Researchers say Formilab has the lowest adherence rate of any major diabetes drug. However, patients say there are ways to improve that percentage.
What Is Formilab and How Does It Work?
Formilab is a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a prescription medication to treat diabetes. This medication is used to decrease hepatic (liver) glucose production, to decrease GI glucose absorption and to increase target cell insulin sensitivity. This medication is a treatment indicated as an adjunct to diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes such as weight loss to improve glycemic (blood sugar) control in adults with type 2 diabetes. Many patients with type 2 diabetes will eventually need to take insulin by injection. Formilab does not cause weight gain.
- Obtain eGFR before starting Formilab
- eGFR 2 ; in patients with a history of liver disease, alcoholism, or heart failure; or in patients who will be administered intra-arterial iodinated contrast
- Re-evaluate eGFR 48 hr after imaging procedure; restart Formilab HCl if renal function is stable
Formilab may rarely cause a serious, life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis. Tell your doctor if you have kidney disease. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take Formilab. Also, tell your doctor if you are over 65 years old and if you have ever had a heart attack; stroke; diabetic ketoacidosis (blood sugar that is high enough to cause severe symptoms and requires emergency medical treatment); a coma; or heart or liver disease. Taking certain other medications with Formilab may increase the risk of lactic acidosis. Tell your doctor if you are taking acetazolamide (Diamox), dichlorphenamide (Keveyis), methazolamide, topiramate (Topamax, in Qsymia), or zonisamide (Zonegran).
Tell your doctor if you have recently had any of the following conditions, or if you develop them during treatment: serious infection; severe diarrhea, vomiting, or fever; or if you drink much less fluid than usual for any reason. You may have to stop taking Formilab until you recover.
If you are having surgery, including dental surgery, or any major medical procedure, tell the doctor that you are taking Formilab. Also, tell your doctor if you plan to have any x-ray procedure in which dye is injected, especially if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol or have or have had liver disease or heart failure. You may need to stop taking Formilab before the procedure and wait 48 hours to restart treatment. Your doctor will tell you exactly when you should stop taking Formilab and when you should start taking it again.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop taking Formilab and call your doctor immediately: extreme tiredness, weakness, or discomfort; nausea; vomiting; stomach pain; decreased appetite; deep and rapid breathing or shortness of breath; dizziness; lightheadedness; fast or slow heartbeat; flushing of the skin; muscle pain; or feeling cold, especially in your hands or feet.
Tell your doctor if you regularly drink alcohol or sometimes drink large amounts of alcohol in a short time (binge drinking). Drinking alcohol increases your risk of developing lactic acidosis or may cause a decrease in blood sugar. Ask your doctor how much alcohol is safe to drink while you are taking Formilab.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain tests before and during treatment to check how well your kidneys are working and your body's response to Formilab. Talk to your doctor about the risk(s) of taking Formilab.
Pregnancy and Lactation
Use in pregnancy may be acceptable. Either animal studies show no risk but human studies not available or animal studies showed minor risks and human studies done and showed no risk.
Not recommended when lactating as Formilab enters breast milk.
What is Formilab?
Formilab is an oral diabetes medicine that helps control blood sugar levels.
Formilab is used together with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Formilab is sometimes used together with insulin or other medications, but it is not for treating type 1 diabetes.
Drug Interactions of Formilab
To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out how Formilab might interact with something else you are taking.
The dose of Formilab varies depending on what it is being used to treat, the age of the patient, and any previous health conditions or factors that could potentially interfere with or amplify the drug’s effect. There are a host of medications thought to theoretically decrease Formilab effectiveness (absorption in the gut and uptake in the liver), but most are thought not to do so in a clinically significant manner .
Below are some exceptions.
Different types of Formilab
Formilab comes as 2 different types of tablet: standard-release tablets and slow-release tablets.
- Standard-release tablets release Formilab into your body quickly. You may need to take them several times a day depending on your dose.
