From Dog

Metformin is an oral biguanide antihyperglycemic agent for treatment of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

This drug also activates AMP-activated protein kinase and has potent cardioprotective effect against ischemia/reperfusion injury in congestive heart failure in dogs[1].

In diabetic dogs, metformin primarily control blood glucose levels by inhibiting hepatic glucose production through a decrease in hepatic glycogenolysis[2].

Unlike the sulfonylurea medications (e.g. glipizide), metformin does not increase pancreatic insulin secretion and, thus, even in overdose situations, does not cause substantial hypoglycemia[3].


  1. Sasaki H et al (2009) Metformin prevents progression of heart failure in dogs: role of AMP-activated protein kinase. Circulation 119(19):2568-2577
  2. Chu CA et al (2000) The acute effect of metformin on glucose production in the conscious dog is primarily attributable to inhibition of glycogenolysis. Metabolism 49(12):1619-1626
  3. Plumb DC (2005) Veterinary drug handbook. 5th ed. Ames: Iowa State University Press. pp:498-499