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Avatar universal

Nervous about taking Metformin

I have PCOS and my doc just prescribed Fortamet (Metformin) 1000 mg.  I am really nervous about taking it because I have heard it causes bad stomach upset.  I am a thin person with PCOS, and I've always thought that maybe I didn't have the insulin resistance since I am thin.  I guess my doc thinks otherwise.  I would appreciate anyone's thoughts/experiences regarding metformin.  Thanks.    
8 Responses
Avatar universal
I took Metformin for a few weeks a couple of months ago.  My doc said he thought I "might" have pcos because of some of my symptoms, and said I wasn't ovulating every month. Also I had tested my blood sugar two hours after meals and it did not fall like it should so he put me on it. It bothered me so badly I couldn't take it anymore.  I stuck with it for about 3 weeks, but the stomach problems just kept getting worse.  I did some reading on it and some suggestions were to make sure to take it with food, but that didn't help me.  Some people have just minor problems, and can continue to take it, they love it and say it changed their lives.  I have also heard of many success stories from women who were having difficulties getting pregnant and it helped them concieve.  My advise to you would be to try it for a month, switch up when you take it (if you can), make sure you eat something when you take it and see what happens.  Also I would gradually build up to 1000mg too, take 500 for a few days then add the other 500mg.  Check with you doc to make sure it is okay to do that though.
Remember just because I had problems doesn't mean you will. I hope you tolerate it well.  Are you taking it to help ovulate?  My mil is a labor/delivery nurse and she said it does work, she knew a lot of women who took it and got pregnant within 2 to 3 months.  Good luck!!
Avatar universal
Thanks for the response.  Yes, I am taking it to help with ovulation.  I ovulate on 100 mg of clomid, but clomid also gives me big cysts.  I have heard that you should start out with 500 mg of Metformin, but my doc prescribed 1000 mg tablets.  That's another reason I am nervous.  1000 mg seems like a lot to start with.  I work full-time, and the thought of having to work while having a severely upset stomach does not give me a warm fuzzy.    
Avatar universal
I agree, gradually build up, but even I didn't do this.  i took 1500mg of metformin-XR each day.  I had no problems with it at all even in the beginning.  Instead of taking 500, 1000 then 1500 each for a week or so i only did it for a few days and ramped up faster to the 1500 (I was impatient).  I did take it with breakfast each morning.  If you have problems with the regular metformin ask for the extended release version.  I still needed femara to get pregnant but I am currently 13 weeks and everything looks good so far.  I stopped the metformin at 12 weeks as instructed by my doctor.  They never checked my glucose or insulin levels before or after starting the metformin.  I am only about 10 pounds over my ideal weight but I think they just think a large percentage of women with pcos have insulin resistance so they treat everyone.  It is also hard to actually test for insulin resistance since you do not have full blown diabetes or anything.  It can help with ovulation but many still need clomid or femara.
211043 tn?1337054301
yeah, I started at 500mg and worked my way to 1000mg over a couple of weeks, and after 3 months I was upto 1500mg.  I've never had any problems with it - although I've been on clomid about half the time I've been on the metformin, so I always attributed any side effects to that.  But I never had any stomach/digestive issues
231654 tn?1218985439
Hi, I have been taking Metformin for almost 3 years.  I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2001 but I had to move out of state for a doctor to really test my blood levels and all the test to give me the diagnosis and medicine.  I have been on 1000mg and a better diet for the last 3 years and when I started IVF 2 months ago...there was no sign of it of PCOS any more.  My ovary (I only have 1) was clear.  It works. Believe me!!!
Good Luck
207106 tn?1189759422
I have been on metformin for about a month and a half now because I have PCOS.  Yes, it did cause some stomach problems the first 3-4 weeks (mostly diahrea...sorry tmi) but after that it only bothers me if I have too much carbs that day or sugar.  On the upside though...it did help me ovulate for the first time ever.
Good Luck!!!
211043 tn?1337054301
I forgot to mention (I know you said you are skinny but others reading this might be interested) that I had been gaining 12 lbs a year for the five years before I went on it (making a whopping 60 lb weight gain!), despite major changes in my diet. It was a gradual change and I never ate that poorly to begin with, but now I eat mostly LOTS of raw vegetables and some whole grains & lean meat and have cut out almost all snacks (I admit I indulge occasionally) and I also drink almost nothing but water and easily drink a gallon a day.  I am a waitress and run my butt off all day everyday at work, but also occassionally hike and try to stay active - but I don't "exercise" regularly....yet - I'm getting there!  I tried for a while 2 years ago before I was diagnosed, but gave up cuz I was still gaining weight.  Anyway, I've been on metformin for a year now, and I kept telling myself that I thought I was in the 180's last summer, but I kept thinking it was too good to be true and that there was no way I didn't gain any weight in a whole year.  But I just got copies of my doctors records, and sure enough, almost to the day, on July 19 of LAST year, I was 183 - meaning I haven't gained at all this year!  That's very impressive to me considering my previous weight gain.

Oh yeah, one more thing - I was only 120 pounds when this whole thing started, and I kept telling doctors that I thought I had PCOS and they kept saying "no way - you're too thin!"  Even when I got a little bigger and into the 170's - because I carry 90% of my excess weight below my belly button (I'm a GIANT pear w/tiny arms and upper body, and gigantic legs and butt!!) :o)  even at 175 pounds they STILL said I was too skinny for PCOS - it wasn't until I found my last doctor who said that was a bunch of bull.  I WISH WISH WISH I had found him 60 pounds ago!  :o)
Avatar universal
Thanks for everyone's response.  I think I am going to try it starting today (at dinner tonight).  I have a tendency towards constipation (I know - TMI), so maybe the diarrhea - if there is any - won't be that bad for me.  I was really hoping to get pregnant last cycle when I was on 100 mg of clomid, but I only had one good follicle and we were unsuccessful.  I think it's time to try something new.  Thanks again for responding.  It helps to know there are others out there dealing with the same things I am.
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