Real world advice, Metformin and Beer.. And

I have a host of issues im dealing with right now. I just started taking meds , Metformin 500MG a day and accupril. At this time in not ready to quit my drinking. I know i must but im trying to cope as hard as i can. I was drinking a LOT in the past 4 years and have been an every day drinker since i was 18… Im now 35. I know i must stop. Im also sure i became T2 because of it. After i was told i was T2 in 2005 i tired the diet and execise thing but i lost track in a bad way.

So i have not drank in 7 days, this was the hard, i have a spinal injury that keeps me in constant pain.

Long crazy story short for now, I just cracked a light beer, i plan to drink 4 tall boy light beers. What sort of drama can i expect with the meds im on? Please be kind with me, im trying real hard and its not easy. I fully know all about the fact im out of control with beer.

I would just like to know the facts from people who have drank on these meds.

Thank you, and thank you all for understanding this delicate time for me.

I’m a T 2 on metformin ( 850 2 x a day). I drink a glass of wine 3 or 4 times a week. I find that it keeps my bg more in the normal range than without it. They tell you make sure you eat a carb with the alcohol.

500mg of met once a day, unless you have kidney issues you won’t have much problem with alcohol itself. The carbs in the beer I can’t help you with because they wont do the same thing for you as they do for me so you’ll have to test and find out. THe alcohol warning for metformin is due to the possibility of lactic acidosis which has a high fatality rate. However, the reason that happens is alcohol and metformin are processed the same way and your body can’t do both at the same time at the same rate so you will have the effects of the alcohol in your body slightly longer (you may also find you get slightly more drunk than before off the same amounts) but the metformin will build up. Usually it’s not much of an issue but if you have kidney problems than it can be. Also, the max dose is 2550mg per day so there are plenty of people walking round with that much in their system all the time. At 500mg per day you are unlikely to build up enough metformin to cause a problem.

All of that should be discussed with your doctor. Likely they will help you make a choice that’s best for you, even if that means not taking metformin or getting some assistance with controlling your alcohol intake.

Hey Mark, chill out, you are fine. I have a beer or wine most every day and I have been on Metformin for over 3years. I research it a lot when I first started taking it but found out,as mentioned, that the warning is because you are over working your liver. Just limit it to one or 2 with days off once in a while. Type 2 rarely have to worry about lows unless they are taking something like Glkpizide that stimulates the pancreas. Live a little, but not too much.

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I’m on 1500mg XR (extended release) and have been for 6yrs and I drink beer and wine. I have about 2 beers or 2 glasses of wine a day except when I’m working night shift so that eliminates 7 days out of the month.
I have not had any issues with high bg readings and have blood work done every 4 months. The micro brews sometimes do raise my bg but it is quite managable. Good luck.

I saw my Dr today, he said i can drink but not to go crazy. He said for each beer or drink make sure I’m hydrated. Don’t get to the point that i might vomit. Stay safe and eat food.

I’m going to drink a 40, that’s like just over 3 beers. @ 12oz each. Ill see how it goes.

So the danger is taxing the liver? My liver tests are all great, i do have a slight issue with my kidneys, small amount of protein in urine but the Dr said this can be reversed and i need more tests. I’m going to Dublin in 2 days and plan to take it real slow with the beer there and just see how it goes.

Thank you all for the info and responses.

The kidney issue is a major red flag and is where you need to be careful. A problem with the kidneys will mean that the metformin doesn’t get cleared from your system like it should so you will have a build up from that and a build up from the alcohol interaction as well. Personally, even if you only take 500mg a day, I would stop at a couple of beers in one sitting, one sitting per day and not drink every day.

I drank a 6 beers, I stopes at 6 am. I’m not going to drink again. And I’m freaking out I still might get sick from the met and the booze. It was totaly not worth it.

“It was totaly not worth it.”

That’s the key. If you’re going to treat yourself you need to make sure it’s worth it. Give me 1 locally crafted exceptional beer over a 6 pack of miller lite or equivalent any day of the week.

I’m still having a hard time with this, I only drink once or twice a week at most but im having panic attacks of the idea of Lactic Acidosis and i just cant take it anymore. Im going to stop met asap, what other kinds of meds can i take? Is insulin a better idea? What can one expect from that.

Metformin and beer do not mix very well, be careful. You sound like an experienced drinker but the medicine intensifies the effect of alcohol and you can become drunk very fast. I’m type 1 but take Metformin for another hormone issue. I also have had my own history with drugs and alcohol, so no judgment here. Just know that there are other ways to cope.

Back to Metformin, when I first started taking it many years ago, one night I went out with some friends and we were at a bar drink, pretty normal. Well, I met a guy and my friends wanted to leave so I stayed. The next thing I remembered was waking up in the Police Station. Apparently, I became so drunk that the bartender started calling people in my phone to come pick me up. I wasn’t causing a problem but was pretty much passed out. They finally go a hold of my friend who was out of town and he told them I was a diabetic and to make sure that my blood sugar didn’t go too high or too low.

They panicked and called the police, who took me in for my own protection. I wasn’t arrested nor did they give me a ticket but it was really embarrassing. Plus, I felt like ■■■■ for the next few days.

Keep working on trying to find healthier ways to cope and just be careful with the alcohol. The diet and exercise will help - don’t give up on that, just try a little every day and if you fall off track that’s o.k.- we all do.

Most important thing is to keep trying and don’t judge yourself harshly.

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Hey Mark,

Insulin doesn’t have the side effects of Metformin & can give you better control. You’ll be taught to match carbs to insulin doses. Does take a good bit of trial & error to get doses right.

Your A1c of 10 is very high & insulin may be the ticket. Have to be careful with insulin & alcohol that you don’t go too low.