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Drug Name: Glucophage

Drug ID: 22

Nutritional Considerations

  • Diabetes may be affected by many nutritional deficiencies and taking diabetic medications may increase the body’s nutritional needs. Glucophage may cause an additional depletion of nutrients, especially vitamin B12. It may be beneficial to supplement the diet with a multivitamin containing this nutrient.

    1. "The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics," (New Rochelle, NY, The Medical Letter, Inc.) through Vol. 37 (952), July, 1995.
    2. Adams JF, Clark JS, Ireland JT, et al: Malabsorption of vitamin B12 and intrinsic factor secretion during biguanide therapy, Diabetologia, 1983, 24(1):16-8.
    3. Berger W, Incidence of severe side effects during therapy with sulfonylureas and biguanides, Horm Metab Res Suppl, 1985, 15:111-5.
    4. Rieder HP, Berger W, and Fridrich R: Vitamin status in diabetic neuropathy, Z Ernahrungswiss, 1980, 19 (1):1-13.
    5. Carpentier JL, Bury J, Luyckx A, et al: Vitamin B12 and folic acid serum levels in diabetics under various therapeutic regimens, Diabete Metab, 1976, 2(4):187-90.
  • Other nutrients that could be affected with use of Glucophage include co-enzyme Q10. Discuss supplementation with a pharmacist or physician before initiating supplement use because Co-Q10 may also reduce blood sugar levels. Monitor sugar levels.

    1. Kishi T, Kishi H, Watanabe T, et al: Bioenergetics in clinical medicine studies on coenzyme Q and diabetes mellitus, J Med, 1976, 7(3-4):307-21.
  • High doses of the vitamin niacin may increase blood glucose levels and excessive use of this nutrient should be avoided.

    1. Balch JF, Balch PA: Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 1997, p. 231.
    2. Pronsky, Z Food Medication Interactions, 11th edition, 1999
    3. Schwartz ML. Severe reversible hyperglycemia as a consequence of niacin therapy. Arch Intern Med. 1993 Sep 13;153(17):2050-2.
  • Alcohol use should be limited, as it can interfere with diabetes management.

    1. Graedon J, Graedon T: The People’s Guide to Deadly Drug Interactions, 1995, p. 284.
    2. Facts and Comparisons, Clinisphere 2.0, Wolters Kluwer Company, 2000
    3. Pronsky, Z Food Medication Interactions, 11th edition, 1999
  • Vitamin E and magnesium may increase the effects of glucophage. Consult a pharmacist prior to taking these supplements with glucophage.

    1. McBain AM, Brown IR, Menzies DG, Campbell IW. Effects of improved glycaemic control on calcium and magnesium homeostasis in type II diabetes. J Clin Pathol 1988;41:933-35.
    2. Paolisso G, D'Amore A, Giugliano D, et al. Pharmacologic doses of vitamin E improve insulin action in healthy subjects and non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients. Am J Clin Nutr 57:650-656, 1993.
    3. Kivisto KT, Neuvonen PJ. Enhancement of absorption and effect of glipizide by magnesium hydroxide. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1991;49:39-43.
  • Avoid L-carnitine and chromium with glucophage due to possible additive hypoglycemic effects.

    1. Mingrone G. L-carnitine improves glucose disposal in type 2 diabetic patients. J Am Col Nutr 18: 77-82, 1999.
    2. Anderson RA. Nutritional factors influencing the glucose/insulin system: chromium. J Am Coll Nutr. 1997 Oct;16(5):404-10.
  • Potatoes can interfere with blood sugar levels and glucophage dosage may require adjustment.

    1. Gannon MC, et al. Diabetes Care 1993;16:874.
    2. The Review of Natural Productss, Facts and Comparisons, Clinisphere 2.0, Wolters Kluwer Company, 2000

Herbal Considerations

  • The following herbs may lower blood sugar levels: Alfalfa, Aloe vera, Bilberry, Burdock, Bitter Melon, Celery, Cornsilk, Damiana, Eucalyptus, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Panax Ginseng, Goat's Rue, Juniper, Marshmallow, Myrrh, Nettle, Onions, Sage and Tansy.

    1. Newall CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines A Guide for Health-care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.
    2. Bever BO and Zahnd GR. Plants with oral hypoglycemic action. Q J Crude Drug Res 17: 139-196, 1979.
    3. Brinker F. Herb contraindications and drug interactions, 2nd ed. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications, 1998
    4. Welihinda J, et al. Effect of Momordica charantia on the glucose tolerance in maturity onset diabetes. J Ethnopharmacol 17: 277-282, 1986.
    5. PDR for Herbal Medicines, 2nd edition, Medical Economics Company, 2000
    6. Neef H, et al. Inhibitory effects of Galega officinalis on glucose transport across monolayers of human intestinal epithelial cells (Caco-2). Pharm Pharmacol Lett 1996;6(2):86-89.

NDC Codes

00087606005, 00087606010, 00087606090, 00087606313, 00087606314, 00087606391, 00087606413, 00087606490, 00087607005, 00087607010, 00087607111, 00087607112, 00087607191, 00179137870, 00339602210, 00339602221, 00339602222, 12783006005, 12783006010, 12783006090, 12783006313, 12783006314, 12783006391, 12783006393, 12783007005, 12783007010, 54569420200, 54569420202, 54569420203, 54569474000, 54569474001