Poliformin is a brand of metformin hydrochloride used alone or with other medications, including insulin, to treat type 2 diabetes (a condition in which the body does not use insulin normally and, therefore, cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood).
Metformin is in a class of drugs called biguanides. Poliformin helps to control the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. It decreases the amount of glucose you absorb from your food and the amount of glucose made by your liver.
Poliformin also increases your body’s response to insulin, a natural substance that controls the amount of glucose in the blood. Poliformin is not used to treat type 1 diabetes (a condition in which the body does not produce insulin and therefore cannot control the amount of sugar in the blood).
Poliformin comes in 500mg and 850mg dosage forms. Generics usually cost less than brand-name versions. In some cases, they may not be available in all strengths or forms as brand-name drugs.
How is Poliformin taken?
Poliformin comes as a tablet to take by mouth. The regular tablet is usually taken with meals two or three times a day.
Poliformin is usually started as 500 mg by mouth twice daily or 850 mg by mouth once daily. Depending on how well it works, the dose can be raised to a total of 2,550 mg by mouth per day split into a few doses throughout the day.
To help you remember to take Poliformin, take it around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take Poliformin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of Poliformin and gradually increase your dose not more often than once every 1–2 weeks. You will need to monitor your blood sugar carefully so your doctor will be able to tell how well Poliformin is working.
Poliformin controls diabetes but does not cure it. Continue to take Poliformin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking Poliformin without talking to your doctor.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
Can I take Poliformin while pregnant?
No, contact your doctor immediately and tell him or her you have become pregnant, or if you are planning your pregnancy let him or her know in advance. Experts advise that pregnant women should not take Poliformin during pregnancy.
What are the side effects associated with using Poliformin?
Side effects of taking Poliformin include:
• abdominal pain (GI complaints), lactic acidosis (rare)
• bloating/abdominal distention
• chest discomfort
• chills, dizziness
• gas (flatulence)
• low blood levels of vitamin B-12
• low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
• physical weakness (asthenia)
• symptoms of weakness, muscle pain (myalgia)
• upper respiratory tract infection
This is not a complete list of Poliformin side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Most common Poliformin interactions
Poliformin has almost no serious drug interactions, however, there are certain medications or substances that can cause unwanted responses in your body. If you’re taking any of these, your healthcare provider may want to monitor you closely or may recommend an alternative treatment option.
Some possible drug interactions include:
- Alcohol (but only in excessive amounts)
- Certain anticancer drugs (specifically vandetanib and drugs that fall under the class called tyrosine kinase inhibitors)
- Certain HIV medications (such as dolutegravir)
- Iodinated contrast (used in imaging tests)
- Some antimicrobial drugs (such as cephalexin and rifampin)
Most of these substances or medications have one thing in common: When taken with Poliformin, they can raise the body’s levels of lactic acid. That raises some concerns since the most serious (though exceedingly rare) adverse effect associated with Poliformin is a life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis, in which the body’s lactic acid levels become dangerously high. Lactic acidosis symptoms include:
- Breathing trouble
- Developing a slow/irregular heartbeat
- Feeling cold or dizzy
- Feeling weak or tired
- Muscle pains
- Stomach discomfort
Any sudden changes should be reported to your doctor instantly.
Can I take Poliformin and alcohol?
No, you may notice that alcohol is included in the list of drug interactions above, but only in excessive amounts. It’s fine to drink moderate amounts of alcohol while taking Poliformin (generally defined as one drink for women or two drinks for men per day), but you’ll want to avoid drinking more heavily than that while on this medication.
Heavy drinking isn’t a good idea while taking Poliformin because excessive alcohol drinking is a known risk factor for lactic acidosis. Since taking Poliformin may increase the risk of lactic acidosis on its own, it’s important to avoid behaviors that put you at even higher risk while taking this drug.
What can Poliformin do to your kidneys?
Poliformin is eliminated from your body through the kidneys so if you have a history of kidney problems, tell your healthcare providers before starting this medication. Poliformin is not known to affect healthy kidneys. You will need to have regular blood work done while taking it to make sure your kidneys are healthy.
Can young diabetics take Poliformin?
Yes, Poliformin has been proven in clinical trials to lower glucose levels amongst children between 10-16 years of age suffering from type 2 diabetes.
However, research is less conclusive about children under 10 and children taking Poliformin alongside other treatments, but your diabetes health care team should be able to elaborate on this.
If I take Poliformin, can I stop my healthy diet and exercise?
No, it is important to continue your healthy diet and exercise while you are taking this medication. Poliformin works best when used in combination with good nutrition and regular exercise.
Does Poliformin cause weight gain?
No, one of the benefits of Poliformin is that it does not cause weight gain. Some people may lose a small amount of weight.