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Why take Metformin at night?

Now a day as people become more educated, they are more conscious about their health and medications. Although they are many times correct in their beliefs still, certain myths exist. Most of the people are familiar with diabetes because it is frequent. A variety of drugs are available for diabetes. These include metformin, insulin, meglitinides, thiazolidinediones, etc.  However, among these drugs, metformin is considered a favorite cure for physicians. According to them, it is safe for the heart and kidneys.

But still, people say confusing things like take metformin with food or take metformin at night. Does your mind need answers to such questions like why take metformin at night? In this article, I will not only tell you these facts but many more. Hopefully, you will find this article informative. All you need is to read his article until the end. So let’s start.

What is metformin? An overview:

Metformin is a first-line oral diabetes medicine that helps in lowering blood sugar. Its chemical formula is C4H11N5 and its molecular mass is 129g/mol.  It is effective against type II diabetes, along with insulin sometimes. But it does not work for type I diabetes.

Since it controls high blood sugar, so it ultimately protects your heart, kidneys, eyes, and other vital organs. Not only this, but it also slows the sugar formation process in your liver.

How can doses of metformin be synchronized with meals?

How can doses of metformin be synchronized with meals

Well, for sure, metformin should be ingested with a meal. Moreover, it will work great if you swallow it before your meal. It will boost your pancreas to produce more insulin. In this way, the body can use glucose more efficiently. Ingesting metformin with your meal will enable your stomach to absorb the maximum drug.

Foods to avoid while using metformin:

Since metformin is a drug for diabetes and diabetes is associated with eating so you should eat carefully. Although, like other drugs, metformin does not make you obese. So you need no to be too conscious while using metformin.

However, the overuse of alcohol with metformin is not safe for you. It may cause lactic acidosis. You should also avoid high fiber and carbohydrate-rich food. Next, we will see what is lactic acidosis.

Lactic Acidosis:

Consuming too much metformin may result in lactic acidosis. It is a scientific term for excessive lactic acid in your body. This excessive acid lowers the pH of the body. Although it is rare, it occurs, it can be fatal. Symptoms include

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Dizziness etc

Why take metformin at night?

what is metformin

Can you take metformin at night? Or why take metformin at night? Perhaps you are waiting for the answers to these questions. So the answer is here. Generally, at night, your liver produces glucose. So in the morning, your fasting blood sugar can be high.

You may experience morning hyperglycemia, although sugar level was average when you went to sleep. However, if you take metformin at night, your sugar will be almost regular in the morning. For this purpose, you should swallow your metformin tablet at night.

Does metformin keep you awake at night?

When doctors say use metformin at night, your mind quickly diverts to your sleep. You think does metformin causes insomnia? Although it can sometimes cause sleep disturbances but no insomnia at all. So don’t worry about your rest.

Is metformin associated with some weight loss?

The next question is about weight loss. So we will see the possible link between metformin and weight loss. Have you ever heard that someone becomes weak after diabetes? Probably yes. What is the reason? Here one probable cause can be metformin.

Many times diabetic patients that take metformin sometimes observe a weight loss. Although the exact logic is unclear, many theories try to explain this fact. One of these theories is that metformin reduces hunger. So if a person eats less, he will lose his weight.

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How much time is required to lose weight from metformin?

Metformin will not do a miracle and will not make you smarter overnight. But it has been observed that it takes about one or two years to lose weight by this medication. Moreover, the effects will not be immediate but gradual.

Another important thing is that the weight loss results vary from person to person. Since everybody’s body, physique and physiology are different. Hence, metformin effects are also not the same as it is not a prescribed medicine for weight loss, so you have to expect it less.

Best time to take metformin for weight loss:

As we see that people ask, why take metformin at night? In the same way, they also ask about the best timing of metformin to lose weight. Ideally, you should ingest metformin with a meal either in the morning or at night.

PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and metformin:

Just like weight loss, metformin also works for women with PCOS. Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS is a hormonal disorder and includes insulin resistance, among other symptoms. Studies suggest that metformin is also useful in PCOS patients.

Furthermore, it enhances ovulation in these women, thus decreasing their fertility issues. It also regularizes the menstrual cycle. It also reduces the chances of miscarriage and gestational diabetes.  But again, it should be used after a proper prescription from your physician.

