What You Should Know
Glucophage is one of the commercial names for a drug known as metformin, and is primarily used to treat type 2 diabetes. During the course of these treatments, it has been found that many patients who were taking glucophage have also lost weight while on the medication. While this is a compelling coincidence for those in the weight loss industry, the evidence is far from sufficient to support the use of glucophage as a weight loss drug. However, it is encouraging to many doctors that patients actually lost weight on this medication, since other drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes can actually contribute to weight gain. Losing weight is often a significant part of a program to manage this chronic illness effectively.
There have not been significant studies specifically linking the use of glucophage and weight loss to date. Doctors do know that that medication works in diabetic patients by increasing sensitivity to insulin. Glucophage can effectively maintain insulin levels and reduce the complications of diabetes like blindness, heart and kidney disease. It can be used on both adults and children, although it is not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing, or patients taking some other types of medications.
Glucophage can cause some unpleasant side effects like gas, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. In some patients, a reduction in the dosage is enough to stop the side effects. In a few, the medication will need to be stopped because the side effects are too severe. There is also a slight risk that a patient on glucophage can develop a life threatening condition known as lactic acidosis. The risk for this condition is higher in older adults and those suffering from congestive heart failure. There are other conditions that might affect the safety of this medication, which is why it is important to talk to your doctor about the safety of glucophage before beginning to take it.
Glucophage is available by prescription only. While it is primarily designed to treat type 2 diabetes, it has also been used for treating polycystic ovaries and for weight gain in people that are gaining weight due to other types of medications. It is not typically prescribed for individuals who are primarily interested in a weight loss program.
- Glucophage has been proven effective in treating type 2 diabetes.
- The medication does not appear to cause weight gain and may aid in weight loss.
- Glucophage is not approved as a weight loss drug.
- The medication is available by prescription only.
- There may be potentially serious side effects.
While glucophage may be a good choice for those with type 2 diabetes who are also concerned about losing or controlling weight, there isn’t sufficient evidence to suggest this is an effective weight loss drug. We believe there are better, safer weight loss options on the market for consumers today.