Side Effects of Diabetes Medicine

Managing diabetes with medication is essential, but it’s crucial to be aware of potential side effects. From common reactions like weight gain and low blood sugar to more severe complications such as kidney problems and cardiovascular issues, understanding the side effects of diabetes medicine is vital for safe and effective treatment. This article explores the diverse range of side effects of diabetes medicine that individuals may encounter while navigating their diabetes management journey.

Dapagliflozin Side Effects

Dapagliflozin Side Effects

Like every other medicine, dapagliflozin also has some side effects. The side effects of dapagliflozin are usually mild and resolve with time. However, urgent attention is needed in case these side effects don’t go away. According to the NHS, dapagliflozin side effects include:

Common side effects:

  • Frequent urination
  • Thrush
  • Dizziness
  • Back pain
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Increased urge to eat
  • Increased thirst
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Breathlessness
  • Vomiting

Less Common Side Effects:

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis: DKA is one of the less common dapagliflozin side effects. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a potentially life-threatening complication that can occur as a serious side effect of Dapagliflozin. DKA develops when there is a severe lack of insulin in the body, leading to the breakdown of fat into ketones for energy. These ketones accumulate in the blood, causing the blood to become acidic.

Symptoms of DKA include excessive thirst, frequent urination, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, confusion, and fruity-smelling breath. If left untreated, DKA can progress rapidly and lead to severe complications such as coma or even death.

  • Allergic reactions
  • Pain around penis
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Wrinkled skin

Read More: What Is Diabetes Leg Pain?

Metformin And Side Effects

Metformin And Side Effects

Metformin is amongst the most commonly prescribed diabetes medicines, but it can cause side effects. Metformin and side effects are often discussed to understand the ways one can deal with those effects. Understanding the side effects of diabetes medication, from gastrointestinal discomfort to rare complications, is crucial for safe treatment. As per the NHS, here are some side effects of metformin.

Common Metformin Side Effects:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloating
  • Acidity
  • Metallic taste

Read More: Foods To Avoid While Taking Metformin.

Less Common Metformin Side Effects:

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia): Metformin and side effects include low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is an uncommon side effect of metformin due to its primary mechanism of action: reducing glucose production by the liver. There are various antidiabetic drugs side effects. However, when metformin is used in combination with other diabetes medications that lower blood sugar, the risk of hypoglycemia may increase. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:

  • Increased hunger
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Sweating
  • Increased heart rate, etc.

Anemia: Talking of metformin and side effects, anemia is its another side effect. Metformin may cause anaemia by reducing vitamin B12 levels, potentially leading to symptoms such as fatigue and weakness. Regular monitoring of vitamin B12 is advised for those on long-term metformin use.

Lactic Acidosis: Lactic acidosis is a rare but serious diabetes tablet side effects. This occurs when the drug builds up in the body, leading to elevated levels of lactic acid. This can cause symptoms like muscle pain and weakness.

Liver inflammation:  Abdominal pain, jaundice, and changes in urine and stool colour may indicate liver inflammation. 

Metformin Side Effects Long Term

Anemia: Anemia is one of the long term side effects of metformin. Metformin, commonly used for diabetes, can lead to anemia by interfering with the absorption of vitamin B12, essential for red blood cell production.

Nerve damage: Metformin and side effects also extend to nerver damage. Taking metformin for years can start causing nerve damage due to its potential to deplete Vitamin B12 levels.

Metformin Side Effects in Women

Metformin and side effects are specific to women in some cases. Metformin, a widely prescribed medication for managing type 2 diabetes, can induce several side effects in women. Commonly reported sugar diabetes side effects from this medicine include gastrointestinal discomfort such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, which can be particularly bothersome. Furthermore, some women may experience menstrual irregularities or changes in fertility while taking metformin, though these effects are not fully understood. It’s essential for women prescribed metformin to discuss any concerns or adverse reactions with their healthcare provider to ensure appropriate management and potential adjustments to treatment.

Read More: Is Type 2 Diabetes Curable?

Adverse Effect of Insulin

Adverse Effect of Insulin

Insulin therapy becomes necessary for people who have impaired insulin production. It is necessary for negating side effect of high blood sugar. This happens mostly in type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes patients are likely to be prescribed insulin if their blood sugar levels are not under control, even after medications and lifestyle changes. However, insulin therapy has its own set of side effects.

