Taking metformin with other medicines and herbal supplements (2024)

Cautions with other medicines

There are some medicines that can affect the way metformin works.

If you're taking any of the following medicines, your blood sugar levels may need to be checked more often and your dose changed:

Your doctor may need to make a small change to your metformin dose if you have just started taking contraceptive pills. This is because contraceptive pills can change how your body handles sugar.

Mixing metformin with herbal remedies and supplements

There's not enough information to say that complementary medicines and herbal remedies are safe to take with metformin. They're not tested in the same way as pharmacy and prescription medicines. They're generally not tested for the effect they have on other medicines.

Important: Medicine safety

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you're taking any other medicines, including herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements.

Page last reviewed: 24 March 2022
Next review due: 24 March 2025

Taking metformin with other medicines and herbal supplements (2024)


What herbs should not be taken with metformin? ›

Similarly, those who take metformin should also avoid St. John's wort, as some studies suggest that the supplement causes a build-up of metformin in the body. This build-up causes the body to release more insulin, which may affect glucose levels.

Can metformin be taken with other supplements? ›

Interactions between your drugs

No interactions were found between metformin and Vitamins. However, this does not necessarily mean no interactions exist. Always consult your healthcare provider.

What can metformin not be taken with? ›

Cautions with other medicines

steroid tablets, such as prednisolone. tablets that make you pee more (diuretics), such as furosemide. medicines to treat heart problems and high blood pressure (hypertension) male and female hormones, such as testosterone, oestrogen or progesterone.

Can you take ashwagandha and metformin together? ›

Taking ashwagandha along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

What cancels out metformin? ›

Metformin can interact with some diabetes medications that decrease blood glucose, including insulin, glipizide (Glucotrol XL), and repaglinide. It may also interact with medications that can raise blood glucose. Examples of these medications include prednisone and hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide).

Why do doctors no longer recommend metformin? ›

However, the toll it takes on the digestive system may prevent many people with diabetes from taking it for more than a week or two. “Metformin commonly causes gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and flatulence,” explained a recent study published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Can I take metformin and vitamin D together? ›

Interactions between your drugs

No interactions were found between metformin and Vitamin D3.

Can you eat bananas with metformin? ›

It's okay to eat fruits and vegetables with a higher sugar content in moderation (i.e., bananas and sweet potatoes) because natural sugars don't affect your blood sugar levels the same way as added sugars do.

What organ is metformin hard on? ›

Certain people taking metformin may also have a risk of kidney damage. A 2018 study suggests that metformin may reduce kidney function in people with both moderate chronic kidney disease and T2DM.

What is the bad news about metformin? ›

Under certain conditions, too much metformin can cause lactic acidosis. The symptoms of lactic acidosis are severe and quick to appear, and usually occur when other health problems not related to the medicine are present and are very severe, such as a heart attack or kidney failure.

Can I take magnesium with metformin? ›

Interactions between your drugs

No interactions were found between Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc and metformin.

What supplements should I avoid with metformin? ›

John's wort and metformin in 20 healthy male subjects, found that taking it in conjunction with metformin can increase insulin secretion and lower blood sugar after a glucose tolerance test.

What herbal supplements interact with metformin? ›

In a small, controlled study, guar gum plus metformin slowed the rate of metformin absorption. In people with diabetes this interaction could reduce the blood sugar–lowering effectiveness of metformin. Until more is known, metformin should be taken two hours before or two hours after guar gum–containing supplements.

Why can't diabetics take ashwagandha? ›

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with ASHWAGANDHA. Ashwagandha might lower blood sugar levels. Taking ashwagandha along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

Is it OK to take turmeric with metformin? ›

When Combined With Metformin or Diet and Exercise, Turmeric May Help With Blood Sugar Management.

Why can't diabetics take turmeric? ›

Interactions. Turmeric or curcumin might also increase the effects of other blood sugar medications, which could lead to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. People should talk to a doctor before increasing their intake of turmeric or curcumin and before taking turmeric or any other supplements for their symptoms.

What not to drink with metformin? ›

Bid Adieu to sugary drinks such as sodas, sweet teas, and fancy coffee concoctions. They are rich in added sugars that send your blood sugar levels up to the sky. PCOS often comes in combination with insulin resistance, so it is best to avoid these sugary sips so that Metformin has a clear path to work.


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