Metformin Side Effects & Safe Alternatives Of Metformin In Ayurveda
The world is full of surprises and the most hilarious surprise we humans are getting is in the form of Diseases. Everyday, in a circle of 10, at least one is diagnosed with a health condition. Some health conditions have become so common that they don't even seem like a danger. It's like "one day it will happen to all of us", but to be honest it is not like that. The lifestyle disorders, which are the most common type of disorders these days are due to the errors we are making in our day to day life and day to day eating. Which is giving our body time to develop errors. If the fate is same for all the bodies then why the ones who are not having such conditions or disorders live longer than the ones who have conditions like diabetes, hypertension, thyroid dysfunction, obesity etc.
All the answers will be given in this article. Mostly the article will have information about a drug called Metformin Hydrochloride. Metformin hydrochloride is a drug which is used in the patients of diabetes mellitus for controlling excessive blood sugar levels. The article also has information regarding effective Ayurveda alternatives which can be given as a substitute in Diabetes mellitus and also works effectively in controlling excess blood sugar levels.
Key Points regarding Metformin
- It belongs to the class of Biguanides and is an active ingredient of Metformin Hydrochloride.
- The drug helps in lowering the amount of Blood glucose in the body
- Metformin Is avoided in patients with Kidney problems
- Its primary site of action is the liver. It works by inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis.
- A drug of choice in case of Diabetes mellitus or Diabetes Type 2
- This is given as Metformin Immediate release, Extended release and Metformin QD which is to be taken once daily.
- Metformin can cause gastric disturbances and other side effects as well
- The Ayurvedic herbs that shows amazing results in case of diabetes are haridra (Curcuma longa), haritaki (Terminelia chebula), gurmar (Gymnema sylvestre), Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum) and many others as well.
Metformin Hydrochloride is kept under the category of Oral hypoglycemic drugs. These drugs are used to lower the blood glucose levels and are effective orally as well. The hypoglycemic drugs are sulfonylureas (First and second generation) and Biguanides. The Metformin Hydrochloride falls under the category of Biguanides Phenformin. The biguanides phenformin cause little or no hypoglycemia in non diabetic patients as they do not have any impact on the pancreatic beta cells. But on the other hand if you see sulfonylureas have an impact on Pancreatic Beta cells membranes resulting in secretion of insulin at any levels of glucose concentrations. Moving further in this article we will discuss mainly about Biguanides along with Details regarding Metformin Hydrochloride.
Moving Forward let's understand Diabetes Type 2 or Diabetes Mellitus first.
About Diabetes Type 2 Or Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes type 2 or diabetes mellitus is a lifestyle disorder in which the problem is with the processing of blood sugar or medically called as blood glucose. This type of diabetes is often called insulin independent diabetes. The reason for this is the resistance which is developed by insulin receptors present on the surface of cells. Due to this resistance, the binding of insulin to receptors does not take place. Due to this the glucose which binds to the insulin present on insulin receptors stays in the bloodstream and the cells can not take up the glucose which is present in the bloodstream and thus hyperglycemia occurs. So, as a summary in Diabetes type - 2, the body produces enough insulin but that insulin is not taken up by the insulin receptors present on the cell surfaces, thus glucose uptake is hampered resulting in Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar/Blood glucose levels.
Now, we will understand the working of biguanides – Metformin hydrochloride in Case of Diabetes mellitus
Biguanides – Metformin Hydrochloride In Case Of Diabetes Mellitus
The Biguanides holds the generic formula HN(C(NH)NH2)2. This is different from sulfonylureas due to its non hypoglycemic effect on non diabetic subjects. Plus as mentioned above it does not have an impact on Pancreatic Beta cells and does not cause secretion of insulin at any levels of glucose concentration. On other hand it is really important that there is the presence of insulin (even in little amounts) for their action.
Following are some key points explaining the Biguanides Mechanism of action (Pharmacodynamics):
- The biguanides suppress liver gluconeogenesis. Liver gluconeogenesis is a pathway or process by which the body produces sugars for catabolic reactions from non carbohydrate precursors.
- Enhance binding of teh insulin to the insulin receptors present on cell surfaces. This stimulates insulin mediated glucose disposal.
- Metformin binds less avidly to mitochondrial membranes and has a weaker inhibition effect on the oxidative phosphorylation (a chain reaction for synthesis of ATP – Adenosine triphosphate).
- Inhibition of absorption of glucose from the intestines.
In above mentioned ways the Biguanides – Metformin hydrochloride works to reduce the blood glucose levels. Now as we know about the mechanism of Metformin Hydrochloride we must discuss some other details about it.
Pharmacokinetics Of Metformin Hydrochloride
First of all, what are the pharmacokinetics of the drugs?
