Metformin Weight Loss: Can It Help You Lose Weight?

Metformin is an oral medication prescribed to diabetics to control blood sugar levels. Metformin is normally intended to be used by type II diabetics that are insulin-dependent, yet metformin weight loss results are popularly advertised and currently changing how the public views this drug.

Overweight patients who have diabetes can potentially lose weight when taking metformin, which is precisely why metformin weight loss has become popular among diabetics.

Metformin is primarily sold as brand names Glucophage and Glucophage XR drugs.


How Does Metformin Weight Loss Work?

At a basic level, weight loss from taking metformin occurs because the drug lowers blood insulin levels and helps to control blood sugar. As we’ve already pointed out, this is helpful to patients with type II diabetes, yet it can also benefit people who are hoping to lose weight.

Metformin will prevent carbohydrate absorption through the intestines to naturally decrease glucose production in the body. This process will make your body more sensitive to insulin resulting in you feeling less hungry.

Metformin weight loss results are therefore due to the fact that this drug works as a natural appetite suppressant. After taking the drug, you will feel fuller for longer and will automatically eat less, making it easier to quickly lose weight.

In one New York Medical College study, 80% of the women who took metformin while eating a modified carbohydrate diet lost roughly 10% of their body weight over a year. On top of that, 90% of the women kept the weight off for more than four years.1

Many other diabetes medications on the market are known to cause weight gain, which can worsen the condition of type II diabetes. This is why Metformin is a medication prescribed to obese diabetics or people who are overweight with a body mass index over 25. People with a high body mass index are normally at risk for high blood sugar levels and diabetes or prediabetes.

Since the drug is intended to be used to treat diabetes, it is likely to be covered by insurance if it’s prescribed by your physician for diabetes or weight management.

Additionally, metformin is often prescribed to women who have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal issue that causes insulin resistance to trigger acne, weight gain, and irregular periods. Once insulin resistance caused by PCOS is managed with the use of metformin, many symptoms will improve, and patients will generally experience weight loss.1


Metformin Weight Loss Dosage: Glucophage and Glucophage XR

MetformiMetformin Weight Loss Glucophagen is normally sold in 500, 850, and 1000 mg tablets. For weight loss results, the common dosage is 850 mg to 1000 mg twice per day. The maximum amount that you should take for safety reasons is one 850 mg tablet three times per day.

Most people hoping to lose weight will start out at a lower dosage to see what side effects the drug may have. If you are under the care of a doctor, your physician may prescribe for you a gradual increase your dosage to help you lose weight more efficiently and safely.

The two brands of metformin available are Glucophage and Glucophage XR.

Glucophage XR is preferred by many patients since it is an extended-release tablet that will enable you to only take one pill per day. Glucophage XR tablets are available in 500 or 750 mg and are prescribed to be taken once daily.

When using Glucophage instead of Glucophage XR, you will have to take several pills per day in order to meet your required dosage. Glucophage tablets are available in 500, 850, and 1000 mg.


Metformin Weight Loss Side Effects

Yes, there are some risks to the use of metformin for weight loss.

Side effects of metformin include upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhea, which could contribute to the weight loss results triggered by the drug. Other common side effects include gas, indigestion, abdominal discomfort, weakness, and headaches.

This doesn’t mean that every patient taking metformin will experience side effects. Most patients that take the drug for weight loss or diabetes tolerate it well. In the case that any of the side effects above do occur, they are often minor and do not require any treatment.

Patients saw better results with fewer side effects when taking the slow-release form of metformin, Glucophage XR, as opposed to Glucophage.

The most common side effects from the use of this long-acting drug were diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting in a small percentage of patients.


  1. “Metformin Weight Loss – Does Metformin Help You Lose Weight – Redbook.” Sex Tips, Marriage Advice, Getting Pregnant, & Online Sweepstakes – Redbook. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Aug. 2011.

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