This side effect only occurs when using the extended-release version. In this version, metformin diffuses through the capsule that contains the drug, and in many people the empty shell is not digested, passing apparently intact through the digestive tract. However, even though the pill appears intact, it’s just an empty husk; the medicine has been absorbed.
It is usually only when a person is in the midst of what is known as a hypertensive crisis — a period of extremely high blood pressure with a reading of 180/120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher — that she or he will experience symptoms, such as a headache. This is considered a medical crisis, and if it occurs, you should call 911 and get emergency help.
Metformin can cause weight loss over time when combined with diet and exercise. However, metformin should not be used just for weight loss. It has the risk of serious side effects as well as interactions with other medications. Also, metformin doesn’t provide long-term weight loss. After stopping taking metformin, people typically gain back any weight they’ve lost from the drug.
A large fall in blood pressure upon standing (persistent systolic/diastolic blood pressure decrease of >20/10 mm Hg) is termed orthostatic hypotension (postural hypotension) and represents a failure of the body to compensate for the effect of gravity on the circulation. Standing results in an increased hydrostatic pressure in the blood vessels of the lower limbs. The consequent distension of the veins below the diaphragm (venous pooling) causes ~500 ml of blood to be relocated from the chest and upper body. This results in a rapid decrease in central blood volume and a reduction of ventricular preload which in turn reduces stroke volume, and mean arterial pressure. Normally this is compensated for by multiple mechanisms, including activation of the autonomic nervous system which increases heart rate, myocardial contractility and systemic arterial vasoconstriction to preserve blood pressure and elicits venous vasoconstriction to decrease venous compliance. Decreased venous compliance also results from an intrinsic myogenic increase in venous smooth muscle tone in response to the elevated pressure in the veins of the lower body. Other compensatory mechanisms include the veno-arteriolar axon reflex, the 'skeletal muscle pump' and 'respiratory pump'. Together these mechanisms normally stabilize blood pressure within a minute or less.[46] If these compensatory mechanisms fail and arterial pressure and blood flow decrease beyond a certain point, the perfusion of the brain becomes critically compromised (i.e., the blood supply is not sufficient), causing lightheadedness, dizziness, weakness or fainting.[47] Usually this failure of compensation is due to diseases or drugs that affect the sympathetic nervous system.[46] A similar effect is observed following the experience of excessive gravitational forces (G-loading), such as routinely experienced by aerobatic or combat pilots 'pulling Gs' where the extreme hydrostatic pressures exceed the ability of the body's compensatory mechanisms.
4. As for the comments, I have "averaged" the references made in the literature, since not all doctors agree upon the pressures at which to treat, and how aggressively to treat (multiple medications, type of meds, etc.). You can rest assured that the pharmaceutical companies prefer that you take medication at 135/80, since they sell the meds. Most doctors are not so aggressive. Remember that ALL medications have side effects. Heart medications have more serious side effects than any other class of prescription drugs.
^ About Janusz Supniewski, see: Wołkow PP, Korbut R (April 2006). "Pharmacology at the Jagiellonian University in Kracow, short review of contribution to global science and cardiovascular research through 400 years of history" (pdf). Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. 57 Suppl 1: 119–36. PMID 16766803. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2009-10-24.
The new guidelines stem from the 2017 results of the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT), which studied more than 9,000 adults ages 50 and older who had systolic blood pressure (the top number in a reading) of 130 mm Hg or higher and at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The study's aim was to find out whether treating blood pressure to lower the systolic number to 120 mm Hg or less was superior to the standard target of 140 mm Hg or less. The results found that targeting a systolic pressure of no more than 120 mm Hg reduced the chance of heart attacks, heart failure, or stroke over a three-year period.
Sodium (salt) sensitivity: Some people have high sensitivity to sodium (salt), and their blood pressure increases if they use salt. Reducing sodium intake tends to lower their blood pressure. Americans consume 10-15 times more sodium than they need. Fast foods and processed foods contain particularly high amounts of sodium. Many over-the-counter medicines also contain large amounts of sodium. Read food labels and learn about salt content in foods and other products as a healthy first step to reducing salt intake. Fast food restaurants also make the salt and calorie content of their food available to consumers at their restaurants,
The Metformin-PCOS connection has been studied extensively since a majority of health complications associated with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) are due to hyperinsulinemia (high amounts of insulin in the blood stream). Metformin is known to reduce circulating insulin levels. The use of this drug in women with PCOS has shown highly encouraging results.
While high blood pressure doesn’t have any distinctive symptoms in itself, there can be many associated conditions and signs that high blood pressure may be affecting your body and causing damage. When left untreated, high blood pressure can cause the following symptoms in the body, which may worsen over time. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms chances are your high blood pressure may be placing you at risk of developing further conditions and should be addressed immediately.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension (See blood pressure chart below) is called the “silent killer” for a reason — there are no obvious symptoms but it can result in heart attack, stroke and even death. The good news is there’s a lot you can do to maintain healthy blood pressure or get back to one, often without the need for medications.

