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Can Glycomet be taken before eating food?

Q: My wife is taking Glycomet for the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The doctor has advised to take the tablet along with food (in between lunch). What is the significance? Can it be taken after food also?

A:Glycomet is the brand name; the name of the medicine is metformin (also sold under the brand name of Glyciphage). It is poorly absorbed from the stomach (about 50 to 65%) and hence when given with food or soon after food, the absorption becomes even poorer. Hence ideally it should be taken early in the morning. However in some persons (about 10%), its consumption on empty stomach leads to gastro-intestinal side effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, etc. particularly in the initial phase. In such persons it is better to take the medicine immediately after meals to avoid side effects.

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