• Xiu-Ying Yang
  • Guan-Hua DuEmail author


Metformin is a biguanide compound originated from the extraction of goat’s rue plants, also known as Galega officinalis. The structure of metformin was identified by British scholars in the early 1920s, and its hypoglycemic effect was found through the study of galegine in 1950s. Metformin is a first-line drug for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, mainly used as an oral hypoglycemic drug in clinical practice, especially for obese patients with normal renal function. Metformin is able to reduce the levels of blood glucose and lipid as well as capable of regulating cell growth, anti-inflammation, antiaging, etc. The main pharmacological mechanisms involve the inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis, activation of AMPK, and regulation of mitochondrial function. With more and more novel pharmacological effects discovered besides hypoglycemic, the application prospect of metformin would be more optimistic.


Metformin Glucophage Diabetes Galega officinalis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. and People's Medical Publishing House, PR of China 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing Key Laboratory of Drug Targets Identification and Drug Screening, Centre for Pharmaceutical Screening, Institute of Materia MedicaChinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingChina

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