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Q. Can I use Metformin for diabetes prevention and weight loss?

Answered by
Dr. Akshay Upadhyay
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 14, 2017

Hello doctor,

I read over the internet that tablet Metformin helps decrease the weight and prevents the onset of diabetes. Both my parents are diabetics and I weigh 70 kg. Hence, I want to use Metformin for diabetes prevention and weight loss. Yesterday, I took 500 mg and I do not feel any problems or side effects. I want to take it for another six months. Please guide me well in this.

Dr. Akshay Upadhyay

General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome to

  • I suggest you do not take the tablet if you are not clinically diagnosed as diabetic as it could lead to serious problems. I would strongly advise you to not to take it anymore.
  • To prevent diabetes, one has to change the lifestyle like diet, and have to do exercise or yoga on a regular basis.
  • You should avoid junk food, oily and spicy food, include vegetables and fruits in your diet.
  • If you want, you can get some tests done to check if you are diabetic or not which I can write down.
  • For weight loss, the best method is diet control and physical activities.
  • Investigations to be done: 
  1. Sugar fasting.
  2. Sugar postprandial.
  3. Complete blood count.

Hope this information was helpful.

For further queries consult an internal medicine physician online -->

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Thank you doctor,

But, I read that Metformin is clinically proven to help in diabetes prevention and aids in weight loss. It is also a low hypoglycemic agent. So, just 500 mg should not be a problem. Am I right? I am hoping for an expert answer from you.

Dr. Akshay Upadhyay

General Medicine Internal Medicine


Welcome back to

  • I would say that yes, Metformin is helpful in diabetic patients, but weight loss is not the main action of the medicine, but a side effect of the drug, which in the long-term may sometimes also lead to anorexia.
  • We are currently not using it for the prevention of diabetes. It is mainly used for diabetics only because in both the conditions if it is not taken with proper nutrition and advice, it may lead to hypoglycemia and also peripheral neuropathy as it decreases the level of vitamin B12.
  • So, I stand by what I said earlier. Do not take the drug without proper investigations.

Hope this information was helpful.

For more information consult an internal medicine physician online -->

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