Metformin for pregnant women:

Metformin for pregnant women

Pregnant women should use every drug with great care. Researchers did experiments in pregnant animals, but they did not observe any side effects of metformin on the fetus. However, if you are pregnant, don’t take any risk. Use any drug after the recommendation of your health specialist.

Can lactating mothers use metformin?

Just like pregnant women, lactating mothers should also be very cautious while taking any drug. Many times metformin is not prescribed by physicians as it enters breast milk. So in case you are a lactating mother, take advice from your doctor about using metformin.

How many doses of metformin are enough?

Your medical specialist will decide a suitable dose of metformin for you. According to most health specialists, your metformin dose per day should be between 2000- 2550mg. But it depends on your condition, age, and form of metformin.

If you are about to start metformin, then take 500mg after 12 hours or 900mg once a day. However, again I am saying your physician will give you better advice as he/she will be well aware of your blood glucose levels.

How does metformin act?

As we know those diabetic people cannot use glucose in their cellular functions. It is so because their cells are unable to take glucose from the blood. As a result amount of glucose in their blood is very high. Thus they are called diabetic.

Metformin acts to lower this high blood sugar by:

  • Making muscle cells more responsive to insulin
  • Reducing the formation of sugars in the liver
  • Lowering the absorption of sugar in the intestine

In this way, metformin acts to lower your blood sugar if you have diabetes and taking metformin.

Metformin side effects:

Although metformin is a beneficial drug, it still has some side effects. Some common side effects include:

  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Deficiency of vitamin B12
  • Gastric problems
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Lactic acidosis

If you experience any of these side effects, rapidly consult some health specialists.

Two forms of metformin:

Metformin generally comes in two forms, i.e., standard or immediate-release and extended-release metformin.

  • Action of standard metformin is quick. It is taken once, twice, or thrice a day. However, it can affect your stomach. It is less expensive than extended-release metformin.
  • Extended-release metformin is metformin hydrochloride. It should be taken only once a day, preferably at night. Why take metformin at night? It is so because it maintains your insulin levels. But it works slower than standard metformin.
  • Moreover, it has fewer side effects on your stomach. As this metformin has a coating on its surface due to which drug releases slowly. Although it is expensive, it has minimum side effects on your stomach.

Interactions of metformin with other drugs:

Yet metformin has not many severe reactions with other medications. Nonetheless, some interplay exists. Some of these include:

  • Since it is a drug for diabetes, its use with other diabetic medications may cause hypoglycemia.
  • Using metformin with hormone drugs may reduce the effectiveness of metformin. In that case, your blood sugar levels can be high even after using metformin.
  • Similarly, if you use metformin with cholesterol or drugs to control hypertension, its effectiveness will be decreased.
  • Your risk of lactic acidosis will increase if you metformin with Topiramate.
  • Moreover, metformin has mild interactions with almost 88 different drugs. These include medications of various types.

However, many interactions are not still known. So before using any medicine with metformin, first ask some pharmacist or medical specialist.

For which people metformin is not safe:

For which people metformin is not safe

As we have seen, metformin has some specific side effects and interactions. Due to these side effects, it may not suit some people. Let us see which people should use metformin with care.

  • People with kidney diseases:

Although metformin has no side effects on kidneys, it can still affect kidney patients. In ordinary people, the kidneys efficiently remove this drug. But in people with renal diseases such as end-stage renal disease, kidneys cannot do so. Thus it accumulates and causes lactic acidosis.

  • People that are allergic to metformin:

In some people, metformin can cause allergy. If you are among them, you can experience symptoms like suffocation, swelling and skin rashes, etc. If you observe any sign, immediately consult some doctor.

  • For pregnant and lactating mothers:

As we have discussed, pregnant and lactating mothers must use any drug after a doctor’s prescription. Although there are no visible side effects but still care is mandatory.

  • For children below ten years:

Standard metformin is not suitable for children below ten years. So children should not use immediate-release metformin.

  • People with cardiovascular diseases:

If you are suffering from any heart disease, then metformin is not safe for use. As now, you have more chances to suffer from lactic acidosis. In this case, you must take the advice of your health specialist.

