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Can J Clin Pharmacol. 2001 Summer;8(2):104-6.

Metformin-associated lactic acidosis in a low risk patient.

[Article in English, French]

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Department of Internal Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 2V7, Canada.


Metformin is an oral hypoglycemic agent belonging to the class of biguanides that are commonly used in the treatment of type II diabetes mellitus. Lactic acidosis is a rare but severe adverse reaction that occurs primarily in patients with contraindications such as renal failure. The case of a 71-year-old woman with type II diabetes, in whom severe metformin-associated lactic acidosis was precipitated by acute renal failure in the absence of pre-existing chronic renal failure or other absolute contraindications to biguanide use, is presented. Aggressive correction of the acidosis and prolonged dialysis resulted in a favourable outcome despite severe acidosis. The present case report shows that metformin-associated lactic acidosis can occur in patients without pre-existing renal insufficiency. Metformin should be temporarily stopped when acute renal failure occurs or is anticipated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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