European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 164, Issue 6, pp 362–365 | Cite as

Severe metformin intoxication with lactic acidosis in an adolescent

  • Martin Lacher
  • Maren Hermanns-Clausen
  • Karsten Haeffner
  • Matthias Brandis
  • Martin PohlEmail author
Original Paper


A 15-year-old healthy girl ingested 38.25 g (0.55 g/kg body weight) of metformin in a suicide attempt. Subsequently she developed lactic acidosis and moderate renal failure. An initial session of haemodialysis was able to treat the acidosis and reduce the toxic level of metformin. Nevertheless, a further increase in serum lactate was observed during and after the first dialysis treatment. A second session of haemodialysis was started 5 h after the end of the first session and resulted in a lowering of the lactate level and an almost total elimination of metformin. During the further clinical course, reversible acute renal failure with a maximum creatinine of 2.4 mg/dl was observed. Conclusion: Despite sufficient haemodialysis, the production of lactate can be greater than the elimination in the case of severe metformin intoxication. Therefore haemodialysis should be continued even in the situation of rising lactate levels during the treatment.


Haemodialysis Intoxication Lactic acidosis Metformin 



The authors whish to thank all involved medical personnel, expecially Dr. J.U. Folkens from the referring hospital in Offenburg, Germany, and Dr. H. Neurath from the University of Göttingen, Germany, for measuring metformin levels.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Lacher
    • 1
  • Maren Hermanns-Clausen
    • 2
  • Karsten Haeffner
    • 1
  • Matthias Brandis
    • 1
  • Martin Pohl
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PaediatricsUniversity Hospital FreiburgFreiburg Germany
  2. 2.Poisons Information CentreUniversity Hospital FreiburgFreiburg Germany

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