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What is the right dose of taking Metformin if my blood sugar is increasing?

William Lee Dubois
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Was it Shakespeare that said “a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for his client?” Regardless, I can assure you that all the doctors I know have doctors. So if doctors don’t doctor themselves, perhaps you should think twice about doing it yourself.

That said, for perspective only: the recommended maximum daily dosage of metformin is 2,500mg. The pills come in 500mg, 850mg and 1,000mg strengths. For most folks, less than 1,000 seems to have very little effect.

As metformin can be rough on the stomach when it is first started, your doctor may start you on a single 500mg pill, usually with the evening meal, then increase to dosage over several weeks to let your body get used to it.

Some people can maintain blood glucose control on 1,000mg at first, but diabetes is a progressive disease and the body has a tendency to adapt to medications over time, so this will likely need to be increased. Once the maximum dosage no longer does the trick, it will be time to add another medication in consultation with your doctor.

For those of you with quick math brains, you’ll note that three 850 pills is 2,550 milligrams. Not to worry, the extra 50 is not enough to harm you.

The only diabetes medication you should adjust on your own (and only if you’ve been trained how to do it by your health care team) is insulin, which is an infinitely adjustable medication that requires much on-the-fly adjustments in response to food, exercise, and illness.

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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.