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What is Metformin?

Metformin is one of the most commonly prescribed treatments for those with type-2 diabetes, working to bring down blood sugar levels in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise. Metformin can also be prescribed to people who are at high risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

Controlling blood sugar levels is vital in reducing the risk of serious long-term health complications, such as blindness, kidney damage, nerve problems, sexual problems, strokes, heart attacks, heart failure and high blood pressure. People can also lose limbs due to severe complications arising from diabetes, so it is imperative to manage blood sugar levels.

How does Metformin Work?

Metformin does not raise insulin levels in the body, but instead works to decrease the amount of sugar produced and absorbed by the body. Whilst glucose production in the liver is decreased, Metformin also then lowers blood sugar by increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Metformin also reduces the amount of glucose that can be absorbed by the body from the food we consume.

All of this essentially means that metformin improves your insulin resistance, so that the insulin your body does produce, works better. Insulin resistance is the term used when your insulin doesn't work as it should and increases your blood sugar levels. 

Most people with type-2 diabetes find that Metformin works best to bring down blood sugar gradually, when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

How to take Metformin

Always take this medicine exactly as described in the Patient Information Leaflet, and as advised by your doctor.

  • It's best to take Metformin tablets with a meal to reduce the side effects. Swallow your Metformin tablets whole with a glass of water. Do not chew them.
  • Adults usually start with 500mg or 850mg Metformin hydrochloride tablets two or three times a day.
  • The maximum daily dose is 3000mg taken as three divided doses.
  • If you take insulin too, your doctor will tell you how to start Metformin tablets.
  • Metformin tablets come in different strengths. Your doctor will tell you how many tablets to take a day.

You should always take Metformin as directed by your own doctor, which will normally be taken with a meal, one to three times a day. Unless instructed otherwise by your doctor or another medical professional, you should drink plenty of fluids each day whilst taking Metformin.

Your doctor may have prescribed you the lowest dose of Metformin initially, before gradually increasing the dose over time as your body gets used to the drug.

If you are already prescribed and / or taking another medication for diabetes, discuss this with your doctor first and follow any directions given by the doctor in regard to possibly continuing on that existing medication, or about how to safely stop that therapy and begin taking Metformin.

It is important to check your blood sugar levels as and when you have been directed to do so by your own doctor. Discuss these results with your doctor – particularly if you are concerned your levels are too low or too high – as the doctor may need to adjust your treatment.

How can I buy Metformin online

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Ask Our Prescriber / Pharmacist

Medical Specialists® are proud of our in-house team of Prescribers, Pharmacists and Experts who carry out the online consultations, dispense medication or help our patients in other ways.

If you would like to ask one of our experts any questions regarding your medication or any other matter, then please feel free to submit your query to us and will get back to you.

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How We Package Your Order

Your medication is sealed in a plain shipping box for protection then placed inside a tamper-proof Royal Mail special delivery envelope before being dispatched from our in-house Pharmacy.

  • Discreet Plain Packaging
  • Royal Mail Special Delivery
  • No Mention of Medication

For full patient information, please read or print out the leaflet provided at the bottom of this page about Metformin online.


This patient information leaflet is provided for information purposes only. This leaflet information should not be used in contradiction with your Doctor or Pharmacist's advice. Medical Specialists recommend that you carefully read the information leaflet provided with your medication.  Medical Specialists will not accept liability for information displayed. Please refer to the leaflet provided with your medication for the latest manufacturer's information.
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