A nurse takes your blood pressure at your annual physical. The numbers are recorded and the checkup continues. But do you know where on the blood pressure chart your levels are? Are they healthy? Too low? Too high, meaning you have hypertension? If you have high blood pressure or are heading in that direction, you should know that hypertension is among the primary enlarged heart causes, and a major risk factor for heart failure.

The first line of treatment for hypertension is lifestyle changes, including dietary changes, physical exercise, and weight loss. Though these have all been recommended in scientific advisories,[111] a Cochrane systematic review found no evidence for effects of weight loss diets on death, long-term complications or adverse events in persons with hypertension.[112] The review did find a decrease in blood pressure.[112] Their potential effectiveness is similar to and at times exceeds a single medication.[12] If hypertension is high enough to justify immediate use of medications, lifestyle changes are still recommended in conjunction with medication.
Folic Acid or Vitamin B9 may be had separately or may be combined with Vitamin B12 and other Vitamins in the B family in a single Vitamin B-complex capsule. This is because the remaining members of the Vitamin B family (Vitamins B1 through B7), each, has some benefit to offer diabetics. Here, the majority opinion is in favour of the form of B9 (called folate). It is closer to nature than folic acid, which is chemically synthesized.
Your doctor can help you measure and track your blood pressure to confirm whether it’s too high. You may need to start taking medications if your blood pressure doesn’t improve after one month of following a healthy lifestyle, especially if you’re already at high risk for heart disease. If you’re at lower risk, your doctor may want to follow up in three to six months after you’ve adopted more healthy habits.

Metformin (prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes) can cause excessive gas and bloating, heartburn, headaches, a cough, muscle pain and a metallic taste in the mouth, but these side effects typically ease after a few weeks. Very rarely, metformin may cause a serious condition called lactic acidosis. Key signs include weakness, trouble breathing, abnormal heartbeat, unusual muscle pain, stomach discomfort, lightheadedness and feeling cold. You're more at risk if you have reduced kidney function, worsening congestive heart failure or are dehydrated.


Everybody’s blood pressure goes up and down throughout the day. Walking to work, meditating, stressing about your Facebook feed, taking that sweet afternoon nap, and pounding a triple shot espresso all influence your blood pressure. There’s even a thing called “White Coat Hypertension” where people report higher than normal blood pressure readings due to the stress of just being in a doctor’s office with a cuff strapped to your arm. Blood pressure is a moving target. It’s not the end of the world if it spikes every now and then.

