What Is Glucophage Used For?
Some people may wonder, "What is Glucophage used for?" Glucophage is used to lower blood sugar levels in people who are at least 10 years old and have type 2 diabetes. Because Glucophage does not cause the pancreas to produce more insulin, it is much less likely to cause dangerously low blood sugar levels compared to many other diabetes medications.
What Is Glucophage Used For?Glucophage® (metformin) and long-acting Glucophage XR® (metformin ER) are licensed to treat type 2 diabetes. Glucophage is intended to be used together with diet and exercise to control blood sugar (see Healthy Eating for Diabetics).
Using Glucophage for Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes (see Diabetes Types). It is also sometimes called adult-onset diabetes or noninsulin-dependent diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a condition involving insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, the cells of the body do not respond to insulin as well as they normally should. As a result, the cells of the body do not remove sugar from the blood very well. This is why type 2 diabetics have high blood sugar.
Over time, high blood sugar can lead to a number of problems, including diabetic impotence, diabetic neuropathy, kidney failure, and heart disease (see Diabetes Complications). The cause of type 2 diabetes is not fully understood, although it is known that obesity and genetics play an important role.
There are many ways to treat high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Some diabetes medications force the pancreas to produce more insulin (see Alternatives to Metformin). These medications are effective, but can cause dangerously low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Glucophage works differently, having several effects in the body. Glucophage lowers blood sugar through the following actions:
- Decreasing the amount of sugar (glucose) made by the liver
- Decreasing the amount of sugar absorbed into the body (from food)
- Making insulin receptors more sensitive, helping the body respond better to insulin.
Because Glucophage does not force the pancreas to produce more insulin, it is much less likely to cause dangerously low blood sugar levels compared to many other diabetes medications (see Metformin and Blood Sugar).