Yaltormin is a type of treatment called a biguanide, used in type 2 diabetes. It is a branded version of metformin, marketed by Wockhardt, and works by helping to improve the way the body responds to insulin. This then helps the body to keep blood sugar under control. Yaltormin is a prolonged release tablet, which means that the active ingredient is distributed into the body gradually over a longer period.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the pancreas does not make enough insulin to metabolise sugar into energy. It more commonly occurs in people who are over 40, but can often affect younger people as well. Other risk factors include being overweight, not getting enough exercise, having a family history of the condition, and having high blood pressure or high cholesterol. People of Black African, Caribbean or South East Asian ethnic descent are also thought to be at increased risk.
When we consume food, sugar from this is absorbed by the digestive system, and then converted into blood sugar (or glucose). Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, is responsible for converting this sugar into energy, and getting it to the cells in the body that need it. It’s a process which is vital for normal organ function.
However, when blood sugar levels are too high, the pancreas may not be able to produce enough insulin to keep up. Unused blood sugar is normally stored in the liver, however it can only hold so much. This leads to a problem where sugar levels in the blood remain high. Over time, persistently high blood sugar can cause damage to the blood vessels, and a range of health problems.
Diabetes is not always an easy condition to spot, as it often doesn’t cause any outwardly noticeable symptoms during its initial stages. When it does, these might include going to the toilet to urinate more often (particularly during the night), dry eyes, and feeling constantly tired.
The are tests you can have to check your blood sugar, such as the blood glucose test, and the HbA1c test. If you have two consecutively high readings, you’ll normally be advised by a doctor to make lifestyle changes to help bring your blood sugar down. Among these might be increasing the amount of physical activity you do, limiting your alcohol intake, and making changes to your diet (such as eating more fibre, and reducing foods with a high glycemic load).
Where lifestyle changes alone are not sufficient in getting blood sugar under control, a doctor may prescribe treatment. Metformin is the active constituent in Yaltormin, and works by increasing the sensitivity of cells in the body to insulin, so more sugar can be metabolised from the blood. It also slows down the process of sugar absorption from food in the intestine, and helps to prevent the liver from releasing too much glucose into the bloodstream.
Make sure you read and carefully follow the instructions provided with this treatment, and take it according to your prescriber’s directions.
- The typical starting dose is 500mg per day.
- You will then have your blood sugar checked a short time after (usually two weeks) to see how well the treatment is working.
- Your doctor may then adjust your dose, according to your response.
- Swallow tablets whole with water and do not chew them.
- It’s better to take your tablet with or just after your evening meal.
- If you take more tablets than you should, contact your doctor for further advice.
- If you miss a dose, you can take it when you remember. However, you must not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose. If you forget, and it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the one you have missed and carry on taking the treatment as normal.
If there is anything about this medication you are not sure about, contact your doctor or pharmacist for further guidance.
It is important to contact your doctor or seek medical advice right away if you develop any side effects that become serious. This includes any signs of:
- an allergic reaction, such as hives, problems breathing, or swelling of the face or airways;
- jaundice, which is characterised by yellowing of the eyes or skin;
- or lactic acidosis, which might be vomiting, stomach ache, feeling unwell and tired, breathing problems, loss of body temperature, slowed heartbeat, or muscle cramps.
Other possible side effects include the following.
Very common (1 in 10 people or more):
Diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, stomach ache or loss of appetite.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Very rare (1 in 10,000 people or less):
Reduced vitamin B12 levels, skin rashes, itching and hives.
More information on side effects can be found in the leaflet provided.
Taking it with other medicines
Tell your doctor about any other medicines you are using during consultation. They may need to adjust your dose or discuss alternative treatments if you take: a diuretic, such as furosemide; NSAIDs or COX-2-inhibitors, such as ibuprofen or celecoxib; high blood pressure treatments, such as ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor antagonists; steroids such as prednisolone, mometasone or beclometasone; sympathomimetic medicines including epinephrine and dopamine for heart attacks and low blood pressure; verapamil; rifampicin; cimetidine; dolutegravir; ranolazine; trimethoprim; vandetanib; isavuconazole; crizotinib; or olaparib.
Conditions to look out for
Do not take Yaltormin if you have: an allergy to anything in the medicine; uncontrolled diabetes with severe hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose), nausea,
vomiting, diarrhoea, rapid weight loss, lactic acidosis or ketoacidosis; liver problems; severely reduced kidney function; a severe infection; an infection affecting the lungs, bronchial system or kidneys; dehydration; been treated for acute heart problems or have recently had a heart attack; severe circulatory problems or breathing difficulties.
You should also not take Yaltormin if you drink a lot of alcohol, and speak to a doctor for further guidance.
When you take Yaltormin, you’ll need to have regular kidney function tests, as well as have your blood sugar monitored regularly.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
This treatment may not be suitable if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. In such cases, ask your doctor for advice.
Driving and using machinery
Your capacity to drive or use machinery should not be affected by this treatment.
Food, drink and alcohol
Yaltormin should be taken after food. It is recommended that you take it following your evening meal.
Do not drink excessive amounts of alcohol while taking this treatment, as it may increase the risk of lactic acidosis.
Can I still drink alcohol?
You should not drink excessive amounts of alcohol while taking this treatment. Doing so increases the risk of developing a serious side effect called lactic acidosis.
Will I still be able to drive?
You should still be able to drive and operate machinery as normal when taking this medicine.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
Do not use this medicine and talk to your doctor if you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding.
How should I store it?
Put this medicine in a safe place away from the reach of children.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
The medicine contains metformin hydrochloride, magnesium stearate, silica colloidal anhydrous, carmellose sodium and hypromellose.
Do not use it if you are allergic to any of the above.
Is it available over-the-counter?
You can only get Yaltormin on prescription in the UK. This is because a doctor will need to check that it is suitable for you before you take it.
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