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SCAPER

Why no Alcohol with Metformin?

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SCAPER

On my Metformin bottle it says to avoid alcohol while taking this drug. Anyone know the real reason why? My pharmacist couldn't really answer that and my Endo. couldn't give me a real good answer either. She just said that she thought it was because Metformin works with the liver and that alcohol also messes with the liver and that's the only reason she could think of. But she didn't seem to think it was a big concern unless you were overdoing it with the alcohol.

 

Anyway, does someone know the real reason they put that on the label? Looking for a more technical description of why I can't take both at the same time.

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princesslinda

I googled "metformin and alcohol interaction," and the link said that alcohol increases the lactic acid production.

 

Since lactic acidosis icould be a possible side effect of metformin in some individuals, drinking a lot of alcohol with it might mean a "double whammy," if you were prone to the lactic acidosis.

 

I have a drink or two and am on metformin, and have had no problems.

 

I think most meds have the alcohol warning on the label.

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jkane13

Same reason Grapefruit Juice is on that list. Rare complications. If you already have kidney problems, then Ketosis is a possibility with Met and alcohol. But ... if you have kidney problems, alcohol is likely already on the no-no list!

 

If your pharmacist didn't know, they need to have their license taken away!

 

But ... don't listen to some stranger like me. I only know what I read about it, and that may be un-true! Ask your doctor who prescribed it.

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Gozelle

Here is my question. I have enjoyed 1-2 glasses a day of wine and taken metformin for a year. Since my BG has gone up due to 30 pound weight gain and lack of exericise, at my doctor's suggestion, I have doubled my metformin and stopped all alcohol. It does not make sense, my numbers are higher the past three days than they have been all year. What gives? Did the wine keep my BG levels lower? I am not about to start drinking again unless and until I get healtheir and the wine does does hurt. Just very curious!

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aiah23
Here is my question. I have enjoyed 1-2 glasses a day of wine and taken metformin for a year. Since my BG has gone up due to 30 pound weight gain and lack of exericise, at my doctor's suggestion, I have doubled my metformin and stopped all alcohol. It does not make sense, my numbers are higher the past three days than they have been all year. What gives? Did the wine keep my BG levels lower? I am not about to start drinking again unless and until I get healtheir and the wine does does hurt. Just very curious!

 

Keep in mind that this is definitely one of those YMMV issues. For me, wine always lowers my blood sugar and it doesn't end up rising higher later.

 

Fawn

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Bountyman

I've found that when you drink, then you stop drinking, you get a rebound affect until your liver feels it doesn't have to deal with the alcohol any longer. You should level out in about 10 days.

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Gozelle

Thanks Bountyman. The lowest I got today was 116 before dinner. I am usually in the 90's -120 during the day , but 150 in the moring got me back to the doctor and on track. I will be patient and give it 10 days. I really like wine but DO NOT want to not waste calories, etc. while trying to drop this extra weight. Interesting stuff, but I was hoping to see improvement right away with the increased meds. I need to hurry up and be patient.

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Bountyman
Interesting stuff, but I was hoping to see improvement right away with the increased meds. I need to hurry up and be patient.

 

Keep us posted on how it goes.

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stardustshadow
I've found that when you drink, then you stop drinking, you get a rebound affect until your liver feels it doesn't have to deal with the alcohol any longer. You should level out in about 10 days.

 

 

I am having a little of this right now. My numbers have been CONSISTENTLY 109 on sunday monday AND this morning....I was wondering if this was a rebound effect from alcohol. It isn't sky high, but before saturday I was getting into the 80's. Now I can't seem to fall lower than 109.

 

Well, I'll wait and see what happens in a few days. I knew there would be some price to pay...this doesn't seem as bad as I expected.

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dbaratta
My understanding was as you say... they both work on the Liver.

 

This would be my guess too. Same goes for most drugs, the liver is the filtering system so keeping it as drug free as possible is the best bet. Beer, wine, liquor, they are all drugs. :)

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Gozelle

Well, I have had no wine in three days and am on my third day of 1000 x 2 of Met instead of 500 x 2. AM BG was 146. So frustrating. I know, I know, give it time. :)

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Big_Al
I've found that when you drink, then you stop drinking, you get a rebound affect until your liver feels it doesn't have to deal with the alcohol any longer. You should level out in about 10 days.

