- metformin hydrochloride
POM: Prescription only medicine
This information is intended for use by health professionals
Diagemet XL 500 mg prolonged release tablets
One prolonged release tablet contains 500mg metformin hydrochloride corresponding to 390 mg metformin base.
For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1.
Prolonged release tablet
Off-white coloured, oval, biconvex, film coated tablets plain on both sides.
Treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults, particularly in overweight patients, when dietary management and exercise alone does not result in adequate glycaemic control. Diagemet XL prolonged release tablets may be used as monotherapy or in combination with other oral antidiabetic agents, or with insulin.
Adults with normal renal function (GFR≥ 90mL/min):
Monotherapy and combination with other oral antidiabetic agents:
• The usual starting dose is one tablet of Diagemet XL once daily.
• After 10 to 15 days the dose should be adjusted on the basis of blood glucose measurements. A slow increase of dose may improve gastro-intestinal tolerability. The maximum recommended dose is 4 tablets of Diagemet XL 500 mg daily.
• Dosage increases should be made in increments of 500 mg every 10-15 days, up to a maximum of 2000 mg once daily with the evening meal. If glycaemic control is not achieved on 2000 mg once daily, 1000 mg twice daily should be considered, with both doses being given with food. If glycaemic control is still not achieved, patients may be switched to standard metformin tablets to a maximum dose of 3000 mg daily.
• In patients already treated with metformin tablets, the starting dose of Diagemet XL should be equivalent to the daily dose of metformin immediate release tablets. In patients treated with metformin at a dose above 2000 mg daily, switching to Diagemet XL is not recommended.
• If transfer from another oral antidiabetic agent is intended: discontinue the other agent and initiate Diagemet XL at the dose indicated above.
Combination with insulin:
Metformin and insulin may be used in combination therapy to achieve better blood glucose control. The usual starting dose of Diagemet XL is one 500 mg tablet once daily, while insulin dosage is adjusted on the basis of blood glucose measurements.
A GFR should be assessed before initiation of treatment with metformin containing products and at least annually thereafter. In patients at an increased risk of further progression of renal impairment and in the elderly, renal function should be assessed more frequently, e.g. every 3-6 months.
Total maximum daily dose
Dose reduction may be considered in relation to declining renal function.
Factors that may increase the risk of lactic acidosis (see section 4.4) should be reviewed before considering initiation of metformin.
The starting dose is at most half of the maximum dose.
Metformin is contraindicated.
Due to the potential for decreased renal function in elderly subjects, the metformin dosage should be adjusted based on renal function. Regular assessment of renal function is necessary (see section 4.4).
In the absence of available data, Diagemet XL should not be used in children.
• Hypersensitivity to metformin hydrochloride or to any of the excipients.
• Any type of acute metabolic acidosis (such as lactic acidosis, diabetic ketoacidosis, diabetic pre-coma)
• Severe renal failure (GFR <30 mL/min)
• Acute conditions with the potential to alter renal function such as:
o severe infection,
• Acute or chronic disease which may cause tissue hypoxia such as:
o cardiac or respiratory failure,
o recent myocardial infarction,
• Hepatic insufficiency, acute alcohol intoxication, alcoholism.
Lactic acidosis, a very rare but serious (high mortality in the absence of prompt treatment), metabolic complication, most often occurs at acute worsening of renal function or cardiorespiratory illness or sepsis. Metformin accumulation occurs at acute worsening of renal function and increases the risk of lactic acidosis.
In cases of dehydration (severe diarrhoea or vomiting, fever or reduced fluid intake), metformin should be temporarily discontinued and contact with a health care professional is recommended.
Medicinal products that can acutely impair renal function (such as antihypertensives, diuretics and NSAIDs) should be initiated with caution in metformin-treated patients. Other risk factors for lactic acidosis are excessive alcohol intake, hepatic insufficiency, inadequately controlled diabetes, ketosis, prolonged fasting and any conditions associated with hypoxia, as well as concomitant use of medicinal products that may cause lactic acidosis (see sections 4.3 and 4.5).
Patients and/or care-givers should be informed of the risk of lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is characterised by acidotic dyspnoea, abdominal pain, muscle cramps, asthenia and hypothermia followed by coma. In case of suspected symptoms, the patient should stop taking metformin and seek immediate medical attention. Diagnostic laboratory findings are decreased blood pH (< 7.35), increased plasma lactate levels (>5 mmol/L) and an increased anion gap and lactate/pyruvate ratio.
Physicians should alert the patients on the risk and on the symptoms of lactic acidosis
GFR should be assessed before treatment initiation and regularly thereafter, see section 4.2.:
• at least annually in patients with normal renal function,
• at least two to four times a year in patients with creatinine clearance levels at the limit of normal and in elderly subjects.
Metformin is contraindicated in patients with GFR<30 mL/min and should be temporarily discontinued in the presence of conditions that alter renal function, see section 4.3.
Decreased renal function in elderly subjects is frequent and asymptomatic. Special caution should be exercised in situations where renal function may become impaired, for example when initiating antihypertensive therapy or diuretic therapy and when starting therapy with an NSAID.
