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About Author — Margaret Spera is a Connecticut-based nurse practitioner. She has worked in hospital settings, family practices and senior care facilities for over 40 years.

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

Can You Buy Metformin Online?

Metformin, known by the brand name Glucophage, works in conjunction with eating the right types of foods and routine exercise. If you have type 2 diabetes, you can get metformin online.

In addition to metformin, many people control type 2 diabetes through a diet and an exercise plan. Following a special diet is extremely important when you have diabetes, even if you are on medication.



Can an Online Doctor Prescribe Metformin?

Yes. Online doctors can prescribe metformin, along with other medications that are not classified as controlled substances.

You can have a video consultation with a PlushCare doctor from the comfort of your home, or even on the go, to learn if metformin is right for you.

Before prescribing metformin the online doctor will ask about you medical history, what your current treatment plan is for type 2 diabetes, including all medications you are taking, any symptoms you may be experiencing and they will also ask general lifestyle questions.

Together you will discuss your treatment options, create a personalized treatment plan, and decide if metformin, or another diabetes medication, is right for you.

Get Metformin Online | Step By Step

Here’s how to get metformin online:

The process for getting Metformin online is generally the same as it would be for seeing a traditional doctor just without the travel time and waiting room.

  1. It starts by making an appointment for a virtual doctor visit. At your appointment, you’ll chat with your doctor by phone or video and tell your doctor about your medical history, your current symptoms, and any medications you are taking.
  2. Your doctor will listen to you carefully, suggest (and order) any necessary tests, and give you your diagnosis.
  3. You may be prescribed medication like metformin if you have type 2 diabetes. If you’re already on the medication, your appointment should be very quick and easy!
  4. Your virtual doctor will have your prescription sent digitally to the pharmacy of your choice, such as your local pharmacy, or a mail order pharmacy.

Your pharmacy will make sure that your prescription is covered under your insurance if you have insurance benefits.

If you don’t have health insurance you can still get prescribed metformin online at PlushCare.

We accept patients without health insurance for a flat rate fee of $99.

Read: Doctors For Patients Without Insurance

Once your insurance approves the medication, you can pick up your medication at the pharmacy or have it mailed to you.


Click here for an in depth look at how online doctor visits work, including insurance and pricing information.


It’s best to come to your appointment prepared, so let’s go over what metformin is as well as the associated risks and side effects.

What is Metformin?

Metformin is a medication that is effective for  type 2 diabetes when coupled with a diet and exercise program.

It may also be used in combination with other medications that help control high blood sugar. Controlling  blood sugar when you have type 2 diabetes can help prevent complications including:

  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Kidney damage
  • Nerve problems
  • Blindness
  • Circulation problems
  • Limb loss

Metformin is also known as Riomet, Glumetza, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, and Fortamet.

Metformin works by assisting your body in producing its own insulin. It can also decrease the amount of sugar that your intestines and stomach absorb, as well as decrease the amount of sugar your liver makes.

It does not work for people who have type 1 diabetes because people with type 1 diabetes are unable to produce their own insulin in their pancreas. For patients with type 1 diabetes, insulin injections are the first line of treatment.

How does Metformin work?

As the most common type of diabetes, type 2 diabetes is also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes manifests itself when your body cannot adequately process insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that is produced by your pancreas. When your pancreas does not produce enough insulin or is insulin resistant, it results in elevated blood sugar levels.

How do you use Metformin?

Metformin should be taken by mouth as directed by your physician.

Usually, you will take it anywhere from one to three times a day with food. Be sure to also drink plenty of fluids while taking metformin, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

Your dosage of Metformin will depend on any other medications you may be taking, your response to current or previous treatment and your current medical condition.

Tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking, including vitamins and herbal supplements.

Your doctor will likely start you at a lower dose of Metformin and gradually increase your prescription to minimize discomfort as you become accustomed to the medication. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.

It is recommended to take Metformin consistently in order to get the most benefits.

You should also take this medication at the same time every day.

If you are on any other diabetes medication such as chlorpropamide, your doctor may give you special instructions for stopping or continuing the old medication while starting metformin.

You’ll need to check your blood sugar regularly and your doctor will work out a plan with you to keep track of your results, which should be shared with your doctor.

You should tell your doctor right away if your blood sugar levels are too high or too low.

What Doses of Metformin are Available?

Adult and pediatric dosages of Metformin come in tablet immediate-release, tablet extended-release, and oral solution forms with strengths of 100 mg, 500 mg, 750 mg, 850 mg, and 1,000 mg.


For adults with type 2 diabetes, a typical starting dose dose of Metformin is 500 mg immediate release tablet by mouth every 12 hours.  


The dose can be gradually increased as needed.   A maintenance dose of Metformin  of 1,500 to 2,550 mg/day taken by mouth every 8-12 hours with meals is typical.


For children who are ages 10-16 years old with type 2 diabetes, the initial dosage may start at 500 mg taken by mouth every 12 hours.


For children who are 17 years and older, an initial dose may be 500 mg taken by mouth every 12 hours and then increased every two weeks, depending on your doctor’s tests.

Because elderly patients are more likely to have issues with decreased renal function when they take Metformin, your doctor will carefully monitor your renal function and use this medication with caution as your age progresses.

Generally, Metformin would not be used in patients over 80 years of age.

Does Metformin have any side effects?

Metformin side effects are generally mild and dissipate over time. Most people tolerate Metformin well.

However, Metformin may have the following side effects:

  • Stomach upset
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Metallic taste in your mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness

More serious sides effects are rare, but an allergic reaction can occur in some patients.

Some symptoms of an allergic reaction may include the following:

  • Rash
  • Itching or swelling
  • Swelling of the face, tongue, or throat
  • Dizziness that is severe
  • Trouble breathing

It is common to experience loose stools and gas when first starting Metformin and this will generally improve over time.

Usually Metformin does not cause hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you are already on other diabetes medications because your dose of these medications may need to be lowered.

Are There Any Precautions When Taking Metformin?

You should let your doctor know if you have any allergies before taking Metformin.

There are some inactive ingredients in Metformin which may cause an allergic reaction to people with certain allergies.

You should limit your alcohol intake while taking Metformin because there is a risk of developing low blood sugar or lactic acidosis, especially in people of advanced age.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any breathing problems such as asthma or obstructive lung disease, or any blood problems like anemia, liver disease, kidney disease, or a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Metformin should not be used if you are pregnant. Your doctor will likely discuss the risks and benefits with you to see if this medication is right for you.

Your doctor may suggest that you use insulin instead of Metformin during your pregnancy.

This medication can cause changes in your menstruation by promoting ovulation, which increases your risk of becoming pregnant. You may want to use a reliable form of birth control while taking metformin.

It is possible to experience symptoms due to high blood sugar or low blood sugar while taking Metformin.

You should not drive or use machinery until you know you can perform these activities safely without medical complications.

What are symptoms of low blood sugar and high blood sugar?

If you tend to experience low blood sugar levels, it’s a good idea to carry glucose tablets or gel with you in case of an emergency situation.

Another method to raise your blood sugar is by eating a small amount of a sugar-based food such as honey, a hard candy, or fruit juice. It may be more difficult to control your blood sugar levels if your body is under stress, such as if you get a fever, infection, or have surgery.

Symptoms of low blood sugar may include the following:

  • Suddenly sweating
  • Hunger
  • Blurry vision
  • Dizziness
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Shaking
  • Tingling hands or feet

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should notify your doctor as soon as possible.

You may tend to have bouts of low blood sugar if you do not eat enough food, overexercise, or consume large amounts of alcohol.

It is important to try not to skip meals and eat on a regular schedule.

Symptoms of high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia include the following:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Flushing
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Breathy odor that is fruity smelling

If any of these symptoms occur, you should tell your doctor right away. Your doctor will most likely need to adjust one or more of your diabetes medications.

To book an appointment and speak with an online doctor about getting Meformin online, click here.

What is the Average Cost of Metformin?

Metformin is a relatively inexpensive drug. Generic metformin cost around $10 for a supply of 30 500mg tablets.

Brand name metformin is slightly more expensive around $16 dollars for 30 500mg tablets.

There are many coupons available to bring down the cost of metformin and it is covered under most insurance plans, including medicare.

Can I Take Metformin to Lose Weight?

No. You should not take metformin to lose weight. While decreased appetite and weight loss may be a side effect for some, it is not healthy to take metformin for any other purpose than the management of type 2 diabetes.

Is Metformin HCL the same as metformin?

Yes. Meformin HCL stands for metformin hydrochloride. Many times it is referred to as just metformin. That said, the names are referring to the same medication.

There are other types of metformin such as metformin ER, also known by the brand name Glucophage XR.

Is There an Over the Counter Substitute for Metformin?

No. Metformin is a prescription medication and therefore must be prescribed by a doctor and cannot be purchased over the counter.

This is because metformin and other diabetes medications are not right for everyone, and only a doctor can decide if it should be a part of your treatment plan.

If you want to learn more about metformin and if it can fit into your type 2 diabetes treatment plan, book an appointment to speak with a board certified doctor online, here.


Read More About Buying Metformin Online


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