Metformin and alcohol

Metformin and alcohol can interfere with your blood sugar levels. Here's what you need to know...


Metfromin is a very common medication, prescribed to treat type II diabtets.

When your doctor prescribes Metformin for you, he will likely advise you to avoid alcohol intake as much as possible. This is because both metformin and alcohol can lead to an unpleasant and potentially hamrful condition called lactic acidosis.  Drinking alcohol while taking Metformin, significantly increases the risk of developing lactic acidosis.   Symptoms of lactic acidosis ma y include muscle aches, rapid breathing, stomach aches, nausea, vomiting and confusion. 

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Alcohol can also dull your senses.  This in turn can lead to more severe lactic acidosis, as you may not be in tune with any symptoms you are experiencing early on.  By the time you begin to feel ill, severe lactic acidosis may have already set in.      

Metformin can cause serious enough side effects without the addition of alcohol.  Side effects or symptoms may include stomach or muscel pain, dizziness, an irregular heartbeat, weakness and trouble breathing. The addition of alcohol can exacerbate these symptoms.  

If you do not feel you can abstain from alcohol, you should talk to your doctor before starting treatment with Metformin. Your doctor may offer advice on alcohol moderation or potentially offer an alternative medication to treat your diabetes.  In any case, you should never combine Metformin and alcohol without first talking to your doctor. 

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