Metformin is the first-line agent in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It may be used alone or in combination with other medicines, such as sulfonylureas or insulin. Metformin (Glucophage) is a member of the biguanide class of antidiabetic drugs. It lowers blood glucose levels by enhancing the sensitivity of insulin. Metformin achieves this by suppressing hepatic glucose production – glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis. Along with the suppression of glucose production, Metformin works to increase the uptake of glucose by skeletal muscle. One of the great advantages about Metformin is that, unlike other antidiabetic medicines, it doesn’t cause weight gain. This, in the long term, helps to control glucose levels even further. Marketed formulations contain metformin hydrochloride (Pub Chem CID 14219). Metformin is often given in fixed-dose combinations with other antihyperglycemic agents. Repurposing: Cancer cells undergo a metabolic switch to aerobic glycolysis, and become reliant on this metabolic pathway for energy (the Warburg effect). Inhibition of the glycolytic pathway is therefore considered as a tractable therapeutic target in oncology. As metformin is an inhibitor of glycolysis it is being examined for anti-cancer effects in a number of malignancies. Similarly, it is being examined for anti-inflammatory potential since activated immune cells also undergo a metabolic switch to aerobic glycolysis. If found to be effective, this could ultimately lead to metformin being repurposed for indications other than type 2 diabetes.
Metformin official prescribing information for healthcare professionals. Includes indications, dosage, adverse reactions, pharmacology and more. Metformin, marketed under the trade name Glucophage among others, is the first-line medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.