Glucophage 500 MG Tablets to Control Your Blood Sugar Level

Medically Reviewed By DR. HARDIK BAMBHANIA, MBBS, MD , 8 Years of Experience March 15, 2024

Last updated on April 9th, 2022

Glucophage 500 mg is a brand name for Metformin 500 mg. It is the most trusted medication for treating diabetes type-2 in adults. In the past few years, there has been a surprising increase in the number of diabetes patients. Consequently, many pharmaceutical brands have come up with their own diabetes medication. Glucophage 500 mg is the most recommended medicine for diabetes patients as it does not have severe side effects. Its working mechanism is also different from other medicines in lowering blood sugar levels and reducing diabetes-related complications.

Glucophage is a brand name for the generic medicine Metformin that belongs to the drug class non-sulfonylureas. It is an oral anti-hyperglycemic drug for treating diabetes type-2. Glucophage 500 mg tablet is a film-coated tablet that contains 500 mg metformin hydrochloride corresponding to 390 mg metformin base. The doctors recommend Glucophage 500 mg to treat diabetes type-2, particularly in overweight patients, when diet and exercise alone do not result in diabetes control..

The Working Mechanism of Glucophage 500 MG Tablet

Metformin HCl is an active ingredient of Glucophage. According to the National Institute of Health, Glucophage is the brand name of metformin. It is an anti-hyperglycemic agent that improves glucose tolerance in type-2 diabetes patients. It lowers fasting and postprandial glucose levels. Its mechanism of action is different from that of the other medicines of the same class. Metformin decreases hepatic glucose production and intestinal absorption of glucose. It also increases peripheral glucose uptake and utilization to improve insulin sensitivity without causing hypoglycemia.

Dosage Information About Glucophage 500 MG Tablet

According to, the usual adult dose of Glucophage extended-release tablet for diabetes type-2 patients is 500 mg twice daily or 850 mg once daily. Take this medicine with meals to avoid vomiting, nausea, and stomach upset. Diabetes patients should monitor their blood sugar levels regularly. It ensures Glucophage is working well in managing their diabetes.

Read More: Can Type 2 Diabetes be Reversed Permanently?

Contraindications of Using Glucophage 500 MG Tablet


There are a few contraindications and limitations to the use of Glucophage tablets in diabetes type 2 treatment. People with liver and kidney diseases, low blood glucose levels, cardiorespiratory issues, and pregnant women should not take Glucophage without consulting with a doctor.

Glucophage (metformin hydrochloride) and Glucophage XR (metformin hydrochloride) extended-release tablets are suitable for people with diabetes type-2. The doctors recommend this medication as an adjunct to diet and exercises to improve the blood glucose levels in adults and children with diabetes type-2. However, contraindications of Glucophage and Glucophage XR in patients with:

  • Known hypersensitivity to Metformin
  • Severe or acute metabolic acidosis like diabetic acidosis
  • Severe renal impairment (eGFR below 30 mL/min/1.73 m2)
  • Having a radiology related surgery and other procedures

According to the National Health Service U.K. website, Glucophage is also not suitable if you:

  • Suffer from severe dehydration
  • Are pregnant or breast-feeding
  • Are having a lactic Acidosis
  • Have liver diseases or kidney problems
  • Have cardio-respiratory issues
  • Have poor glycemic control (People with diabetes type 1 should not consider this medicine as the only anti-diabetic agent. They need to continue with their insulin shots.)

Read More: 15 Foods To Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Drug Interaction With Glucophage 500 MG Tablet


Glucophage or Metformin interacts with other drugs and some foods, affecting its effectiveness. Sometimes, the drug interaction may lead to severe complications. Therefore, you should inform your doctor if you are taking any medicine or supplement for any other health problem.

Glucophage can easily interact with other drugs and increases the risk of developing side effects in the patients. Glucophage does not affect your blood sugar levels while interacting with other drugs. Hence becomes useless in diabetes management therapy. Here is a list of some medicines that easily interact with Metformin in Glucophage:

  • Furosemide
  • Beta-blocker medications
  • Ranolazine
  • Vandetanib
  • Dolutegravir
  • Cimetidine
  • Insulin

In addition to these drugs, drugs that affect glycemic control, such as calcium channel blockers, thyroid products, oral contraceptives, nicotinic acids, and hormone medicines, also interact with Glucophage.

Read More: Top 10 Natural Remedies For Diabetes?