Pharmacokinetics of drugs is a branch in pharmacology which deals with the movement of drugs within the body.
There Are Four Parameters Of Pharmacokinetics
- Absorption: It's complete within 6 hours of ingestion from the gastrointestinal system. Half life in circulation is around 1.5 hrs - 5 hrs. Its action is for 15-20 hours.
- Distribution: Rapid distribution and do not bind to plasma proteins.
- Metabolism: The metformin is not metabolised due to its tendency of not binding to the plasma proteins.
- Excretion: Excreted unchanged.
Therapeutic Range Of Metformin Hydrochloride
The therapeutic range of Plasma concentrations of metformin is not very clear but concentrations above 5 mg/L are considered elevated. Metformin hydrochloride in the market is IR (immediate release), ER (Extended release) and QD (Once daily). After discussing all of the details regarding Metformin, one most important thing is to be discussed and that is its side effects.
Side Effects Of Metformin Hydrochloride
The Metformin Hydrochloride is having following side effects
- Gastrointestinal System related side effects: The most commonly absorbed is the abdominal discomfort which is associated with anorexia, nausea, metallic taste, mild diarrhoea along with tiredness.
- Lactic acidosis: It is the most serious complication of Metformin Hydrochloride. It can be triggered by the Alcohol ingestion as well.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency: The deficiency of B12 is due to the low absorption rate which is due to Metformin. Metformin is responsible for lower intestinal absorption of glucose and somehow has its impact on Absorption of B12 as well.
- Weight loss: Intake of metformin results in gradual weight loss as well.
Herbal Remedies By Planet Ayurveda As Metformin Alternative
Planet ayurveda is a herbal formulations manufacturing company which has been serving in the markets since early 20's. The Formulations manufactured by Planet Ayurveda are totally herbal and are free from any type of additives, fillers, adulterants, preservatives etc. These formulations work efficiently in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels in the body and do not cause any type of side effects in the patient. The Formulations by Planet Ayurveda are extremely potent and give good results in maintaining the health of the body as well. The formulations as a alternative to Metformin are as follows:
- DIAB-SALACIA CAPSULES
- DIABLEEN CAPSULES
- FENUGYM CAPSULES
- Diab-Salacia Capsules - Diab salacia capsules are the patent product of Planet Ayurveda. These capsules are especially prepared for managing diabetes effectively. The capsules have ingredients like Saptarangi (Salacia chinensis) and Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum). These two ingredients have a very good impact on blood sugar levels. Saptarangi is the native herb of India and Sri Lanka and fenugreek is native herb of India. Many studies have even proven that these herbs have a good impact on raised blood sugar levels. So, keeping the best quality of herbs in Mind this product was manufactured so that diabetic patients can be helped with best herbal combinations.
- Diableen Capsules - Diableen capsules are also the patent and effective products of Planet Ayurveda. The diableen capsules are prepared with ingredients like Methika (Trigonella foenum graceum), Gurmar (Gymnema sylvestre), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Karvellak (Momordica charantia) and Jambul (Syzygium cumini). These capsules are also very effective in maintaining the adequate levels of blood sugar and hence preventing degenerative changes in the body due to excess of glucose. The formulation has ingredients which are commonly found but their impact or effect is worth praising. That's why this product works brilliantly even as an alternative to metformin hydrochloride.
- Fenugym Capsules - This formulation is the combination of above two patent products and is equally effective. The combination of herbs in Fenugym is quite impressive as per its results in management of high blood sugar levels. The ingredients of the Fenugym capsules are fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graceum), Gurmar (Gymnema sylvestre), Haridra (Curcuma longa) and Saptarangi (Salacia chinensis). The product works by opening the blocked srotas and this results in free flow of energy. It also helps in stimulating beta cells of pancreas and thus proves to be of help in diabetes type 2. Even in diabetes type 1, all of the products mentioned can be used.
Dosage : One capsule Twice a day after meals with lukewarm water.
Dosage : One capsule Twice a day after meals with lukewarm water.
Dosage : Two capsules Twice a day after meals with lukewarm water.
As mentioned earlier in the article, Diabetes Mellitus or Type 2 Diabetes is a lifestyle disorder. The people who do not follow a proper diet, do not exercise, always worry about things which may not happen tend to develop this condition more often than others. Ayurveda view point of diabetes is the imbalance of doshas and this causes some serious disturbances in the body thus causing Diabetes mellitus but Ayurveda also suggests that the condition can be well managed with the herbal formulations and it will be without any side effects. Though Ayurveda works the hard way, you need to control your cravings, need to push yourself for exercising only then you see results which you desire.