Metformin and Alcohol – Can be Taken Together?

To understand the combination the metformin and alcohol we first have to understand in detail about metformin and what it is used for and also some of the other aspects. Well first of all metformin is basically used for the treatment of diabetes. Diabetes is one of these disorder for which there is or proper treatment and the medications that we use for the diabetes are to keep it under control.

Diabetes is one of those disorders which affect our blood glucose level. In diabetes our body stop making insulin and insulin is a hormone that are produced by the beta cells of the pancreas which helps glucose enter in our body cells where they are used as the energy source and in diabetes a patient is unable to take sugar products to avoid accumulation of glucose in the blood ad this condition is known as hyperglycemia. Following are some of the symptoms of the hyperglycemia which we can also say are the symptoms of diabetes

  • Increased thirst
  • Headaches
  • Weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Trouble concentrating etc.

So these were some of the symptoms that indicate the hyperglycemia and the continuity of this state is the sign of diabetes. Diabetes is basically of two types, type I and type II. In type I the body stops making insulin altogether while in the type II diabetes the body is not able to use insulin properly. To check if you have diabetes or not you can determine it with the help of the blood test.


Metformin is the drug that is used by the diabetic patients and it helps to control the blood glucose level. It helps to control the blood glucose in such a way that it increases the absorption of the glucose by the intestine and it also decreases the hepatic glucose production. Metformin also improves the sensitivity of insulin by increasing the uptake of the peripheral glucose thus this is why it is used to maintain the blood glucose level in diabetes.

Metformin does not help to treat diabetes but it helps to keep it in control and avoid the type of damage that diabetes can cause like kidney failure, loss of limbs, nerve problems, sexual problems, blindness etc. metformin is basically used in the type II diabetes where the body either can make insulin or can’t respond to the insulin. Metformin is also used for the purpose of the diet exercise and is also used in the polycystic ovarian disorder.

Alcohol in Diabetes

Before we know about the metformin and alcohol combination we should know what effect the alcohol causes in the diabetic patient. Well, the alcohol has a positive effect on diabetes because it lowers your blood glucose levels. The alcohol as the study shows has said to lower the blood glucose level for the 24 hours after you take it. Being a diabetic patient you can have alcohol at a very moderate amount and for diabetic women, it is said that they can take almost one drink per day if they have to and you can have almost two drinks each day of you are a man.

But you should not take alcohol without the precautionary measures like you shouldn’t drink alcohol on empty stomach and neither when your blood glucose level is low enough that you can go under the hypoglycemia. As we know that in diabetes the excess urination occurs ad with alcohol there is a chance of dehydration so you should stay hydrated all the time while taking alcohol even if you are not a diabetic patient but being a diabetic patient you must stay hydrated.

Metformin and Alcohol

Now coming toward the main discussion of metformin and alcohol combination we must know in detail what are the effects of them using together and if there are any side effects that we must know about so we can stay warned of the consequences. The effects that occur due to the combined use of the metformin and alcohol are as follows





As we already know that metformin decreases the blood glucose level of the diabetic patient and alcohol has the same effect too so they can cause the synergistic effect and the blood glucose level can stoop so low that it will result in the hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is the condition in which the blood glucose level is very less. Following are some of the symptoms of the hypoglycemia

  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness
  • Confusion

And some of the times this condition may also lead to the unconsciousness so if anything like this happens around us we must warn the people to take metformin and alcohol together and also should stop doing so. And if a situation like this occurs we should eat something to balance our blood glucose level immediately and avoid taking metformin and alcohol together.

Lactic Acidosis

Lactic acidosis is another condition which may result due to the combined use of the lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is the situation in which the lactic acid level increases in our body. Lactic acid is produced in our body when the energy is being utilized and with the use of metformin, the amount of lactic acid that is produced normally increases and by the use of alcohol the body is not able to get rid of the lactic acid like it normally does. So the combined use of the metformin and alcohol can lead to the higher lactic acid amount in our body. Increased lactic acid leads to following symptoms

  • Weakness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Muscular pain

Lactic acidosis is the condition that can be treated in the hospital and it is a medical emergency situation.

So from this we know that taking the metformin and alcohol is never a good decision but that doesn’t mean that you cannot drink alcohol at all but you will have to discuss it with your doctor and you can only take alcohol if your doctor permits you to and must listen to the contraindications like combined use of the metformin and alcohol.

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