Unfortunately, metformin also has one of the lowest “patient adherence” rates, because of its side effects which can appear within hours of taking your first dose. While there are actually many positive qualities about this drug compared to other diabetes medications, metformin side effects can be remarkably uncomfortable, disrupting your daily life.

What is a normal blood pressure? Blood pressure is essential to life because it forces the blood around the body, delivering all the nutrients it needs. Here, we explain how to take your blood pressure, what the readings mean, and what counts as low, high, and normal. The article also offers some tips on how to maintain healthy blood pressure. Read now
One of the most common diets recommended for those individuals who struggle with hypertension is called the DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet-a low-sodium, low-fat diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and grains-is the result of a study by the federal government. Compared to two control groups, one that followed a “normal” American diet and the other a traditional diet high in fruits and vegetables, people on the DASH diet reduced their blood pressure by an average of 6 points of systolic pressure and 3 points of diastolic pressure. Those people in the study who already had been diagnosed with hypertension reduced their blood pressure by 11 systolic points and 6 diastolic points. According to Fortmann, the DASH diet shows the importance of diet, especially a significant reduction in salt, to lowering blood pressure. Under the DASH diet, an individual is advised to eat no more than one-quarter teaspoon of salt per day. By comparison, the average American eats about four teaspoons of salt daily, nearly fifteen times more.
In the past, most attention was paid to diastolic pressure; but nowadays it is recognized that both high systolic pressure and high pulse pressure (the numerical difference between systolic and diastolic pressures) are also risk factors. In some cases, it appears that a decrease in excessive diastolic pressure can actually increase risk, due probably to the increased difference between systolic and diastolic pressures (see the article on pulse pressure). If systolic blood pressure is elevated (>140 mmHg) with a normal diastolic blood pressure (<90 mmHg), it is called "isolated systolic hypertension" and may present a health concern.[41][42]
^ Jump up to: a b Calello DP, Liu KD, Wiegand TJ, Roberts DM, Lavergne V, Gosselin S, Hoffman RS, Nolin TD, Ghannoum M (August 2015). "Extracorporeal Treatment for Metformin Poisoning: Systematic Review and Recommendations From the Extracorporeal Treatments in Poisoning Workgroup". Critical Care Medicine. 43 (8): 1716–30. doi:10.1097/CCM.0000000000001002. PMID 25860205.

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 is prescribed for people with type 2 diabetes. Like any medication, it carries the risk of side effects. The most common side effects from metformin include nausea, diarrhea, gas and upset stomach. These are most likely when you first start taking it and usually go away on their own. Until they do, you should try to take your metformin with a meal. You can also try reducing the amount you take for a few days and gradually increasing it until you’ve reached the amount your doctor has prescribed for you.

Rarely, too much metformin can build up in the body and cause a serious (sometimes fatal) condition called lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is more likely if you are an older adult, if you have kidney or liver disease, dehydration, heart failure, heavy alcohol use, if you have surgery, if you have X-ray or scanning procedures that use iodinated contrast, or if you are using certain drugs. For some conditions, your doctor may tell you to stop taking this medication for a short time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
If you are struggling with chronic health issues – the way I used to – you probably have piles of lab tests that can potentially tell you a lot about your health. However, doctors never had enough time to explain it properly. They will only notice it if the lab flags your test results as outside of normal. But what if all your results are coming back normal, yet you know you are feeling nowhere near healthy? They may even tell you there is nothing wrong with you, and that it’s all in your head – I’ve been there.
French diabetologist Jean Sterne studied the antihyperglycemic properties of galegine, an alkaloid isolated from Galega officinalis, which is related in structure to metformin and had seen brief use as an antidiabetic before the synthalins were developed.[126] Later, working at Laboratoires Aron in Paris, he was prompted by Garcia's report to reinvestigate the blood sugar-lowering activity of metformin and several biguanide analogs. Sterne was the first to try metformin on humans for the treatment of diabetes; he coined the name "Glucophage" (glucose eater) for the medication and published his results in 1957.[119][126]
The UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) revealed that taking metformin reduces the risk of heart attack by 39 percent compared with other blood-glucose-lowering drugs. For this reason, metformin is often continued even after it no longer adequately controls blood glucose by itself. Another drug or drugs are then “layered” on top of metformin to achieve blood glucose control.
“[Metformin] has been considered a first-line medication in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and it mainly acts by lowering the amount of glucose released by the liver,” says Minisha Sood, MD, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “It also helps a hormone called insulin to work better by helping muscles use glucose in a more efficient manner. When insulin works better (and insulin sensitivity improves), a person’s insulin levels are lower than they would be otherwise.”
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.
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.
Aldosterone release: This steroid hormone is released from the adrenal cortex in response to angiotensin II or high serum potassium levels. Aldosterone stimulates sodium retention and potassium excretion by the kidneys. Since sodium is the main ion that determines the amount of fluid in the blood vessels by osmosis, aldosterone will increase fluid retention, and indirectly, arterial pressure.
It has been shown that meditation and other relaxation techniques can help lower blood pressure. Yoga, tai chi, and breathing exercises can also help reduce blood pressure. It's best when these are combined with changes in diet and exercise. Tell your doctor if you are taking any herbal remedies, since some of these preparations can actually raise blood pressure or interact with your blood pressure medications. The following are supplements that may lower blood pressure:
Start low and go slow. When starting metformin, most people do well with starting with 500 mg at night or with dinner, and staying at this dose for a full week. At that point, a second 500-mg pill can be added in the morning. After another week, a third pill can be added to the evening dose. After one more week, a fourth pill can be added to the morning dose, so that by the end of the month, the full daily dose of 2,000 mg is being taken. 