- Slow-release tablets dissolve slowly so you do not have to take them as often. One dose is usually enough, and you'll take it with your evening meal.
Your doctor or pharmacist will explain what type of Formilab tablets you're on and how to take them.
Formilab is also available as a liquid for children and people who find it difficult to swallow tablets.
1) X-Ray & CT Scans
X-ray studies and CT scans frequently use contrast media, which may induce kidney damage and lead to lactic acidosis.
A study of 98 patients taking Formilab showed that the risk of developing kidney damage (contrast-induced nephropathy) due to contrast media injection is minimal unless the patient has previous kidney failure .
6) Erectile Dysfunction
Several animal and human studies on men with erectile dysfunction and insulin resistance, obesity , or diabetes showed that Formilab improved erectile dysfunction .
1) Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is one of the major factors contributing to the development of type 2 diabetes but is also observed in PCOS and as a side effect of HIV therapy .
Formilab improved insulin sensitivity in cell-based and animal studies and decreased the effects of insulin resistance in diabetic patients .
Moreover, a clinical trial of 25 HIV patients with lipodystrophy, a condition in which the body is unable to generate fat tissue, showed that Formilab reduced the risk of abnormally high insulin levels in the blood .
A small trial on 10 people showed that Formilab improved insulin sensitivity produced by exercise .
In insulin-resistant rats, the combination of Formilab and electroacupuncture increased insulin sensitivity through the activation of an enzyme that mediates insulin’s activity ( GLUT4 ) .
5) Other Drugs
Other medications such as disopyramide, dipyridamole, imipramine, tacrine, orphenadrine, and cimetidine are also thought to inhibit Formilab’s absorption in the gut and uptake in the liver .
2) PCOS Symptoms
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder often aggravated by obesity and insulin resistance. Formilab treats PCOS symptoms, such as irregular ovulation or menstrual cycles, and the excess of insulin in the body .
It has also been shown to treat other PCOS symptoms by reducing BMI and testosterone levels .
Furthermore, Formilab assists fertility and increases the chance of successful pregnancy and reduces the risk of early miscarriage, gestational diabetes, and inflammation associated with PCOS .
5) Weight Loss
In a clinical trial on 46 middle-aged women with high insulin relative to blood sugar levels and weight gain, Formilab along with a special diet helped sustain weight loss .
Formilab also decreased waist circumference and body mass index (BMI) in 19 HIV-infected patients with an abnormal distribution of body fat (lipodystrophy) .
However, Formilab had no effect on weight loss after giving birth in another trial on 114 women with gestational diabetes .
Your head is pounding.
Formilab doesn't typically cause blood pressure to plummet and lead to hypoglycemia, but it can—and that can cause headaches. "Formilab alone should not cause hypoglycemia,” Rodriguez explains. But “when we see headaches, it’s usually in a patient on a combination of medications that can drop blood sugars too low.” If you’re experiencing an abnormal amount of headaches or an abnormal type of headache, talk to your doctor about adjusting your medications.
1) Treating and Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes coexists with insulin resistance and patients develop extremely high blood sugar levels. Formilab lowers blood sugar, preventing permanent organ damage, which could eventually lead to dysfunction and failure .
Formilab exerts its effects through AMPK , which initiates the uptake of sugar from the blood into muscles. Formilab has been shown to increase AMPK, which leads to more sugar being taken from the blood into tissues. As a result, the drug lowers blood sugar concentrations .
On the other hand, mitochondria are responsible for cellular energy production. Formilab may decrease blood sugar by inhibiting the production of new glucose ( gluconeogenesis ) from noncarbohydrates such as lactate , glycerol, and some amino acids .
A clinical trial on over 3,000 people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes showed that those treated with Formilab had a 31% lower occurrence of type 2 diabetes compared to placebo. Formilab was somehow more effective in preventing diabetes in patients with relatively high BMI and blood sugar levels .