Administration of iodinated contrast agents:
Intravascular administration of iodinated contrast agents may lead to contrast induced nephropathy, resulting in metformin accumulation and an increased risk of lactic acidosis. Metformin should be discontinued prior to or at the time of the imaging procedure and not restarted until at least 48 hours after, provided that renal function has been re-evaluated and found to be stable, see sections 4.2 and 4.5.
Metformin must be discontinued at the time of surgery under general, spinal or epidural anesthesia. Therapy may be restarted no earlier than 48 hours following surgery or resumption of oral nutrition and provided that renal function has been re-evaluated and found to be stable.
• All patients should continue their diet with a regular distribution of carbohydrate intake during the day. Overweight patients should continue their energy-restricted diet.
• The usual laboratory tests for diabetes monitoring should be performed regularly.
• Metformin alone never causes hypoglycaemia, although caution is advised when it is used in combination with insulin or other oral antidiabetics (e.g. sulphonylureas or meglitinides).
• The tablet shells may be present in the faeces. Patients should be advised that this is normal.
Concomitant use not recommended:
Alcohol intoxication is associated with an increased risk of lactic acidosis, particularly in cases of fasting, malnutrition or hepatic impairment. Avoid consumption of alcohol and alcohol-containing medications.
Iodinated contrast agents
Metformin must be discontinued prior to or at the time of the imaging procedure and not restarted until at least 48 hours after, provided that renal function has been re-evaluated and found to be stable, see sections 4.2 and 4.4.
Combinations requiring precautions for use:
Some medicinal products can adversely affect renal function which may increase the risk of lactic acidosis, e.g. NSAIDs, including selective cyclo-oxygenase (COX) II inhibitors, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor antagonists and diuretics, especially loop diuretics. When starting or using such products in combination with metformin, close monitoring of renal function is necessary.
Glucocorticoids (systemic and local routes), beta-2-agonists, and diuretics have intrinsic hyperglycaemic activity. Inform the patient and perform more frequent blood glucose monitoring, especially at the beginning of treatment. If necessary, adjust the dosage of the antidiabetic drug during therapy with the other drug and upon its discontinuation.
ACE-inhibitors may decrease the blood glucose levels. If necessary, adjust the dosage of the antidiabetic drug during therapy with the other drug and upon its discontinuation.
Diuretics, especially loop diuretics, may increase the risk of lactic acidosis due to their potential to decrease renal function.
Uncontrolled diabetes during pregnancy (gestational or permanent) is associated with increased risk of congenital abnormalities and perinatal mortality.
A limited amount of data from the use of metformin in pregnant women does not indicate an increased risk of congenital abnormalities. Animal studies do not indicate harmful effects with respect to pregnancy, embryonal or fœtal development, parturition or postnatal development (see also section 5.3)
When the patient plans to become pregnant and during pregnancy, diabetes should not be treated with metformin, but insulin should be used to maintain blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible in order to lower the risk of foetal malformations associated with abnormal blood glucose levels.
Metformin is excreted into human breast milk. No adverse effects were observed in breastfed newborns/infants. However, as only limited data are available, breastfeeding is not recommended during metformin treatment. A decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or to discontinue metformin, taking into account the importance of the compound to the mother.
Fertility of male or female rats was unaffected by metformin when administered at doses as high as 600 mg/kg/day, which is approximately three times the maximum recommended human daily dose based on body surface area comparisons.
Metformin monotherapy does not cause hypoglycaemia and therefore has no effect on the ability to drive or to use machines.
However, patients should be alerted to the risk of hypoglycaemia when metformin is used in combination with other antidiabetic agents (sulphonylureas, insulin, repaglinide).
In post-marketing data and in controlled clinical studies, adverse event reporting in patients treated with Diagemet XL was similar in nature and severity to that reported in patients treated with metformin immediate release tablets
The following undesirable effects may occur with metformin:
Frequencies are defined as follows: very common:>1/10; common ≥1/100, <1/10; uncommon ≥1/1,000, <1/100; rare ≥1/10,000, <1/1,000; very rare <1/10,000 and isolated reports.
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
Decrease of vitamin B12 absorption with decrease of serum levels during long-term use of metformin. Consideration of such an aetiology is recommended if a patient presents with megaloblastic anaemia. Lactic acidosis (see 4.4. Special warnings and precautions for use).
Nervous system disorders
Gastrointestinal disorders such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. These undesirable effects occur most frequently during initiation of therapy and resolve spontaneously in most cases. A slow increase of the dose may also improve gastrointestinal tolerability.
Liver function tests abnormalities or hepatitis resolving upon metformin discontinuation.
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Skin reactions such as erythema, pruritus, urticaria
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard
Hypoglycaemia has not been seen with metformin doses of up to 85g, although lactic acidosis has occurred in such circumstances. High overdose or concomitant risks of metformin may lead to lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is a medical emergency and must be treated in hospital. The most effective method to remove lactate and metformin is haemodialysis.
