Is There Any Interaction Between Metformin and Alcohol?
The blood sugar or glucose levels in people with diabetes can be managed through the intake of oral diabetes medications such as metformin. Individuals who are diagnosed with non-insulin dependent or type 2 diabetes are prescribed to have a regular dose of metformin, by their physician. However, metformin can’t be used as a treatment for type1 or insulin dependent diabetes.
What You Need To Know About Metformin and Alcohol
There are several things that you need to consider while taking metformin. Metformin should not be taken if the patient is in a state of diabetic ketoacidosis, a severe condition as a result of diabetes, a doctor should be called immediately so that insulin treatment can be given. Metformin should also be stopped temporarily if the patient needs to have any kind of x-ray or CT scan that uses a dye that will be injected to his or her veins. A history of liver disease or heart disease should be noted to the doctor before taking metformin. There have been several studies done about the effects of metformin and alcohol consumption. But is there any harm from taking metformin and alcohol at the same time?
Doctors generally advise their patients to avoid intake of metformin and consuming of alcoholic drinks at the same time. This is because patients can develop a condition known as lactic acidosis while taking metformin and drinking alcohol at the same time. The symptoms can get worse if left untreated and can even lead to death. Mild symptoms of lactic acidosis include weakness, muscle pain, difficulty breathing, stomach aches, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, numbing of the arms and legs, general body malaise and slow or irregular heart rate.
The patients who are at risk of developing this life threatening lactic acidosis are those that have pre-existing conditions or were diagnosed previously with kidney or liver diseases, severe infection, congestive heart failure, due to this risk, its important to avoid intake of metformin and alcohol at the same time. Patients who are also dehydrated or those who are drinking larger amounts of alcoholic beverages are also at risk for this condition. A consultation with your doctor is important if you are at risk of lactic acidosis.
Avoid taking metformin and alcohol
It is also very important that you avoid taking metformin and drinking alcohol. Alcohol can lower the blood sugar levels and it can increase your risk of developing lactic acidosis while taking metformin. Metformin and alcohol consumption can cause possible harmful effects.
Follow carefully your doctor prescription when taking metformin. Avoid taking this medication in larger or smaller than the prescribed amount or longer than what is recommended. Always read and observe the directions giving on the medication label. And remember not to combine the intake of metformin and alcohol, so that you can avoid the outline risk highlighted above.