Hypertensive Crisis This is an occurrence of high blood pressure that requires medical attention. If you have a blood pressure reading of 180/120 mm Hg, wait five minutes and test again. If it is consistently this high, contact your doctor immediately. If blood pressure is higher than 180/120 mm Hg and you are experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness and weakness, change in vision, and difficulty speaking, you may have organ damage and should call 911. (4)

For an accurate diagnosis of hypertension to be made, it is essential for proper blood pressure measurement technique to be used.[76] Improper measurement of blood pressure is common and can change the blood pressure reading by up to 10 mmHg, which can lead to misdiagnosis and misclassification of hypertension.[76] Correct blood pressure measurement technique involves several steps. Proper blood pressure measurement requires the person whose blood pressure is being measured to sit quietly for at least five minutes which is then followed by application of a properly fitted blood pressure cuff to a bare upper arm.[76] The person should be seated with their back supported, feet flat on the floor, and with their legs uncrossed.[76] The person whose blood pressure is being measured should avoid talking or moving during this process.[76] The arm being measured should be supported on a flat surface at the level of the heart.[76] Blood pressure measurement should be done in a quiet room so the medical professional checking the blood pressure can hear the Korotkoff sounds while listening to the brachial artery with a stethoscope for accurate blood pressure measurements.[76][77] The blood pressure cuff should be deflated slowly (2-3 mmHg per second) while listening for the Korotkoff sounds.[77] The bladder should be emptied before a person's blood pressure is measured since this can increase blood pressure by up to 15/10 mmHg.[76] Multiple blood pressure readings (at least two) spaced 1–2 minutes apart should be obtained to ensure accuracy.[77] Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring over 12 to 24 hours is the most accurate method to confirm the diagnosis.[78]

Exercise every day. Moderate exercise can lower your risk of high blood pressure. Set some goals so you can exercise safely and work your way up to exercising at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise plan if you have any health problems that are not being treated. You can find more information about exercise and physical activity at Go4Life.


If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Overdose can cause lactic acidosis. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, rapid breathing, slow/irregular heartbeat.
If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, or any major medical procedure, tell the doctor that you are taking metformin. Also, tell your doctor if you plan to have any x-ray procedure in which dye is injected, especially if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol or have or have had liver disease or heart failure. You may need to stop taking metformin before the procedure and wait 48 hours to restart treatment. Your doctor will tell you exactly when you should stop taking metformin and when you should start taking it again.

Surprisingly, there hasn’t been a great deal of research that looks at the elderly as a separate population in terms of blood pressure control, says Dr. Suzanne Watnick, a professor of medicine at Oregon Health Sciences University. Watnick advises strict monitoring of prehypertension in order to ensure that it doesn’t have a more serious impact on health. She also warns that rising blood pressure is common in the elderly: “For a 70-year-old person, as you age your blood pressure does go up a bit,” she says. “People think that it’s because your blood vessels are a bit more fibrotic [meaning they develop excess connective tissue] and there’s more damage to the blood vessels over time.” Above-average blood pressure in the elderly is still a concern, but it should still be considered in the context of age. A 40-year-old with a blood pressure of 150/70 is much more likely to develop complications from hypertension than a 70-year-old with the same blood pressure.