According to the NIH, here are some common side effects of insulin therapy:

  • Low blood glucose: While insulin aims to reduce blood glucose levels, it occasionally leads to excessive lowering, resulting in hypoglycemia, the primary side effect. Hypoglycemia occurs when blood glucose levels fall below 70 mg/dL.
  • Blurred vision
  • Weight gain
  • Anxiety
  • Cold sweats
  • Increased hunger
  • Injection site pain: Injecting insulin may result in discomfort or pain at the injection site, accompanied by swelling, itching, or redness, known as an injection site reaction.
  • Nervousness and tremors
  • Speech problems
  • Shrinking or thickening of the skin at the injection site

Serious Side Effects of Insulin:

  • Swelling on face, fingers, feet
  • Sleepiness
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Nightmares
  • Allergic reactions like rashes all over the body
  • Heart failure symptoms like loss of breath, sudden weight gain, swelling of ankles, etc.

Read More: 15 Foods To Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Glitazone Side Effects

Pioglitazone, classified as a thiazolidinedione-type diabetes medication, commonly known as “glitazones,” is prescribed in conjunction with a balanced diet and regular exercise regimen to manage elevated blood sugar levels in individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It is well known to lessen the intensity of side effects of high sugar levels. Its mechanism involves aiding the restoration of the body’s appropriate sensitivity to insulin, consequently reducing blood glucose levels.

However, there are various glitazone side effects. According to the MedlinePlus, some of the common side effects of pioglitazone include:

  • Throat infections
  • A sudden increase in weight
  • Numbness of toes and fingers
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Cold symptoms
  • Acidity

Pioglitazone can also cause serious side effects like:

  • Vision problems
  • Frequent or difficult urination
  • Stomach or back pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Liver injury
  • Heart failure
  • Allergic reactions like skin allergies, rashes, etc.

Pioglitazone can also lead to hypoglycemia. Symptoms include:

  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sweating 
  • Confusion
  • Poor concentration

Read More: Top 10 Homeopathic Medicine For Diabetes.

Glimepiride Side Effects

Glimepiride is prescribed to address elevated blood glucose levels resulting from type 2 diabetes. It can be administered independently or alongside insulin or another oral medication like metformin. In type 2 diabetes, the insulin generated by the pancreas struggles to facilitate the entry of sugar into the body’s cells for effective utilisation. The utilisation of this medication aids in reducing excessive blood sugar levels and reinstates the body’s ability to utilise food for energy production. As per the Mayo Clinic, here are some side effects of Glimepiride:

Common glimepiride side effects include:

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms include irritability, sweating, shaking or trembling, headache, increased urge to eat, fatigue, etc.
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Unexpected weight gain
  • Dizziness

Serious glimepiride side effects may include:

  • Pale of skin
  • Dark coloured urine
  • Fever
  • Unusual bruises and bleeding
  • Change in the colour of stool

Read More: How to Reverse Prediabetes Naturally?

Insulux Capsule Side Effects

Insulux Capsules are formulated as a holistic wellness supplement intended to promote general well-being. Featuring a combination of natural components, it aids in bolstering overall health, with a notable reputation for assisting in diabetic management.

Insulux Capsule Common Side Effects:

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling hungry even after eating
  • Headache
  • Shaking
  • Skin allergies like rashes
  • Unexpected pain

Read More: Key Differences Between Diabetologists And Endocrinologists?

Vildagliptin Side Effects

Vildagliptin is an oral medication used in the treatment of diabetes, working as an inhibitor of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4). This medication enhances the responsiveness of pancreatic islet cells to glucose by preventing DPP-4 from deactivating glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP). As a result, it elicits a dual effect within the pancreas: GLP-1 and GIP suppress glucagon release by alpha cells while also stimulating insulin secretion by beta cells. Vildagliptin is marketed under the brand names Galvus and Eucreas. According to the National Institutes of Health, here are some side effects of Vildagliptin.

Common Vildagliptin Side Effects:

  • Cough
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Shaking
  • Dizziness

Serious Vildagliptin Side Effects:

  • Respiratory tract infection
  • Joint pain
  • Heart burn
  • Sweating
  • Swelling of eyes, lips, etc.

Read More: Resistant Starch and Diabetes

Glycomet SR 500 Side Effects

Glycomet SR 500 Side Effects

Glycomet 500 MG Tablet SR is a medication prescribed for managing type 2 Diabetes mellitus (non-insulin-dependent). Its primary function is to regulate blood sugar levels and mitigate the risk of diabetes-related complications, including vision impairment, kidney impairment, stroke, and cardiac events. However, Glycomet SR 500 has some side effects too.

