Does Metformin Help You Lose Weight?


Quick Answer

Metformin is prescribed along with diet and exercise to control or treat type 2 diabetes. Dr. Gabe Mirkin writes that metformin can be used to aid weight loss because it reduces hunger, but this is not a recommended use of the drug. Metformin can also prevent diabetes from developing in people at high risk and has been prescribed to treat infertility and stabilize menstrual cycles, states WebMD.

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Full Answer

Metformin can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Sometimes it can lead to a more serious condition known as lactic acidosis, characterized by consistent and severe stomach upset and dizziness. Although it does not cause hypoglycemia on its own, when paired with other anti-diabetic medications, low blood sugar can result.

WebMD recommends that metformin be taken orally with water one to three times per day depending on the doctor's prescription. Dr. Mirkin suggests that its weight loss benefits come from metformin's effect on insulin levels, keeping blood sugar levels from rising too high and preventing the overproduction of insulin that leads to overeating and increased fat storage. Metformin is also prescribed to women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome, helping them to lose weight; however, to be effective, metformin must be combined with healthy eating habits.

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