Common Side Effects of Glucophage 500 MG Tablet

Common Side Effects of Glucophage 500 MG Tablet


The mild side effects of Glucophage usually go off without medications. However, do not delay to consult your doctor if the side effects persist for a long time. The persistence of such side effects may have severe consequences as well.

Hives (Urticaria), difficulty breathing, and swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat are the signs of an allergic reaction to Glucophage. If any person with diabetes who is taking Glucophage experiences such symptoms, they should contact the doctor immediately. According to the WebMD website, some people may experience mild side effects of Glucophage, such as:

  • feeling cold
  • slow or irregular heart rate
  • unusual muscle pain
  • trouble breathing
  • feeling dizzy, light-headed, tired, or very weak
  • upset stomach and stomach ache
  • vomiting
  • low blood sugar levels

These common and mild side effects of Glucophage may be troublesome for some time, but they do not cause extensive health issues. The symptoms of these common side effects of Glucophage are treatable.

Read More: Insulin to Carb Ratios: How to Calculate Insulin Doses

Metformin Associated Lactic Acidosis


Lactic Acidosis is a rare side effect of Glucophage or Metformin. It occurs due to the increase in production or less utilization of lactic acid in your body. If untreated for a long time, Lactic Acidosis may be fatal for the patients. Therefore, discontinue the use of Glucophage if you notice the symptoms of Lactic Acidosis.

Lactic Acidosis is a severe but rare side effect of Metformin. It occurs due to the lack of oxygen in the muscles to break down glycogen and glucose. A high level of blood lactate concentrations (>5 mmol/L) is a sign of lactic acidosis. The non-specific symptoms include respiratory distress, abdominal pain, sleepiness, and discomfort. Immediate discontinuation of Glucophage or Glucophage XR can treat patients with suspected or diagnosed Lactic Acidosis.

Treatment of Lactic Acidosis

The doctors recommend hemodialysis to the patients to correct the lactic acidosis and remove accumulated metformin in the body. Giving IV fluids and an increase in oxygen levels in the tissues also help in reducing Lactic Acidosis.

Renal Impairments in patients with Lactic Acidosis


Diabetes patients with renal impairments should take Glucophage only after obtaining their eGFR. This helps them avoid further health complications. Renal impairments generally occur in older people or those who have Metformin-related Lactic Acidosis. Consult a doctor to avoid the side effects of Glucophage if you have liver and kidney problems.

Metformin-associated Lactic Acidosis occurs in patients with significant renal impairments. The risk of accumulation of Metformin and Metformin-associated Lactic Acidosis increases with the severity of renal impairments. It happens because the kidneys excrete Metformin. Therefore, the sugar patients should obtain their estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) before starting Glucophage or Glucophage XR.

Initiation of Glucophage concerning eGFR

Different values of eGFR determine the administration of Glucophage in the patients.

  • Patients whose eGFR falls below 45 mL/min/1.73 m2 should discuss with their doctor the benefits and risks of continuing to take Glucophage.
  • Ideally, Glucophage is not suitable for patients with eGFR between 30 and 45 mL/min/1.73 m2. Patients with eGFR less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 should strictly avoid taking Glucophage. It indicates severe renal impairments.

Patients at risk of developing renal impairments should obtain their eGFR at least annually. Generally, elderly patients and those who might have kidney problems or related surgery should get their eGFR values before starting with Glucophage.

Read More: Know About Madhunashini Vati For Diabetes.

Glucophage 500 MG Related Deficiency of Vitamin B12


Glucophage is responsible for Vitamin B12 deficiency in your body. It primarily decreases the absorption of Vitamin B12, which leads to its deficiency. The complete blood count is the test that detects Glucophage—or Metformin-related Vitamin B12 deficiency. The doctor may suggest you take a Vitamin B12 oral supplement or intramuscular injection to cover up this deficiency. You can also eat Vitamin B12-rich food items to meet your daily Vitamin B12 needs.

Clinical trials of Glucophage show the deficiency of Vitamin B12 in the diabetes patients taking Glucophage. Their Vitamin B12 levels decrease due to the interference with B12 absorption in your body. A vitamin B12 deficiency often results in anemia (lack of red blood corpuscles) to perform essential body functions. Hence, you may feel tired, weak, have heart palpitations, and have shortness of breath. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause nerve damage and affect your thinking ability.