The symptoms similar to symptoms of patients with hypertensive crisis are discussed in medieval Persian medical texts in the chapter of "fullness disease".[155] The symptoms include headache, heaviness in the head, sluggish movements, general redness and warm to touch feel of the body, prominent, distended and tense vessels, fullness of the pulse, distension of the skin, coloured and dense urine, loss of appetite, weak eyesight, impairment of thinking, yawning, drowsiness, vascular rupture, and hemorrhagic stroke.[156] Fullness disease was presumed to be due to an excessive amount of blood within the blood vessels.

If at any point in your journey the side effects of metformin become too much to live with, do consult your doctor to get professional medical help and advice. They might review your dosage and potentially decrease it to curb some of the symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe you a different formulation of the drug, maybe a slower-releasing for of it, to help stabilise your symptoms.

According to the American Diabetes Association Standards of Care, Metformin, if tolerated, is the preferred initial oral diabetes medication for Type 2 diabetes because it is the most effective. Unlike people with Type 1 diabetes, people with Type 2 diabetes make ​insulin. The problem is that they are either not making enough insulin or the insulin they do make isn't being used efficiently. Metformin is a weight neutral medication that helps the body use insulin. Weight neutral means that it is not associated with weight gain (or loss) as are many other diabetes medications.
If you’re managing type 2 diabetes with metformin (Glucophage), you might be well acquainted with unwanted side effects of this drug — namely, upset stomach, diarrhea, muscle aches, and sleepiness. These can be a figurative and literal pain, but you might welcome one side effect of metformin with open arms, particularly if you’ve struggled to lose weight.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Metformin helps by reducing the amount of sugar, or glucose that is produced by the liver and also helps release the glucose from the liver into the body. The drug also helps to increase sensitivity to insulin by decreasing blood sugar production, reducing hyperglycemia, reducing triglycerides, improving transport of insulin and helping in weight management. In combination, all those factors lead to much-improved insulin sensitivity, which is especially helpful in cases of insulin resistance.
It is important to go to your regular check-ups with your doctor. Hypertension is a common condition and, if caught, can be treated with medication to prevent complications. However, if you experience any of the symptoms of hypertension, such as frequent headaches, recurrent dizziness, nosebleeds, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, don't wait—speak to your doctor immediately.
^ Jump up to: a b Calello DP, Liu KD, Wiegand TJ, Roberts DM, Lavergne V, Gosselin S, Hoffman RS, Nolin TD, Ghannoum M (August 2015). "Extracorporeal Treatment for Metformin Poisoning: Systematic Review and Recommendations From the Extracorporeal Treatments in Poisoning Workgroup". Critical Care Medicine. 43 (8): 1716–30. doi:10.1097/CCM.0000000000001002. PMID 25860205. 

Blood pressure is expressed by two measurements, the systolic and diastolic pressures, which are the maximum and minimum pressures, respectively.[1] For most adults, normal blood pressure at rest is within the range of 100–130 millimeters mercury (mmHg) systolic and 60–80 mmHg diastolic.[7][12] For most adults, high blood pressure is present if the resting blood pressure is persistently at or above 130/80 or 140/90 mmHg.[5][7] Different numbers apply to children.[13] Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring over a 24-hour period appears more accurate than office-based blood pressure measurement.[5][10]
Rarely, too much metformin can build up in the body and cause a serious (sometimes fatal) condition called lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is more likely if you are an older adult, if you have kidney or liver disease, dehydration, heart failure, heavy alcohol use, if you have surgery, if you have X-ray or scanning procedures that use iodinated contrast, or if you are using certain drugs. For some conditions, your doctor may tell you to stop taking this medication for a short time. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Metformin also interacts with anticholinergic medications, due to their effect on gastric motility. Anticholinergic drugs reduce gastric motility, prolonging the time drugs spend in the gastrointestinal tract. This impairment may lead to more metformin being absorbed than without the presence of an anticholinergic drug, thereby increasing the concentration of metformin in the plasma and increasing the risk for adverse effects.[91]
Dr. Rachel Bond, associate director of the Women's Heart Health Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, who was not involved with the guidelines, said she agreed with the new updates. "I believe this will allow for earlier detection [of high blood pressure], and allow for more lifestyle modification to prevent the long-term detrimental effects of untreated high blood pressure," Bond said.
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