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Metex XR

Active Ingredients:metformin hydrochloride

Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully.They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.

How much to take

The dose varies from patient to patient. Your doctor will decide the right dose for you.

The usual starting dose for adults is 500 mg (one tablet) with the evening meal. Your doctor may increase the dose, depending on your blood glucose levels.

The maximum recommended dose is 2 g (4 tablets) once a day.

The elderly and people with kidney problems may need smaller doses.

How to take METEX XR

Swallow the tablets with a glass of water.

Do not break, crush or chew the tablets.

If you break, chew or crush the tablets, they will not work as well.

Take METEX XR with your evening meal.This will lessen the chance of a stomach upset. Taking it at the same time each day will also have the best effect.

How long to take METEX XR for

Keep taking METEX XR for as long as your doctor recommends.

METEX XR will help control diabetes but will not cure it. Most people will need to take METEX XR for long periods of time.

When you first start treatment with METEX XR it may take some weeks before your blood glucose levels are properly controlled.

If you forget to take METEX XR

Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose you missed.

Take the next dose at the usual time.

If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

If you take too much METEX XR (overdose)

Immediately telephone your doctor, or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26), or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital, if you think you or anyone else may have taken too much METEX XR. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.

If you take too much METEX XR, you may feel sick, vomit, have trouble breathing and have unusual muscle pain, stomach pain or diarrhoea. These may be early symptoms of a serious condition called lactic acidosis (high level of lactic acid in the blood).

You may also experience symptoms of hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose). This usually only happens if you take too much METEX XR together with other medicines for diabetes or with alcohol.

If you do experience any signs of hypoglycaemia, raise your blood glucose quickly by eating jelly beans, sugar or honey, drinking non-diet soft drink or taking glucose tablets.

Things you must do

Before starting any new medicine, tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking METEX XR.

Tell all the doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking METEX XR.

If you become pregnant while taking METEX XR, tell your doctor.

Tell your doctor if you plan to have surgery that requires general anaesthesia.

You doctor will tell you when to temporarily stop METEX XR and when to restart them.

Tell your doctor if you plan to have any X-ray procedures that require an injection of iodinated contrast (dye).

Using this type of contrast while you are taking METEX XR can cause serious kidney problems and increase the risk of lactic acidosis.

Make sure that you, your friends, family and work colleagues can recognise the symptoms of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar), and know how to treat them.

Hypoglycaemia

METEX XR does not normally cause hypoglycaemia although you may experience if you are also taking other medicines for diabetes such as insulin or sulfonylureas.

Hypoglycaemia can occur suddenly. Symptoms may include:

  • weakness, trembling or shaking
  • sweating
  • light-headedness, dizziness, headache or lack of concentration
  • irritability, tearfulness or crying
  • hunger
  • numbness around the lips and tongue.

If not treated promptly, these symptoms may progress to:

  • loss of co-ordination
  • slurred speech
  • confusion
  • fits or loss of consciousness.

If you experience any of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia, you need to raise your blood glucose immediately. You can do this by doing one of the following:

  • eating 5 to 7 jelly beans
  • eating 3 teaspoons of sugar or honey
  • drinking half a can of non-diet soft drink
  • taking 2 to 3 concentrated glucose tablets.

Unless you are within 10 to 15 minutes of your next meal or snack, follow up with extra carbohydrates such as plain biscuits, fruit or milk.

Taking this extra carbohydrate will prevent a second drop in your blood glucose level.

Hyperglycaemia

If you experience any of the symptoms of hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar), contact your doctor immediately.

The risk of hyperglycaemia is increased in the following situations:

  • uncontrolled diabetes
  • illness, infection or stress
  • taking less METEX XR than prescribed
  • taking certain other medicines
  • too little exercise
  • eating more carbohydrates than normal.

Tell your doctor if you:

  • become ill
  • become dehydrated
  • are injured
  • have a fever
  • become pregnant
  • have a serious infection
  • having surgery (including dental surgery)
  • having X-ray procedures that require injection of iodinated contrast agents (dye).

Your blood glucose may become difficult to control at these times. You may also be more at risk of developing a serious condition called lactic acidosis. At these times, your doctor may replace METEX XR with insulin.

Visit your doctor regularly for check ups.

Your doctor may want to check your kidneys, liver, heart and blood while you are taking METEX XR.

Make sure you check your blood glucose levels regularly.

This is the best way to tell if your diabetes is being controlled properly. Your doctor or diabetes educator will show you how and when to do this.

Carefully follow your doctor's and dietician's advice on diet, drinking alcohol and exercise.

Things you must not do

Do not skip meals while taking METEX XR.

Do not stop taking METEX XR or change the dose without checking with your doctor.

Do not give METEX XR to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.

Things to be careful of

If you have to be alert, for example when driving, be especially careful not to let your blood glucose levels fall too low.

Low blood glucose levels may slow your reaction time and affect your ability to drive or operate machinery. Drinking alcohol can make this worse. However, METEX XR by itself is unlikely to affect how you drive or operate machinery.

If you become sick with a cold, fever or flu, it is very important to continue eating your normal meals.

Your diabetes educator or dietician can give you a list of foods to eat on sick days.

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