Apr 6, 2014
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BIGUANIDES

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Biguanides are a group of oral drugs, of which METFORMIN is the only one available for treatment, used to treat non-insulin-dependent diabetics when strict dieting and treatment with SULPHONYLUREAS have failed. Metformin acts mainly by reducing GLUCONEOGENESIS and by increasing the rate at which the body uses up glucose. Hypoglycaemia is unusual, unless taken in overdose. Gastrointestinal side-effects such as anorexia, nausea, vomiting and transient diarrhoea are common initially and may persist, particularly if large doses are taken. Metformin should not be given to patients with renal failure, in whom there is a danger of inducing lactic acidosis. (See also DIABETES MELLITUS.)

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