Free shipping on all treatments.  See treatments

Should you use Metformin for Weight Loss? Things to Know First

Woman taking metformin for weight loss and PCOS

In recent years, Metformin, a medication primarily prescribed to manage diabetes, has sparked interest for its potential benefits beyond glucose control, notably in weight loss. With obesity rates climbing and the constant search for effective weight management solutions, Metformin's off-label use for weight loss has become a topic of significant discussion among healthcare professionals and individuals striving for healthier lives. This article delves into the multifaceted role of Metformin in weight management, exploring its mechanisms, effectiveness, and safety to help you decide if it's a suitable option for your weight loss journey.

What is Metformin?

Originally FDA approved for treating type 2 diabetes, Metformin has established itself as a cornerstone in diabetes management, thanks to its ability to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce hepatic glucose production. However, its benefits extend to off-label uses, including weight loss, prediabetes management, and addressing symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), thereby showcasing its versatility in tackling various health issues.

How Metformin works for weight loss

Metformin's potential to aid weight loss lies in its multifaceted mechanisms of action:

  • Reducing Appetite: By influencing appetite-controlling hormones like GLP-1, Metformin can decrease calorie intake.
  • Enhancing Insulin Sensitivity: It makes cells more responsive to insulin, lowering blood sugar levels and reducing fat storage.
  • Modulating the Gut Microbiome and Hormonal Profile: Ongoing research suggests Metformin alters the gut microbiome and improves leptin sensitivity, contributing to its weight management capabilities.

How effective is Metformin for non-diabetic weight loss?

Studies reveal that Metformin can facilitate weight loss in individuals with obesity or prediabetes, not just those with diabetes. Significant weight loss outcomes have been observed, especially in those exhibiting high levels of insulin resistance, highlighting Metformin's role as a valuable tool in the weight management arsenal.

Appropriate Metformin dosage for weight loss

The appropriate dosage of Metformin for weight loss can vary depending on individual health factors, including the presence of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, or conditions like PCOS.

For individuals with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, the standard dosages of Metformin typically range from:

  • 500 mg to 2550 mg per day for the immediate-release formulation, often starting at a lower dose to minimize gastrointestinal side effects and then gradually increasing based on tolerance and blood glucose control.
  • 500 mg to 2000 mg per day for the extended-release formulation, which may be preferred by some patients due to reduced side effects.

When prescribed for weight loss in individuals with or without diabetes, healthcare providers might start with a lower dose, such as 500 mg once or twice daily, and then adjust based on the individual's response, side effects, and specific health goals. Some studies and clinical practices have suggested using doses within the range effective for diabetes management, as there is no standardized dosage specifically endorsed for weight loss alone.

How to get Metformin online

Obtaining Metformin online requires a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider. Oana Health offers online medical evaluations and can deliver treatments to your door, if prescribed. Here's how our process works:

  • 1. Complete a 5-min online visit: Fill out a brief intake on your medical history and specific health needs.
  • 2. Get medical approval: A licensed medical professional will review your health history to prescribe your treatment.
  • 3. All treatments are shipped directly to you with free shipping.
Get Metformin ER

Metformin vs. Ozempic for weight loss

Metformin and Ozempic represent two distinct approaches to managing diabetes and weight loss, each with unique mechanisms and implications for patients seeking treatment for obesity or type 2 diabetes.


  • Mechanism: Primarily works by improving insulin sensitivity, reducing glucose production in the liver, and slightly decreasing the absorption of glucose in the intestines. It indirectly influences weight loss through these mechanisms, which can lead to a moderate reduction in appetite and body weight, particularly in individuals with insulin resistance.
  • Side Effects: Common side effects include gastrointestinal disturbances, such as nausea and diarrhea. It has a relatively low risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) compared to other diabetes medications.
  • Cost: Generally less expensive, being an older medication available in generic form.

Ozempic (Semaglutide)

  • Mechanism: A GLP-1 receptor agonist that mimics an incretin hormone, which stimulates insulin release, inhibits glucagon release, slows gastric emptying, and directly reduces appetite and food intake, leading to significant weight loss.
  • Side Effects: May cause gastrointestinal side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. There is also a risk of more severe side effects, such as pancreatitis, renal impairment, and retinopathy.
  • Cost: Tends to be more expensive than Metformin, partly because it's a newer medication and available under patent protection.

Metformin typically leads to modest weight loss. In contrast, GLP-1 receptor agonists like Ozempic can result in more significant weight loss. The efficacy of other weight loss treatments ranges widely, with surgical options usually offering the most substantial weight loss but with higher risks.

Is Metformin safe? Here are some considerations

  • Gastrointestinal Side Effects: The most common side effects of Metformin include gastrointestinal disturbances, such as nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and a metallic taste in the mouth. These are usually temporary and can be minimized by starting with a low dose and gradually increasing it, or by taking the medication with food.
  • Lactic Acidosis: A rare but serious side effect of Metformin is lactic acidosis, a condition characterized by the buildup of lactic acid in the blood, which can be life-threatening. The risk is higher in individuals with kidney problems, liver disease, severe dehydration, or heart failure. Monitoring kidney function before starting Metformin and periodically thereafter is crucial to mitigate this risk.
  • Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Long-term use of Metformin has been associated with decreased levels of vitamin B12 in some people, which can lead to anemia or neuropathy. Monitoring B12 levels and supplementation might be necessary for some individuals.

Metformin for PCOS weight loss

Metformin has been found beneficial for weight loss in individuals with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), primarily due to its effects on insulin sensitivity and potential to reduce insulin levels, which are often elevated in PCOS. By improving insulin resistance, Metformin can help manage some of the metabolic aspects of PCOS, such as weight gain and difficulty losing weight. The medication may indirectly contribute to weight loss by influencing appetite and possibly the activity of hormones related to hunger and fat storage. Though weight loss with Metformin in PCOS can be variable and often modest, its use is considered a valuable component of a comprehensive PCOS management plan, which typically includes lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise.


Metformin presents a compelling option for individuals seeking adjunctive treatments for weight loss, particularly for those with underlying insulin resistance or PCOS. However, its use should be carefully considered and supervised by healthcare providers, emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive approach to weight management that includes lifestyle modifications. As research continues to unravel Metformin's full potential, its role in weight management remains a beacon of hope for many striving to achieve healthier weights and overall well-being.

Get Metformin ER
TOP Treatments

Tailored treatments

We offer a spectrum of PCOS treatments for every unique journey.