The MMH Medical Group specializes in Family Medicine; they offer same day sick call appointments. Pictured from left to right are: Dr. Rohit Barreto, Cassandra LaShomb, Physician Assistant, Dr. Ammar Kafa and Dr. Matthew Prionas. For a same day sick call appointment, or to schedule an appointment in advance, please call 315-769-4704. MMH Medical Group is welcoming new patients and families to their practice.
The relationship between metformin and weight is unclear, but several theories provide a plausible explanation for weight fluctuations. Reduced hunger is one proven side effect of metformin, according to the Mayo Clinic. It might not appear as if you’re eating less with this drug, but the number of calories you’re currently consuming for breakfast, lunch, and dinner might be lower than your normal food intake. This subtle change in appetite could be responsible for a gradual decline in weight.
But it’s not all bad news. Yes, hypertension contributes to a lot of serious conditions, but blood pressure treatment options are very effective. And the first step, of course, is knowing if you have high blood pressure. You can check your blood pressure for free at many pharmacies nationwide. CVS “Minute Clinics” and Walgreens Blood Pressure screening both offer in-store blood pressure test.
^ Knowler WC, Barrett-Connor E, Fowler SE, Hamman RF, Lachin JM, Walker EA, Nathan DM, et al. (Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group) (February 2002). "Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin". The New England Journal of Medicine. 346 (6): 393–403. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa012512. PMC 1370926. PMID 11832527.
These common metformin side effects also happen because metformin alters your digestive process and your nutrient absorption. Some foods/products may start tasting and smelling better to you, while others may gain an unfamiliar/unpleasant smell/taste. Patients often report a heightened sense of smell on metformin, as well as metallic taste in the mouth and while consuming certain foods. 1-5% of the patients experience taste and smell disturbances while medicating with metformin.
Lactic acidosis almost never occurs with metformin exposure during routine medical care.[70] Rates of metformin-associated lactic acidosis is about nine per 100,000 person-years, which is similar to the background rate of lactic acidosis in the general population.[71] A systematic review concluded no data exists to definitively link metformin to lactic acidosis.[72]
Arms and feet could tingle or feel numb due to depletion of Vitamin B12, which is critical for nerve insulation. Our nerves are like electric wires and we need Vitamin B12 to keep the protective sheath of the nerves healthy. Metformin interferes with B12 absorption in the body. This leads to nerves becoming extra sensitive, almost like having a short circuit. If nerves get deadened instead, one could feel numbness or that ‘pillow walking’ feeling diabetics often complain about.
Dietary changes can help control blood pressure. One diet designed to promote lower blood pressure is known as the DASH diet. This stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet recommends eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, nuts, and fish. Red meat, saturated fats, and sweets should be avoided. The DASH diet can lower blood pressure within 2 weeks. It can also help to reduce your intake of sodium. The following is the DASH diet suggested daily intake:
The blood pressure chart reflects the categories defined by the American Heart Association. A normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. If your blood pressure numbers are between 120/80 and 139/89, you have pre-hypertension, which means that you are likely to develop high blood pressure. If your blood pressure numbers are 140/90 or above, you have high blood pressure. For instance, if your systolic blood pressure is between 140 and 159, and your diastolic blood pressure is between 90 and 99, you have Stage 1 Hypertension. You have Stage 2 Hypertension if your systolic blood pressure is over 160 and you diastolic blood pressure is over 100. If your numbers are higher than that, you are in hypertensive crisis and need emergency care.
Metformin is used with a proper diet and exercise program and possibly with other medications to control high blood sugar. It is used in patients with type 2 diabetes. Controlling high blood sugar helps prevent kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function problems. Proper control of diabetes may also lessen your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Metformin works by helping to restore your body's proper response to the insulin you naturally produce. It also decreases the amount of sugar that your liver makes and that your stomach/intestines absorb.
The guidelines, from the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC), now define high blood pressure as 130 mm Hg or higher for the systolic blood pressure measurement, or 80 mm Hg or higher for the diastolic blood pressure measurement. (Systolic is the top number, and diastolic is the bottom number, in a blood pressure reading.) Previously, high blood pressure was defined as 140 mm Hg or higher for the systolic measurement and 90 or higher for the diastolic measurement.
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