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I have chronic kidney disease and have just been diagnosed with diabetes. My doctor is reluctant to put me onto metformin and I dont understand why. My neighbour takes metformin and he says it has been brilliant at keeping his blood sugar levels steady, so I was expecting to receive this medication too. Any ideas why my doctor wont let me have it?

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Your doctor is concerned about the possibility of lactic acidosis occurring if you are on metformin and have chronic kidney disease.  There was a drug in the 1970s that was similar in chemical make-up as metformin that was taken of the market because of the high rate of lactic acidosis and mortality rate from patients taking it.  Though lactic acidosis with metformin has been rare, your physician may not want to take any chances since your kidneys are already compromised.  With metformin, the side effects of diarrhea and possible vomiting can lead to severe dehydration.  This could lead to acute kidney failure so I am sure the doctor is thinking about this as well.

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you doctor is very correct to not give you metformin as there is a high risk of you having a severe complication, which as the other poster points out is lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis is a very rare side effect of metformin, but in someone who has comprimised kidneys your doctor would not want to risk this complication. lactic acidosis can alter the PH of your blood and is fatal in 50% of cases. your doctor will discuss alternative medications with you that will be a safer option to control your diabetes. When your kidneys are not working efficiently it is important to be as risk free as possible when taking any medication
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