Metformin BEFORE eating or AFTER I've already started?

Hello all-

I was just wondering, should I be taking my Metformin before meals (like 10-20 minutes) or can I take it as I'm eating or just after I've finished? I don't know if it is important to get it "onboard" before I put food in my belly or if I can just take it whenever. Do any of you know?

PS- I am back to eating. 5 days of fasting and I finally was able to keep something "real" down. Hubby is happy which makes me happy because MAN! does he whine!!! :)

Links added by the TuDiabetes Administration:

Hi Devon, I take mine, twice a day, at about 12 hour intervals 5:15 am and 5:45 pm. I am having execelent results the am is just after eating and the pm is before eating, supper time varies but my other meals and snacks are by the clock.

In my view, metformin’s primary beneficial effects build up over time. You don’t time the medication to obtain the benefits, you time the medication to minimize the side effects. Everyone is different. Some people may find that they have lessgastric distress if they take the metformin with food, others minimize distress by taking it without food. I would just choose whatever works best. I take a maximum dose, 1g in the morning and 1.5g in the evening. Although I have certain gastric issues, metformin does not bother me.

One thing that you should be aware of is that one of the effects of metformin is to impede the absorption of carbs and for some people I’ve heard taking metformin with carby meals can amplified some gastric issues.

Hope that helps.

Devon, I’m on Glumetza in lieu of Metformin (TOO MUCH stomach upset for me) and take it twice a day (as of recently in conjunction with insulin)–with breakfast and dinner. I find that if I take it literally at the first bite of food, or midway into the meal, I have less side effects. Other than that, I don’t think that timing will affect the medication and it’s benefits…

I also take it right after the first bite. I also find the stomach issues less severe if I take it right when I start to eat

I am on the ER version and I usually take it after dinner with the rest of my evening meds unless we had a really late meal.

Past the first week or so I really haven’t noticed any gastric side effects… with or without food hasn’t seemed to matter.

After eating for me. Stomach upset if I didn’t have food in my stomach. I am also on Glumetza, and this decreased the stomach upset for me.

I take mine after I eat because I was told to take it with a full tummy. Glad you are finally better - I won’t ask about the chicken! :slight_smile:

I’m taking mine once daily (lunch)…and take it just after my first bite. Before, I took it before the meal…but had some stomach upset.

Very cool. I didn’t realize it was a cumulative thing, I thought it was like insulin. Good to know. Thanks!

Metformin will reach full effectiveness in 6-8 weeks. It has three primary effects (

First, it reduces the amount of blood sugar produced by your liver, this presumably will decrease you basal needs and help your fasting numbers.

Second, it increases the insulin signaling resulting in increased insulin sensitivity. The effect is primarily on the muscle mass in your body. Insulin resistance also affects all kinds of other stuff, but the biggest utilization of insulin is in the uptake of glucose to muscles.

Third, it decreases the absorption of glucose during digestion. It is this effect that I believe causes some of the gastric issues. By enabling carbs and sugars to proceed further down your digestive system, the natural flora then goes wild fermenting all that good sugar generating gas. This is perhaps why some people call it “metfartin.”

1 Like

“metfartin” - love it.

Maybe for a type 2 not on insulin, but low blood sugars can happen if you’re on insulin. If Metformin is lowering the output of glucagon and making me more sensitive to my insulin, then being on insulin, I went low multiple times a day until I changed my basal rates… So, again, it depends on who you are.

There is no golden rule in diabetes!

1 Like

I take my metformin 3 times a day ( 5-6 am, 10-11 am and right before bed) None of them are with food. My doctor told me it is the total amount you take not when you take it. If you have stomach distress take it with meals. Metformin does not increase insulin output so it does not allow you to eat more carbs.

Thank you. I think it was bsc that posted a wikipedia link which I found VERY helpful, so I am aware that Metformin itself does not create lows. I am however taking Lantus and Humalog on occasion so I have had a few fan-flippin-tastic lows the last few days. Since my resistance is lower, the amount of Humalog I take is still a wild guess. I am taking the Metformin extended release, and I still have the GI issues and I’m what, 5 or 6 weeks into treatment, maybe more. Anywho- I can deal with the GI issues, I just wasn’t sure if the timing of the dose was important like it is with insulin. Thank you all for the wonderful info and links. It’s really appreciated. Isn’t this place awesome?!!

bsc nailed it for the 3 main functions of met.

I take my met after food but if its an extended long meal (like during functions where the meal can last 2 hours)… i take it during the middle of the meal just to help in the curbing the spikes that i might have… I have heard some people taking it before meals too to curb spikes or help in slowing down the carb absorption… but some folks has gastric issues with met if they take before meal

But eat a more carby meal with met… you’ll get the metfartin effect (not really the gastric effect)… at that point… ermmm… keep your enemies close? =P (just kidding ^_^)

1 Like

I’m taking 2000 mg a day. Is that the max? I’m currently taking it with breakfast and lunch, but I wondered about asking my doctor about taking it at dinner as well. Is there a max with this drug?

2000mg is max for Met ER / XR (extended release) but for regular met its 2500mg

metfartin is right! glad I don’t have to take it.

Devon, my CNP just called and has changed my med schedule all around…great, just when I get it down pat. She wants me to take my Met 1000 mg in the AM WITH breakfast and 1000 mg WITH DINNER. 12 hours apart. Along with all the other meds, it’s like I’ll have to buy a new watch or phone to set my alarm for med taking.

SO I guess it IS important when those meds go into our body. I have a month of this schedule to see how things work out, like do they lower numbers or what, and then I’ll know for sure. I’m with you though…if it makes people happy, I’ll do it just for that reason.