How to Take Metformin for PCOS. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder of the endocrine system and is a leading cause of infertility in women. With the numerous cysts it causes on the ovaries, PCOS affects much more than just the reproductive organs. It is closely linked with insulin resistance and type II diabetes, for unknown reasons. Prescribing metformin, a popular anti-diabetes drug, often helps control the symptoms of PCOS, even in women without insulin resistance.
Consult with your doctor about the dosage of metformin that he's prescribed for you to take. Pills are available in 500mg, 850mg and 1000mg increments.
Discuss the advantages of the extended release version of metformin to see if it is right for you. The slow release reduces the gastrointestinal upset associated with metformin. It also allows you to take your full daily dose at one time.
Begin by taking a quarter of your full dose for the first week. Add another quarter for the second week, another quarter for the third week and then take the full dose starting at the fourth week. Ramping up to the full dose also lessens the severity of the gastrointestinal upset.
Be prepared to suffer some diarrhea, nausea, cramps and vomiting for the first couple of weeks. These side effects should go away after two or three weeks with regular use of metformin.
Take the metformin at the end of a meal or at bedtime to reduce the gastrointestinal side effects.
Follow a low glycemic index diet and avoid alcohol. This will help with the side effects, and also increase the effectiveness of metformin.
Continue taking the metformin for 6 months. The majority of PCOS patients will see improvements in insulin levels and ovulatory function within that time.