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Some things to do while using metformin:

If you are about to start metformin, then you should know the following points. These tips will help you to get the maximum benefits of this drug. Furthermore, they will also help you to maintain good health even with diabetes. Are you curious about what I am going to tell you? Hopefully yes. So let’s have a look at these tips.

  1. Take your medicine on time:

  • If your doctor has prescribed metformin for you, remember always take medicine on time. You should make a proper schedule of ingesting metformin.
  • If you are taking it once, then preferably it should be at night. Why take metformin at night? It will reduce your fasting blood sugar that can be very high otherwise.
  1. Keep a record of your blood sugar:

Keep a record of your blood sugar

  • If you have a blood glucose meter, then check your sugar after regular intervals. Not only check your sugar but note them on a chart.
  • On the next visit to your doctor, it will be beneficial for him. It will help him to access the activity of metformin on your blood sugar.
  1. Don’t skip the dose:

  • If you want maximum benefits of metformin or say any other drug, never skip the dose. In case you have missed a dose, then take it with the next time dose if the time gap is less.
  • However, if the time of the next dose is, more then take medicine when you remember. This habit of periodicity will help you a lot.
  1. Know the meaning of symptoms what they are saying:

  • Definitely, you should be aware of signs of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia. You must know what happens when your sugar is low and when it is high.
  • If you are using metformin, then there are risks of hypoglycemia, which is more dangerous.
  1. Frequently visit your health expert:

  • You should frequently see your doctor about once in every six months. In this way, you and your doctor both will be aware of your health.
  1. Eat a healthy diet and do the exercise:

Eat a healthy diet and do the exercise

  • If you have diabetes, your diet matters a lot. In this scenario, your eating habits can increase or decrease your life expectancy.
  • Doing regular exercise will keep you away from many diseases. It will also keep you active and physically fit. Moreover, it will prevent you from becoming obese.

Bottom line

I hope so after all this discussion; you know much more about metformin than before. We have discussed metformin from various aspects. Now you can answer questions of people like why to use metformin? Why take metformin at night? How does it work?

Remember your life is precious, not only for yourself but also for your loved ones. So you should be educated enough to take care of yourself. If you are a person with diabetes, don’t worry, many people are now a day. The important thing is your effort to keep you healthy. So take care, not only for yourself but for your loved ones also.


  • How long does it take for metformin to lower blood sugar?

Well, the time taken for action depends on the type of metformin you are using. If you are using immediate-release metformin, then it will work rapidly. On the other hand, if you are using extended-release metformin, action will be much slower but long-lasting.

  • Does metformin make you sleepy?

In some people, nightmares have been reported but very rarely. However, researchers have observed some sleep disturbances also.

  • Is metformin effective for PCOS?

Yes, metformin is effective in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. Since it decreases insulin resistance that also occurs in PCOS, so it helps such patients. It helps to balance their menstrual cycles and also resolves their fertility issues.

  • What is the best time of day to take metformin?

If you are on metformin dose, your doctor will surely recommend it in the morning or at night with a meal. According to the Mayo Clinic, the timing of medicine is crucial in treatment. So take your every medicine at the proper time.

  • What should you not eat while taking metformin?

If you are using metformin, then you should avoid foods with high calories. Moreover, you must avoid alcohol. Drinking alcohol with metformin can lead to lactic acidosis, which is very dangerous.

  • Is it OK to take metformin at bedtime?

Yes, of course. Your doctor asks you to do so. Why take metformin at night? It is because this reduces the risks of morning hyperglycemia. So preferably ingest your metformin dose at night.

  • Can I take metformin with the stomach empty?

No. Always try to ingest metformin with your meals. Otherwise, it can disturb your stomach, as well as its effectiveness will also decrease. Your body can easily absorb the drug along with food.

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Katelyn Yarnell
Katelyn Yarnell

My name is Katelyn, writer extraordinaire...in progress! Becoming a great writer is always a work in progress if you ask me. By day I am a hard-working nursing student. By night you'll catch me typing away, writing content for awesome websites. One of which is my own - Polymathchick.Nursing and writing are two of my passions and careers that I am building up. You know what they say. If you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life!

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