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Answers from the BJC Experts

Ask the BJC Expert allows you to get the answers you need about a variety of health, medicine and exercise issues to help you live a more healthy life.

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If I take a blood sugar level reading after taking metformin will the results be affected?

From Ask the Pharmacist

Probably not. Metformin works by decreasing hepatic glucose production, decreasing intestinal absorption of glucose, and improving insulin sensitivity by increasing peripheral glucose uptake and utilization. Metformin should be taken with food, and at the same time(s) each day. If you are just beginning to take metformin, there is normally a 24- to 48-hour timeframe to reach the idea blood level. Following oral administration, approximately 90 percent of the absorbed drug is eliminated via the renal route (kidneys) within the first 24 hours. If you take this consistently, you should not notice an appreciable change in your blood sugar unless there is another reason for your blood sugars to be off.

Follow your diet, avoid alcohol and be careful about infections. Take your other diabetic medications as prescribed and when prescribed. If you have fluctuations in your blood sugars and you are closely following your diabetic plan, contact your physician. Doses may need to be adjusted due to changes in weight, diet or activity level. It is important to regularly check blood sugars, even for stable, long-time diabetics.

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