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Home > Understanding Kidney Disease > Kidney Diseases > Kidney Failure > Kidney Failure Basics >

Can Metformin Cause Kidney Failure

2014-12-28 09:01| Font Size A A A

Can Metformin Cause Kidney FailureFor many people with type 2 diabetes, metformin is a very effective drug which can help reduce insulin resistance. But the drug metformin is not recommended for people with kidney disease. Why? Can the medicines cause Kidney Failure?

Now, let’s have a look at the introduction of the medicine.

Metformin is an oral antidiabetic drug and it is the first-line drug of choice for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, in particalar in overweight and obese people and those with normal kidney function. And nowadays, diabetes has became one leading cause of Chronic Kidney Disease and Kidney Failure. And some patients who taking the medicine may have the question below.

can metformin cause kidney failure?

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Actually, metformin is usually not the original cause of kidney problems. Metformin is eliminated by the healthy kidneys, however, when a person has poor function, the metformin can build up in the blood until it reached dangerous levels and cause rare but serious condition called lactic acidosis (a dangerous condition with high mortality rate), and then lactic acidosis will affect the chemistry balance of your blood and can lead to kidney failure and other organ failure.

Through the above analysis, we can see metformin itself can not induce kidney failure, but its side effect can become a main cause of kidney damage. In addition, the drug can also cause other side effects, especially gastrointestinal distress. Most people find that these side effects are reduced if they start with a low dose and work up to an effective dose. Taking the drug with meals also helps.

Therefore, most doctors will regularly perform kidney function tests to make sure the kidney is working well in patients who are taking the medicine. With the said, if you are taking the drug, contact your doctor immediately if you experience unexplained weakness, muscle pain, difficulty breathing, or increased drowsiness ( all of them can be early signs of lactic acidosisz). Therefore, patients never take the metformin unless getting the promise from the kidney experts.

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