 

I'm sure, just as with anything else, YMMV. I have found no rebound affect of any kind when I have alcohol. If I have a 6-pack of Coors Light, my numbers in the morning will be the same as if I hadn't had any. My pre-meals are unchanged. I've even had a few occassions where I've had a 6-pack for 2 nights in a row, and the numbers were still the same, no variation between the time I have beer and the times I don't. Even hard liquor doesn't seem to have an affect. I've experimented with Rum and Diet's, Vodka 7's, and Whiskey Diet's, all with the same numbers as if I had not been drinking. No lows, no exceptional high's, just prolonged peaks (I would assume from drinking the carbs over an extended period?).

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jkane13

What the person said just before me (while I was typing) ... lactic acidosis, not ketosis as I said is the possible side effect. I knew it was something dosis! :T

 

I did talk to my Doc about it, because my first week on Met I "forgot" about the no alcohol thing, and had a pretty good weekend, but felt 10 times worse the following day, and was wondering if I did have some side effect. He said unlikely, since my tests showed my organs were all functioning as they should (except pancreas obviously) so it was just a hang over. I didn't get hangovers before Diabetes!

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MCS

I think another factor you have to consider is that MET interferes with glycogenisys, depleting your ability to make and store glycogen. Alcohol interfers with the release of gylcogen, so the risk would be going low while drinking.

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Jim H
Same reason Grapefruit Juice is on that list. Rare complications. If you already have kidney problems, then Ketosis is a possibility with Met and alcohol. But ... if you have kidney problems, alcohol is likely already on the no-no list!

 

it.

 

I know if you take Statins for high cholesterol, you should avoid Grapefruit Juice.

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SCAPER

Yah, it appears to be the Lactic Acidosis thing. Here is something I found on diabetesmonitor.com about it;

 

WARNING: A small number of people who have taken GLUCOPHAGE have developed a serious condition called lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is caused by a buildup of lactic acid in the blood. This happens more often in people with kidney problems. Most people with kidney problems should not take GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR. (See "What are the side effects of GLUCOPHAGE and GLUCOPHAGE XR?")

 

Who should not take GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR?

 

Some conditions increase your chance of getting lactic acidosis, or cause other problems if you take either of these medicines. Most of the conditions listed below can increase your chance of getting lactic acidosis.

 

Do not take GLUCOPHAGE or GLUCOPHAGE XR if you:

 

* have kidney problems

* have liver problems

* have heart failure that is treated with medicines, such as Lanoxin® (digoxin) or Lasix® (furosemide)

* drink a lot of alcohol. This means you binge drink for short periods or drink all the time

* are seriously dehydrated (have lost a lot of water from your body)

* are going to have an x-ray procedure with injection of dyes (contrast agents)

* are going to have surgery

* develop a serious condition, such as heart attack, severe infection, or a stroke

* are 80 years or older and you have NOT had your kidney function tested

 

And I also found the following on health.google.com;

 

Metformin, a common medicine used to treat diabetes, can also cause lactic acidosis. People taking this medicine should have their electrolyte levels checked 1 - 2 weeks after starting it.

 

So now I am thinking I should have been tested - or should get tested - to see if I am prone to this.

 

And then I am wondering if it's okay to just skip the afternoon/evening dose of Metformin if you know you might be drinking more than usual.

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Marky16
Here is my question. I have enjoyed 1-2 glasses a day of wine and taken metformin for a year. Since my BG has gone up due to 30 pound weight gain and lack of exericise, at my doctor's suggestion, I have doubled my metformin and stopped all alcohol. It does not make sense, my numbers are higher the past three days than they have been all year. What gives? Did the wine keep my BG levels lower? I am not about to start drinking again unless and until I get healtheir and the wine does does hurt. Just very curious!

 

Try drinking red wine vs, white wine. I find white wine raise my sugar level while red wine lowers sugar level

But not sure about mixing alcohol with metformin

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jwags

I take the max dose of metformin and enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner. I don't take my metformin with meals but before bed and in the morning. I think for a very few people drinking alcohol may send them too low. I never go low but make sure you test.

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art

I drink a martini a day.

I drink on weekends. Wine, beer or alcohol.

NEVER had an adverse reaction

 

Art

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oldtimer

If you are taking Metformin they should be testing your kindny functions every 90 days.  Ask your doc about your kidney functions and acidosis.  Once you know what to look for you can see how high you are.  The Higher the worse you are and the more you need to watch yourself.  My number is low even in the morning at my peak metformin level, so I can dring like a fish!  My metformin runs low in the evenings anyway.

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jims_forum

What I find for me is that alcohol interferes with the metformin when it is up to strength in blood. I find the best answer with hard alcohol is to take on off peak times when metformin not active  and ignore late at night when I depend on metformin to help arrest excess glucose release and excess glucose release during dawn effect times.

 

Wine as indicated seems to have much less impact and long as one not drinking heavy of the wine ; the effect seems much reduced. 

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