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Metformin (Glucophage) 500mg, 850mg, 1000mg Tablets (Prescription Product)


Metformin is FDA-approved to control high blood sugar in patients with Type II diabetes. It may be prescribed off-label to prevent diabetes in high-risk populations and help prevent weight gain associated with some antipsychotic drugs. It has been shown to help preserve cognitive function and is being studied as an anti-aging medication. Brand names for metformin include Glucophage, Glumetza and Riomet, and Fortamet. Available in 500mg, 850mg, 1000mg Tablets. Choose strength and enter quantity below. We must obtain a prescription from your provider before we can fill your order.

Save on metformin and learn about its many health benefits

Metformin is an adjunct therapy to diet and exercise to maintain healthy blood glucose levels. High blood glucose is known as hyperglycemia. Metformin is not prescribed for Type I diabetes. However, metformin treats Type II diabetes in three ways:

  • Helps the body maximize the use of its own natural insulin supply
  • Limits intestinal absorption of sugar
  • Reduces the liver's production of sugar

Since its FDA approval in 1995, metformin has grown to become one of the most prescribed medications for type 2 diabetes mellitus. An estimated 42 million prescriptions were issued for metformin in the U.S. in 2009, making it a top 10 generic drug that year. 

Metformin is a preferred medication to treat hyperglycemia in patients with obesity. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPPA) sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) included 3,234 participants who were considered pre-diabetic based on their blood glucose levels, insulin resistance, and weight. Insulin resistance is the ineffective use of insulin by the body. Insulin resistance results in high glucose may lead to dependence on insulin therapy. 

Study participants were divided into three groups:

Group I: Participants who received one-on-one guidance in an intensive diet and exercise program at least 16 times in the first 24 weeks, and then every 2 months with at least 1 phone call between visits.

Group II: Participants who took metformin and received standard advice for a diet and exercise.

Group III: Participants who took a placebo and received standard advice for a diet and exercise program.

15-year findings:

ParticipantsPercentage that did not develop Type II DIabetes
Group I 27%
Group II 18%
Group III 6%

How does metformin work?

Metformin helps control sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, by reducing the amount of sugar the intestines absorb, improving the body's ability to use its own natural supply of insulin, and reducing the amount of sugar the liver produces. Metformin does not increase the amount of insulin the body produces.

Is metformin a weight-loss drug?

Metformin is not FDA-approved as a weight-loss medication. However, studies show patients taking metformin in conjunction with medically-recommended diet and lifestyle changes have lost more weight than patients taking metformin alone.  A six-month study using metformin to treat obesity in non-diabetic adults showed participants lost up to 13 pounds.1 Patients with insulin resistance, a strong predictor of developing diabetes in the future) lost more weight than patients with insulin sensitivity.2  

What are off-label uses for metformin?

Recent studies show metformin's benefits for

  • Improving cognitive function and anti-aging 
  • Neurological diseases
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Cancer prevention and treatment 
  • Gestational diabetes 
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women


1,2 Seifarth, Christian & Schehler, B & Schneider, Harald. (2012). Effectiveness of Metformin on Weight Loss in Non-Diabetic Individuals with Obesity. Experimental and clinical endocrinology & diabetes: official journal, German Society of Endocrinology [and] German Diabetes Association. 121. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1327734.

To ensure that we provide you with the best price, we may substitute one generic for another.

More Information
Use or Effects Prediabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, High blood pressure
Is a Prescription Product Yes
Drug Class/Pharmacology Biguanides
Form Capsule
Product Specifics

Read the Patient Information that comes with metformin hydrochloride tablets before you start taking it and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This leaflet does not take the place of talking with your healthcare provider about your medical condition or treatment.

What is the most important information I should know about Metformin hydrochloride tablets?

Serious side effects can happen in people taking Metformin hydrochloride tablets, including:

Lactic Acidosis. Metformin hydrochloride, the medicine in Metformin hydrochloride tablets, can cause a rare, but serious, side effect called lactic acidosis (a build-up of lactic acid in the blood) that can cause death. Lactic acidosis is a medical emergency and must be treated in a hospital.

Stop taking metformin hydrochloride tablets and call your healthcare provider right away if you get any of the following symptoms of lactic acidosis:

  • feel very weak and tired
  • have unusual (not normal) muscle pain
  • have trouble breathing
  • have unusual sleepiness or sleep longer than usual
  • have unexplained stomach or intestinal problems with nausea and vomiting, or diarrhea
  • feel cold, especially in your arms and legs
  • feel dizzy or lightheaded
  • have a slow or irregular heartbeat

You have a higher chance of getting lactic acidosis if you:

  • have kidney problems. People whose kidneys are not working properly should not take Metformin hydrochloride tablets.
  • have liver problems.
  • have congestive heart failure that requires treatment with medicines.
  • drink a lot of alcohol (very often or short-term "binge" drinking).
  • get dehydrated (lose a large amount of body fluids). This can happen if you are sick with a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. Dehydration can also happen when you sweat a lot with activity or exercise and do not drink enough fluids.
  • have certain x-ray tests with injectable dyes or contrast agents.
  • have surgery.
  • have a heart attack, severe infection, or stroke.
  • are 80 years of age or older and have not had your kidney function tested.

How do I take metformin?

Your physician will provide instruction on taking metformin. The recommended starting dose of metformin hydrochloride tablets is 500 mg orally twice a day or 850 mg once a day, given with meals.

Your physician may increase the dose in increments of 500 mg weekly or 850 mg every 2 weeks on the basis of glycemic control and tolerability, up to a maximum dose of 2,550 mg per day, given in divided doses.

Doses above 2,000 mg may be better tolerated given 3 times a day with meals.

What are the side effects of metformin?

Metformin may produce the side effects listed below when a patient first begins treatment but they may go away as the patient becomes accustomed to the medication. Physicians may gradually increase the dose to help prevent some of these side effects.

  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea

What is a faux low with metformin?

When a patient first begins metformin, s/he may experience a faux or false low, which means that the body reacts as though it has low sugar but in reality the sugar level is normal. This faux low may occur when the body is accustomed to consistently high sugar levels. The sudden drop to normal is a shock to the body so it produces symptoms of hypoglycemia like dizziness, nausea, and irritability. It is important to monitor your blood sugar to find out if your blood sugar is normal or indeed low. If your blood sugar tests normal, you should not try to alleviate the symptoms by ingesting sugr or carbs.

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