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What are the side effects of taking Optisulin and Glycomet-SR?

Saturday, 05 January 2008
Answered by: Dr. Chandra M. Gulhati
Editor,
MIMS,
New Delhi

Q. I am 27 years of age weighing 68 kg and 5 feet 2 inches tall. I have been married for a year and we are not on any contraceptives. I was diagnosed with PCOS 4 months ago, all the other tests were found OK. My doctor has put me on Optisulin and Glycomet-SR 1 mg. I have always had a 28-days cycle until recently. I had 4 irregular cycles but now have returned to normal. Does a prolonged use of these medicines have any adverse effects? I have discontinued optisulin since some time. Please tell.

A.  Internationally, Optisulin is the brand name of a specific type of insulin called insulin glargine. It is to be given ONLY to patients of diabetes and has no role in PCOS. Most unfortunately, the brand name Optisulin is also used in India for a vitamin-mineral supplement that contains zinc, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and small quantity of folic acid. There is always a danger that people needing Optisulin (insulin) may consume vitamins supplement in India and get into serious problem. On the other hand patients prescribed vitamin supplements if given Optisulin (insulin glargine) may die of low blood sugar. I presume you are taking vitamin-mineral supplement. If so the quantity of folic acid, which is essential, is too little (500mcg = 0.5mg) in Optisulin since you should take about 5mg daily (sold as Folet). Other ingredients have no proven role in PCOS. In PCOS, there is nearly always a problem of insulin resistance i.e. the body cannot utilise insulin produced by the body. Hence metformin (sold under various trade names such as Glyciphage, Glycomet etc.) is normally given. The dose should be 1g daily (i.e. 500mg twice daily) and not 1mg (as stated by you). Metformin and folic acid (Folet) are essential and have no adverse effects. Folic acid (Folet) must be taken 1 tablet daily to prevent fetal malformation when you start expecting. For your height and age, you are over-weight which needs to be brought down.

A.  Internationally, Optisulin is the brand name of a specific type of insulin called insulin glargine. It is to be given ONLY to patients of diabetes and has no role in PCOS. Most unfortunately, the brand name Optisulin is also used in India for a vitamin-mineral supplement that contains zinc, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and small quantity of folic acid. There is always a danger that people needing Optisulin (insulin) may consume vitamins supplement in India and get into serious problem. On the other hand patients prescribed vitamin supplements if given Optisulin (insulin glargine) may die of low blood sugar. I presume you are taking vitamin-mineral supplement. If so the quantity of folic acid, which is essential, is too little (500mcg = 0.5mg) in Optisulin since you should take about 5mg daily (sold as Folet). Other ingredients have no proven role in PCOS. In PCOS, there is nearly always a problem of insulin resistance i.e. the body cannot utilise insulin produced by the body. Hence metformin (sold under various trade names such as Glyciphage, Glycomet etc.) is normally given. The dose should be 1g daily (i.e. 500mg twice daily) and not 1mg (as stated by you). Metformin and folic acid (Folet) are essential and have no adverse effects. Folic acid (Folet) must be taken 1 tablet daily to prevent fetal malformation when you start expecting. For your height and age, you are over-weight which needs to be brought down.

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