It is mainly used to treat type 2 diabetes. It also helps to improve insulin resistance in PCOS and acts as an effective agent to induce ovulation in non-obese women with PCOS.

Metformin alone or in combination can be used for:

  1. regulation of menses
  2. increase pregnancy rate
  3. restoration of fertility
  4. hirsutism

IUPAC NAME: 3-(diaminomethylidene)-1,1-dimethylaniline

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Drug class: Insulin-sensitizing agent

Route of administration: Oral

Is it a prescription drug? YES

Is it an OTC drug? NO

Mechanism of action

It works by enhancing the sensitivity of insulin, which elevates the uptake of peripheral glucose and reduces the production of glucose in the body.

Adverse effects

Adverse effects associated with the use of metformin for PCOS may include:

GI upset, nausea, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, lactic acidosis, increase in homocysteine levels, anorexia.


If you have or ever had any of the given conditions, the use of metformin is contraindicated:

  1. congestive heart failure
  2. kidney dysfunction
  3. impaired liver function
  4. acute/chronic metabolic acidosis or diabetic ketoacidosis

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