Diagnosis of Vitamin B12 deficiency

Many of the common symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency overlap with other health conditions. Therefore, it is difficult to diagnose Vitamin B12 deficiency in your body. Besides your medical history and physical examination, Complete Blood Count (CBC) laboratory tests may help diagnose Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Treatment of Vitamin B12 deficiency

Intramuscular (IM) injections help treat Vitamin B12 deficiency due to decreased absorption. Injecting vitamin B12 goes directly into your blood and covers up the deficiency. There are also Vitamin B12 oral medicines that help treat the deficiency. Recovery from Vitamin B12 deficiency takes up to six to twelve months. Milk, Fish, Chicken, Almonds, and Eggs are Vitamin B12-rich foods. They help to treat Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Read More: Metformin 500mg For Diabetics Pateients.

Precautions to Follow While Taking Glucophage 500 MG Tablet


Patients should take some precautions to ensure the positive effect of these medicines on their blood glucose levels. When a doctor prescribes Glucophage to diabetes patients, they should discuss their health history, diet and exercise routine, and medications they are already taking. Additionally, they need to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly, avoid alcohol intake, and consume a proper diet to ensure the positive effects of Glucophage.

It is crucial to follow some instructions whether you are taking Metformin 500 mg or Glucophage 500 mg Tablets. You should ensure to provide all the essential information about your health to your doctor. It may affect how you should take this medicine. Here is a list of some precautions to follow while taking Glucophage:

  • Monitoring Blood sugar levels: Right from day one, when you start taking Glucophage 500 tablets, you should keep a record of your blood sugar levels. Monitor your fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels to know how Glucophage is affecting your blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar levels drop significantly, inform your doctor. This will prevent your blood sugar levels from going below significant levels and avoid hypoglycemia.
  • Diet: Glucophage works well when combined with a proper diet. When you start taking Glucophage 500 tablets, make sure to follow the correct diet. It helps maintain an optimum level of blood sugar in your body. Taking Glucophage doesn’t mean you should compromise on a proper diet or increase your intake of carbohydrates.
  • Blood sugar control: Fever, infection, or surgery may affect your blood sugar levels. Therefore, in such cases, contact your doctor immediately. If the doctor thinks it is necessary to stop Glucophage temporarily, then you should follow the instructions. Your doctor may suggest insulin injections as a temporary means to control the blood sugar levels. When some health problems get well, your doctor may restart Glucophage to manage your diabetes.

Avoid alcohol intake: The doctors recommend abstaining from drinking alcohol in excess while taking Glucophage. Alcohol can decrease your blood sugar levels, sometimes dropping them to dangerous levels in people with diabetes type-1. It stimulates the appetite. Therefore, you may end up eating more and consuming more calories, which increases your blood sugar levels. Alcohol also interferes with some diabetes medications like Glucophage and insulin.

Also read: Yoga for diabetes control


Does Glucophage cause weight loss?

There is no evidence for weight loss due to Glucophage XR extended-release tablets. If someone is looking for a weight loss medication, then Glucophage XR is not the solution. Glucophage helps in improving glycemic control and reduces the chances of developing diabetes-related complications. Therefore, considering this medicine as a weight loss medicine can be fatal for non-diabetics.

What can affect the dose of Glucophage?

The dosage of medication may vary from person to person. The body weight, certain medical conditions, and other medicines that a person is already taking can affect the dosage of Glucophage in diabetes patients. Therefore, do not change the dosage without consulting your doctor despite your blood sugar levels are under control. You should first consult your doctor. If a doctor thinks that your blood sugar is in control, you can lower the dosage of Glucophage.

What are the ingredients of Glucophage tablets?

Glucophage is available in different strengths. It contains 500 mg, 850 mg, or 1000 mg of metformin hydrochloride as an active ingredient. Each table of Glucophage contains povidone and magnesium stearate as the inactive ingredients. The coating of Glucophage 500 mg and 850 mg tablets contains hypromellose. On the other hand, the film-coating of the Glucophage 1000 mg tablet contains hypromellose and polyethylene glycol.

Can I stop Glucophage when glucose levels drop to normal?

Glucophage helps in preventing long-term health complications due to diabetes type-2. You may stop taking Glucophage if your doctor thinks that your body can maintain your blood sugar levels. Reducing the dosage or discontinuing Glucophage is safe if your diabetes is under control. However, you should consult with your doctor before stopping Glucophage. If your doctors notice that your blood glucose levels are under control, the doctor may reduce your dosage.

Can I take Glucophage before or after meals?

The best time to take Glucophage 500 mg tablet is along with the meals. Avoid taking it before or after the meals. It helps in reducing the side effects that it cause to diabetes patients. The patients need to swallow the tablets as a whole with a glass of water. You do not chew or cut the Glucophage tablet as it can affect the extended-release properties of the tablet.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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