say "diabetis runs in my family and I am running away form it". Well after all that running I developed knee,leg and feet problems. I would run on the avreage 8 miles a day for many years.

My point is swim, cycle, walk, ect. and just try limiting your running. I still exersice but not like I use too! I was a boxer, so you will find me, shadow boxing to develope a good cardiovascular work out and riding a bike by the river bed. At work I walk two miles a day.

My A1C results are always less than 6.5 and I do regularly cut my pills, at times I do not take them at night. I convinced my Dr. when I was first diagones that I was very serious about my health.  

You will live a very long life without complications, just do not stop working out!

Ken812, Have a good life and God Bless you.