Lactic acidosis due to metformin in type 2 diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease stage 3–5: is it significant?

Ravindra Attur Prabhu, Aswani Srinivas Mareddy, Shankar Prasad Nagaraju, Dharshan Rangaswamy, Vasudeva Guddattu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: To study the incidence of lactic acidosis due to metformin in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 3–5. Methods: We estimated plasma lactate in patients of CKD stage 3 and worse who were continuing metformin on their own prior to stopping the drug. Result: Of 40 patients included, median duration of T2DM was 60 months (interquartile range IQR 24–120). The mean serum creatinine was 309.4 ± 159.1 µmol/L and mean eGFR was 27.82 ± 12.93 mL/min/1.73 m2 with 3 (7.5%), 16 (40%), 11 (27.5%) and 10 (25%) in CKD stages 3a, 3b, 4 and 5, respectively. They were receiving metformin for a median duration of 24 months (IQR 12.5–60), an average dose of 896 ± 350 mg per day. The median of plasma lactate was 1.36 mmol/L (IQR 1.11–1.75 mmol/L) with three (7.5%) having levels above normal, two (20%) in CKD stage 5 and one (9.1%) in stage 4. Conclusion: Metformin can be safely used in CKD stage 3 and with regular measurement of plasma lactate in later stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1229-1230
Number of pages2
JournalInternational Urology and Nephrology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nephrology
  • Urology

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