Recall of metformin extended release

In May 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that some makers of metformin extended release remove some of their tablets from the U.S. market. This is because an unacceptable level of a probable carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) was found in some extended-release metformin tablets.

If you are currently taking this drug, you should call your healthcare professional. They will tell you whether you should take your medication or not.

Metformin is a drug for managing blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. You may have heard that metformin can also help you lose weight. But is it true?

Here is what you should know about the benefits of the drug for weight loss and why a doctor may prescribe it for you.

The FDA does not approve a stand-alone weight loss drug.

However, people using metformin for other means may lose weight as a side effect. The exact mechanism of this is unclear. Unlike other diabetes medications, metformin doesn’t cause weight gain.

Appetite reduction

One theory is that metformin prompts you to eat less by reducing your appetite. However, the methods by which metformin affects appetite aren’t clear.

Metformin may affect the gut microbiota, cause the release of appetite-suppressing hormones, and affect appetite-regulating parts of the brain.

Some people taking metformin may experience symptoms of scurvy, nausea, and vomiting. The side effects may make a person want to eat less.

Long-term weight loss

One long-term study of people with diabetes assessed weight loss over 15 years. Researchers found that in people who lost more than 5% of body weight in the first year, those taking metformin had greater success with maintaining weight loss in years 6 to 15.

However, taking the drug without following other healthy habits may not lead to weight loss. Individuals who follow a healthy diet and exercise while taking metformin tend to lose the most weight.

You can only lose weight if you take the medication. If you stop taking the drug, you have a good chance of regaining your original weight. You may gain back some of the weight you lost while taking the drug.

If you have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes and are overweight or have obesity, a doctor may prescribe metformin to help you manage your diabetes or lower your risk of developing it.

In fact, a doctor might prescribe metformin for weight loss even if you don’t have diabetes or prediabetes. This is an off-label use.

The FDA has not approved a drug for a specific use, which is why it is called off label. There is less information about how effective it is.

Metformin is a medication used for diabetes. There are no official dose recommendations for it.

If you are prescribed off label, the doctor will decide on a dose that is right for you. You will probably start with a low dose and gradually increase it over time. This can help reduce the effects of side effects.

One off-label use of metformin is for antipsychotic drug-induced weight loss. Doses for immediate-release metformin can range from 750 mg to 2,000 mg. Extended-release doses may range from 500 mg to 2,000 mg.

If you are losing weight while taking the medication, it may be because of something else. Other factors can result in weight loss.

Digestive issues

Weight loss may be caused by issues with the bicyle. These issues are related.

Other health conditions

Some health conditions may also cause loss of appetite, which can lead to weight loss. These conditions include:


Other medications may also cause weight loss. For example, chemotherapy drugs may do this by reducing your appetite.

Certain thyroid medications boost your metabolism, which can cause weight loss. One symptom of an underactive thyroid is weight gain. Taking medications to treat this may cause weight loss as hormones rebalance. These drugs include levothyroxine, liothyronine, and liotrix.

Other drugs that may cause weight loss as a side effect include some attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drugs, such as amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall) and methylphenidate (Concerta).

Adderall and weight loss can be learned here.

Metformin is a relatively safe drug with side effects that usually go away over time. It is important that any weight loss you may have is gradual and minimal.

“If you are concerned about the amount of weight you have lost, talk to a doctor. They can help you figure out what’s causing your weight loss.”

If you lose weight quickly and have no appetite or energy, you should call a doctor. You should be able to call any time you have questions about your health or weight.

You can learn why you may experience unexplained weight loss.

The road to weight loss varies from person to person. Still, the weight loss method doctors typically recommend is a combination of a balanced diet and exercise. For more information, read about diabetes-safe diets and exercise tips for people with diabetes.

Talk to a doctor about weight loss and the drug metformin. They can answer your questions and help you find a plan that works for you. Some questions you might ask are listed.

  • Can you suggest a diet and exercise program to help me lose weight?
  • Do I need to take medication to lose weight?
  • What is a reasonable weight loss goal for me?
  • Should I work with a dietician?
  • If I lose weight, could I stop taking some medications for diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure?