How long does it take Metformin and other meds to work?

How long does it take Metformin and other meds to work?

There are many type 2 medications, and each drug class works in the body in a various way. Here’s a quick guide to assist you comprehend for how long each drug will typically take to work:

Metformin and Other Meds’ Lasting

Alpha Glucosidase Inhibitors

acarbose, miglitol

These short-acting oral medications, taken with meals, obstruct the breakdown of intricate sugars into easy sugars in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. “Simple sugars are more quickly taken in and cause the blood sugar level to ultimately go up,” Sam Ellis, PharmD, BCPS, CDE, associate teacher in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Colorado states. These drugs are minimally soaked up into the blood, so a specific blood level concentration is not required for them to work. You will see the effect instantly with the first dosage. “You take it prior to a meal, and with that meal you see the result,” states George Grunberger, MD, FACP, FACE, President of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

Bile Acid Sequestrants

cholestyramine, colesevelam, colestipol

While scientists aren’t precisely sure how these oral medications work, it’s likely that the meds block some absorption of glucose in the GI tract. “You’ll see the majority of the effect in the first week with these drugs,” states Ellis.

DPP-4 Inhibitors

alogliptin, linagliptin, saxagliptin, sitagliptin

These drugs work to obstruct the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of a particular gut hormone that helps the body produce more insulin when blood sugar is high and lowers the amount of glucose produced by the liver. Take a DPP-4 inhibitor (they come in tablet form) and it’ll work quite quickly – you’ll see the complete impact in about a week. “It’s blocking that enzyme after the first dose a bit, however by the time you go out to dose five, you’re blocking the majority of that enzyme,” Ellis says.

See also: Choose The Best Medications for Type 2 Diabetes

GLP-1 Receptor Agonists

albiglutide, dulaglutide, exenatide, exenatide extended release, liraglutide

These drugs are injected, however unlike insulin they imitate a peptide in the body that reduces blood glucose and glucagon levels. (Glucagon is a peptide accountable for raising the concentration of glucose in the blood.) GLP-1 medications also decrease appetite, which can lead to weight-loss. There are several solutions on the marketplace, all of which launch the medication differently. The rapid-acting, twice-a-day exenatide injection, for instance, works immediately. “This is like rapid-acting insulin,” says Grunberger. “When you inject at a meal, you will see the effect immediately.” The once-a-day solution, liraglutide, resembles basal insulin and will take 24 hours to affect blood glucose. Three once-weekly formulas also exist, however since of their different molecular structures, they take effect at different times. Individuals generally experience full blood sugar – reducing effects after two to 4 weeks of dulaglutide, four to 5 weeks of albiglutide, and six to seven weeks of exenatide extended release. Keep in mind: If you change from a twice-a-day or once-a-day solution to a weekly dose, you may not see the effect of the new drug immediately.” [You] might potentially lose blood glucose control for a short period of time,” says Ellis.


nateglinide, repaglinide

These drugs, taken orally three times daily with meals, stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas. “They get absorbed extremely quickly, and they get eliminated extremely rapidly,” states Ellis. Meglitinides will start working with the first dose. Reward: They don’t need to build up in the system prior to hitting their maximum blood glucose – decreasing effect like some other drugs.


Metformin works in a few methods. It assists your body effectively react to its insulin, reduces glucose production in the liver, and assists block glucose absorption in your intestines. Metformin is a quick-acting oral medication – you will generally see some impact within 48 hours of beginning the medication. Optimum result will take about 4 to 5 days, however that depends upon the dosage. There’s a good chance you’ll begin with a small metformin dosage – 500 milligrams as soon as a day – and build up over a couple of weeks till you’re taking a minimum of 1,500 milligrams daily. This sluggish start method can help you prevent side effects such as indigestion, however it likewise alters how quickly you’ll see outcomes. “Patients will not discover a big change in their blood glucose when they begin [a low dosage],” states Ellis. “We truly need to get at least 1,500 milligrams a day before we start to see that drug have much impact on blood sugars.”

Metformin is an oral diabetes medication that helps control blood glucose levels. Metformin is used to improve blood sugar level control in people with type 2 diabetes. It is often used in combination with insulin or other medications, however this medicine is not for treating type 1 diabetes.

Also read: Exercise Strengthens Metformin’s Effects

SGLT-2 Inhibitors

canagliflozin, dapagliflozin, empagliflozin

SGLT-2 inhibitors, which are taken orally, obstruct a transporter in the kidneys responsible for reabsorbing glucose. This causes glucose to be lost in the urine, which results in lower glucose levels in the body. Similar to DPP-4s, you’ll see some reaction from your first dose of an SGLT-2 drug, however it may take a week to see the full reaction. “Once you get to steady state, you could begin to see a few of the [side effects],” Ellis states. Those consist of an increased risk for genital yeast infections.


chlorpropamide, glimepiride, glipizide, glyburide, tolazamide, tolbutamide

In big part, these oral medications work extremely rapidly due to the fact that they promote the pancreas’ release of insulin. “You see a response beginning with the first dosage,” states Evan Sisson, PharmD, MHA, CDE, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science at Virginia Commonwealth University. That stated, the maximum impact will not be seen for a few more days, as much as two weeks.


pioglitazone, rosiglitazone

For thiazolidinediones to work, they need to go into the cells to increase a glucose transporter, a process that takes quite a while. While you might see some result after two weeks, it could take 18 to 20 weeks prior to you see the optimum impact. These meds are taken orally.

Insulin Informed

Insulin is pretty simple in regards to for how long it will take to see the impacts. Formulas for different absorption rates are available and will correspond based on which kind you use.

  • Fast Acting – Expect this to begin to work 15 to 20 minutes after injection, peak at about 90 minutes, and last two to four hours.
  • Routine or Short Acting – You will begin to see the results after 30 minutes. Regular insulin peaks about two to three hours after injection and is effective for about three to 6 hours.
  • Intermediate Acting – This reaches the bloodstream about two to four hours after injection, peaks at four to 12 hours, and is effective for 12 to 18 hours.
  • Long Acting – You’ll see this begin to work an hour after injection. There is no peak, and it will keep blood glucose even for 24 hours.
  • Ultra Long Acting – While this type will begin working after six hours, there is no peak. The impacts will last for 36 hours.

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