(A10BA02: Gastrointestinal tract and metabolism)
Metformin is a biguanide with antihyperglycaemic effects, lowering both basal and postprandial plasma glucose. It does not stimulate insulin secretion and therefore does not produce hypoglycaemia.
Metformin may act via 3 mechanisms:
(1) reduction of hepatic glucose production by inhibiting gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis
(2) in muscle, by increasing insulin sensitivity, improving peripheral glucose uptake and utilisation
(3) and delay of intestinal glucose absorption.
Metformin stimulates intracellular glycogen synthesis by acting on glycogen synthase.
Metformin increases the transport capacity of all types of membrane glucose transporters (GLUT).
In clinical studies, the major non glycemic effect of metformin is either weight stability or modest weight loss.
In humans, independently of its action on glycaemia, immediate release metformin has favourable effects on lipid metabolism. This has been shown at therapeutic doses in controlled, medium-term or long-term clinical studies: immediate release metformin reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A similar action has not been demonstrated with the prolonged release formulation, possibly due to the evening administration, and an increase in triglycerides may occur.
Clinical efficacy :
The prospective randomised (UKPDS) study has established the long-term benefit of intensive blood glucose control in overweight type 2 diabetic patients treated with immediate release metformin as first-line therapy after diet failure. Analysis of the results for overweight patients treated with metformin after failure of diet alone showed:
• a significant reduction of the absolute risk of any diabetes-related complication in the metformin group (29.8 events/ 1000 patient-years) versus diet alone (43.3 events/ 1000 patient-years), p=0.0023, and versus the combined sulphonylurea and insulin monotherapy groups (40.1 events/ 1000 patient-years), p=0.0034.
• a significant reduction of the absolute risk of diabetes-related mortality: metformin 7.5 events/1000 patient-years, diet alone 12.7 events/ 1000 patient-years, p=0.017;
• a significant reduction of the absolute risk of overall mortality: metformin 13.5 events/ 1000 patient-years versus diet alone 20.6 events/ 1000 patient-years (p=0.011), and versus the combined sulphonylurea and insulin monotherapy groups 18.9 events/ 1000 patient-years (p=0.021);
• a significant reduction in the absolute risk of myocardial infarction: metformin 11 events/ 1000 patient-years, diet alone 18 events/ 1000 patient-years (p=0.01)
For metformin used as second-line therapy, in combination with a sulphonylurea, benefit regarding clinical outcome has not been shown.
In type 1 diabetes, the combination of metformin and insulin has been used in selected patients, but the clinical benefit of this combination has not been formally established.
After an oral dose of the prolonged release tablet, metformin absorption is significantly delayed compared to the immediate release tablet with a Tmax at 7 hours (Tmax for the immediate release tablet is 2.5 hours).
At steady state, similar to the immediate release formulation, Cmax and AUC are not proportionally increased to the administered dose. The AUC after a single oral administration of 2000mg of metformin prolonged release tablets is similar to that observed after administration of 1000mg of metformin immediate release tablets b.i.d.
Intrasubject variability of Cmax and AUC of metformin prolonged release is comparable to that observed with metformin immediate release tablets.
When the prolonged release tablet is administered in fasting conditions the AUC is decreased by 30% (both Cmax and Tmax are unaffected).
Metformin absorption from the prolonged release formulation is not altered by meal composition.
No accumulation is observed after repeated administration of up to 2000mg of metformin as prolonged release tablets.
Plasma protein binding is negligible. Metformin partitions into erythrocytes. The blood peak is lower than the plasma peak and appears at approximately the same time. The red blood cells most likely represent a secondary compartment of distribution. The mean Vd ranged between 63-276 L.
Metformin is excreted unchanged in the urine. No metabolites have been identified in humans.
Renal clearance of metformin is > 400 ml/min, indicating that metformin is eliminated by glomerular filtration and tubular secretion. Following an oral dose, the apparent terminal elimination half-life is approximately 6.5 hours.
When renal function is impaired, renal clearance is decreased in proportion to that of creatinine and thus the elimination half-life is prolonged, leading to increased levels of metformin in plasma.
Preclinical data reveal no special hazard for humans based on conventional studies on safety pharmacology, repeated dose toxicity, genotoxicity, carcinogenic potential, toxicity reproduction.
Povidone K - 30
Silica, colloidal Anhydrous
Propylene Glycol (E1520)
This medicinal product does not require any special storage conditions.
20, 28, 30, 50, 56, 60, 84, 90, 100, 112, 120, 180, 600 tablets in blister strips composed of PVC/PVDC 40g.
20, 28, 30, 50, 56, 60, 84, 90, 100, 112, 120, 180, 600 tablets in HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) bottles. HDPE bottles are composed of a two-piece plastic continuous thread closure with aluminium-foil induction seal (innerseal).
Not all pack sizes may be marketed.
No special requirements. Any unused product or waste material should be disposed of in accordance with local requirements.
Genus Pharmaceuticals Limited
T/A Genus Pharmaceuticals
HD7 5QH, UK
Linthwaite, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD7 5QH, UK
+44 (0)1484 848164
+44 (0)1484 848200
+44 (0)1484 848164