Am I likely to get lactic acidosis from taking metformin?

Lactic acidosis -- a buildup of lactic acid in the body -- is a rare complication of taking metformin (Glucophage, Fortamet), but you could be at an increased risk for this condition if you're dehydrated or if you drink large amounts of alcohol. You're also at increased risk of lactic acidosis while taking metformin if you have any of the following:
  • liver disease
  • kidney disease
  • congestive heart failure
  • a severe infection

Lactic acidosis can be serious; it can even cause death. If you take metformin, you should talk to your doctor about your risk of developing this side effect.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.