Common Glycomet SR 500 Side Effects:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Vitamin B12 Deficiency: A 2016 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that extended usage of Glycomet may induce specific side effects, such as vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Upset stomach
  • Chest pain and discomfort
  • Decreased urge to eat
  • Flatulence

Serious Glycomet SR 500 Side Effects:

  • Lactic Acidosis (Rare): Among the infrequent yet severe side effects of Glycomet SR 500, lactic acidosis stands out. It is especially prevalent in individuals with compromised kidney function or other predisposing conditions. Indications of lactic acidosis may encompass muscle soreness, respiratory challenges, abdominal unease, dizziness, and irregular heart rhythms.
  • Swollen joints
  • Heart burn
  • Trouble sleeping, insomnia
  • Severe throat infection, runny nose

Read More: Top 10 Homeopathic Medicine For Diabetes.

Teneligliptin Side Effects

Teneligliptin Side Effects

Teneligliptin is a widely prescribed medication for managing type 2 diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus. It falls under the category of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors, commonly referred to as gliptins. This medication is typically prescribed alongside dietary adjustments and exercise regimens to enhance blood sugar control in adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Here are some of the side effects of Teneligliptin:

Teneligliptin Side Effects:

  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Skin rashes, itching
  • Decreased urge to eat
  • Fatigue
  • Kidney issues
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Nasopharyngitis
  • Abdominal pain
  • Respiratory problems

According to findings of the National Institutes of Health, low blood sugar and constipation are among severe side effects of teneligliptin. 

Read More: Know About Madhunashini Vati For Diabetes.

Empagliflozin Side Effects

Empagliflozin Side Effects

Empagliflozin is employed in the management of type 2 diabetes, operating within the kidneys to inhibit the absorption of glucose (blood sugar), thereby reducing blood sugar levels. It’s important to note that Empagliflozin is not effective for patients with insulin-dependent or type 1 diabetes. According to the Cleveland Clinic, here are some side effects of empagliflozin:

Common Empagliflozin Side Effects:

  • Frequent urination
  • Thrush (yeast infection)
  • Burning sensations while peeing
  • Increased thirst
  • Low blood sugar

Some Serious Empagliflozin Side Effects:

  • Painful urination
  • Pelvic or back pain
  • Vaginal itching or discharge
  • Redness, itching or swelling of penis
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Read More: Top 10 Natural Remedies For Diabetes?


In conclusion, managing diabetes with medication is crucial, but understanding potential side effects is equally important. From common reactions like gastrointestinal discomfort to severe complications such as kidney problems and cardiovascular issues, it’s essential to be aware of the diverse range of side effects that can occur with diabetes medicine use. Specific medications like metformin can lead to long-term side effects such as anemia and nerve damage, particularly affecting women. Each medication, including dapagliflozin, insulin therapy, glitazones, and others, comes with its own set of potential adverse effects that should be monitored and discussed with healthcare providers for safe and effective treatment.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are the common side effects of diabetes medicines?

Common side effects of diabetes medicines include gastrointestinal issues (nausea, diarrhea), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), weight gain, and allergic reactions.

What are the two most common side effects of metformin?

The two most common side effects of metformin are gastrointestinal discomfort (diarrhea, nausea, vomiting) and vitamin B12 deficiency.

Is it safe to take diabetes medicine?

It is generally safe to take diabetes medicine when prescribed and monitored by a healthcare professional. However, individual responses and potential side effects vary.

What are the problems with diabetes medicine?

Problems with diabetes medicine may include interactions with other medications, hypoglycemia if not taken properly, and potential long-term effects on organs like the kidneys.

What are the worst side effects of diabetes?

The worst side effects of diabetes can include severe hypoglycemia (leading to unconsciousness or seizures), ketoacidosis (for some types of diabetes), and cardiovascular complications.

Is diabetes medicine life long?

Diabetes medicine is often lifelong, as diabetes is a chronic condition requiring ongoing management to control blood sugar levels.

What is the most serious side effect of metformin?

The most serious side effect of metformin is lactic acidosis, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition characterized by a buildup of lactic acid in the blood.

Who should avoid taking metformin?

Individuals with severe kidney disease or those at risk of lactic acidosis should avoid taking metformin.

Is teneligliptin better than metformin?

Teneligliptin is not necessarily “better” than metformin but may be prescribed as an alternative or adjunct therapy for certain individuals with type 2 diabetes, depending on factors like individual response and tolerability.

What are the adverse effects of glycomet?

Adverse effects of glycomet (a brand of metformin) include gastrointestinal discomfort, vitamin B12 deficiency, and rarely, lactic acidosis.

Is glycomet and metformin same?

Yes, Glycomet and metformin are essentially the same medication. Glycomet is a brand name for metformin, both containing the active ingredient metformin hydrochloride.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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