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My info on Metformin & odor

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I have been using generic Metformin for at least 10 yrs, twice daily. Recently, for the 3rd time, I noticed the same odor I had had twice before. It is not horrible, but is unpleasant to me, & seems to emanate from my entire body. The 1st time I called my gyn thinking it was a yeast infection & actually took several meds trying to squelch it, then it went away. The 2nd time, I happened to notice the same odor from the bottle containing the generic Metformin meds & determined it was from the Metformin and it was a different manuafacturer, which is what has occurred this 3rd time. I plan to alert my Walgreen's pharmacist the next time I buy my 2 month supply, and hope to never experience this again. No amount of bathing or perfumes make it go away for me. It is a sickening sweet odor. The only time it left was after a full body massage b/c the strong oils masked it for about 24 hrs. My daughter had a problem w/ Topamax b/c of a different manufacturer, so there definitely are differences in generics of the same med. If you have not had this problem, then the generic for Metformin that you are using is probably the reason. I hope to purchase my generics from the manufacturer of the ones that do not 'emanate' from me from now on, even if I have to go from pharmacy to pharmacy to do so. No family members have seemed to notice my different 'fragrance' & I hope it will be gone as soon as my current supply is gone.
Has anyone else noticed the sugary sweet odor?



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Welcome Lifeisgoodlady!:wavey: We have a "life is good" man here on the forums as well! ;) It's a good mantra, for sure. ;)

I've been on metformin for nearly 5 years now, and while I have noticed different odors when I sniff the prescription bottle, I've never had that on my skin. Are you perspiring a lot? Is your blood usgar under good control? Sometimes when my blood sugar is high or low, i'll sweat, and that sweat does seem to have a different odor than regular "working hard in the heat" perspiration.

T2, diagnosed 8/31/06.
Meds: Metformin-ER 500 mg twice daily, HCTZ 12.5 mg every other day for BP Enalapril 20 mg 1 daily (ace-inhibitor)
Diet: I eat to my meter, generally eating 75-100 carbs/day with the occasional splurge.



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I don't perspire a lot & usually my BS is under control--high in the mornings, but becomes lower after morning meds & stays low. I do take Diovan w/ HCTZ for BP. Do you think that a factor? I don't eat a lot of sweets, and currently am following the Weight Watcher program. I also take glipizide twice daily, w/ the 500 mg of Metformin twice daily. It's just really annoying to me and I hope I can find a Metformin made by a different company than the one I have right now; I believe it is Superpharma & the last one, which didn't cause an odor, was Teva. Thanks for your input.



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I used to get metformin that had a fishy odor, really disgusting. But the last few Rx's have a neutral smell. Different manufactuers do add stabalisers to their meds which could affect smell and body odor. I notice when I eat different foods especially asparagus I get body odor. I would talk with you pharmacist. It could be an interaction from your drugs. Are you on a ketogenic diet? Sometimes if your body is burning fat you get an odor.
metformin ER 4x500
Moderate carb diet 75-100 carbs

Vit D, CoQ10, Melatonin, Multi vitamin, zinc, B 12
Chia Seeds , Flaxseeds, Hemp seeds, biotin,tumeric, Occuvite, chromium , magnesium, calcium and CoQ10

Exercise- Power Walking- 4-5 miles most days, Hiking in the summer on trails and in the mountains

diagnosed Feb 2007
Age 66
110 pounds



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Hello Lifeisgoodlady,

Understanding how sweat (mixed with bacteria) produces an unpleasant smell on the body is helpful in understanding why the mineral zinc aids in reducing the smell. Our body produces two different types of sweat from two different sweat glands: eccrine (we have almost 5 million of them) and apocrine (just a few thousand). But only one of them is instrumental in producing body odor.
Sweat Glands' Role in Body Odor
The eccrine sweat glands produce a salty, watery combination sweat as our body temperature rises. This type of sweat serves to cool down our body and evaporates into the air. It doesn't produce any smell. The apocrine sweat gland, on the other hand, produces a thick, oily type of sweat in areas such as the groin and armpits, which results in body odor.

But the sweat itself from the apocrine sweat gland isn't what actually produces the body odor. It is when the sweat mixes with the bacteria on our skin's surface that the smell is formed. Other factors also influence the smell and its intensity.
Zinc and Other Factors
The foods we eat (spicy peppers), the emotions we feel (anger, stress), any sickness (cold, flu) we are experiencing or substances being used (smoking, drinking alcohol) can have an impact on the type of body odor that is produced, as well as its smell strength.

Onions can increase negative body odor smell and strength, food (leafy vegetables) can also be used to positively decrease body odor. Zinc, a mineral found in leafy vegetables and animal foods, plays a role in decreasing body odor by decreasing apocrine-produced sweat.
Zinc and Sweat Reduction
Zinc is the second-most abundant trace mineral found in our body. And our body absorbs up to 40 percent of our intake of zinc from the foods we eat. The majority of zinc derived from our food comes from eating fish, poultry, red meats and other animal food products and green leafy vegetables. Leafy vegetables work to cleanse our body from the inside out, reducing the oily sweat (apocrine) we produce.
Zinc's Affect on Body Odor
As an individual consumes zinc through leafy vegetables, oily sweat production decreases, reducing the amount of sweat able to mix with skin bacteria. This, in turn, reduces the body odor smell to some degree. Some individuals choose to take zinc supplements, but it is not clear if supplementation of this mineral can have the same affect on sweat reduction as natural food does.





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My Metformin sure does stink, and I notice it smells me up pretty bad when I work out and sweat. If your info is correct, and the odor is from the Metformin, than maybe the whiff of Metformin will be beneficial to those around us :D , something like second hand pot gives bystanders a "contact high!" :eek:

In all seriousness, I don't think anything can be done. I do hate the smell of my Metformin, though, and try to swallow it as quickly as possible.

Great post, and even better comments.

Pastor Paul