Who After Starting Metformin, is Experiencing, finger/hand pain or Trigger Finger.

Interesting while doing one of my daily, research jaunts, I ran into some articles about hand and finger pain, as well as trigger finger---believed to be from their taking the drug Metformin. So I went on Google, and plugged in both Trigger Finger and Prostate Cancer, as well as Hand/finger pain and Prostate Cancer. And found 2 forums on the subject.

Some believe it is related to taking ADT, others can determine, these symptoms arose right after adding ADT, and adding Metformin.

The kicker was, that women were on the forum, as they were taking Metformin, for Diabetes 2, and experiencing the same hand problems as the men who were on Metformin, for the cancer benefits, and reduction of blood sugar.

Anyone out here having the same issues? If we have an unusual side effect, we should address.


36 Replies

  • Nal,

    I read where prolonged or heavy gripping can cause trigger finger. As part of your workouts do you use free weights where you would repeatedly grip the bar tightly


  • Both machines and free weights. But my study is not about me---many people--men and women on Metformin report not only hand and finger pain, arthritis symptoms, and as far from the hands as knees and shoulder pain.

    Of course when getting out of the gym---I have created quite a bit of pain---all over--and those days I take Zyflamend, with a 17 gram Adkins protein bar---Going in I am on straight aminos. Pain is related to not having T--I am sure.

    But as to Metformin, my scientific curiosity, had me check with the group here---who many are using Metformin.


  • Good morning NAL. I was Dxd Type 2 in 1991 and on Metformin since then. No known side effects but today your piece mentioning trigger finger reminds me I had trigger thumb for around 6 months. Didn't bother with the doctor.

    Dxd metastatic with bone mets Nov '14. PSA 167 by Jan 15 200. Still on Metformin. Zoladex since Jan 15. Chemo Nov 15 to May 16. Zytiga Sept 16 current. PSA now 0.030.

    Zoladex,steroids,Zytiga ruin effects of my 3 diabetic drugs so readings for glucose trebled since coming off chemo May 16. That's as great a concern as these cancer cells that don't respond to PSA. Any thoughts on supplements? David

  • Yes I have a lot of thoughts on Supplemental uses based on where you are. It would appear to me that the Chemo turned your AR-V7 gene splice to the negative or off position. When this happens, Zytiga becomes quite effective, as does Xtandi. With a 0.03---you are considered undetectable. If you had the garden variety of Pca, your PSA tests should be indicative, of near truth. If you have a form like DrWho, or myself [Ductal cancer]--then there is concern about the truth of the PSA test---so if 30 % of cancer cells do not give off the protein to be measured--if you are 0.03, you would still be considered undetectable if you times 0.03 by 1.30---you would still be less than 0.1. Any Pca cells that are not dead are playing dormant and are trying to protect themselves from the onslaught of your drugs.

    As to supplements I would need to know what you are trying to accomplish. Then you might want to message me--as I am not a Doctor, I just play one at home.


  • No known treatments except putting fingers in splints, and letting it resolve.


  • Splint and steroid shot in joint.

  • What if you have multiple fingers in play---you could cause a splinter somewhere sensitive. Thanks to adding to my research.


  • Hi Nal,

    I've been on Metformin for 1 year, at 1000 mg twice a day after a brief time at 500 mg. No side effects that I'm aware of.

    Nobody's done a study with a control group, right? Or even studied how common this is among Type 2 patients on Metformin?


  • No studies that I am aware of.


  • Nal, I've been on metformin (1000mg morning & night) for ~8 years now to help stop Lupron's slide into metabolic syndrome. There also happens to be a lot of journal papers out there indicating that metformin may indeed slow down metastatic spread. Yes, I was diagnosed with a trigger finger, but it is something I've learned not to 'trigger,' if you will - holding my elliptical machine differently, clutching the ball with the other 4 fingers for monthly blood tests, etc. It has not been a big and not growing problem.

  • Nalakrats, it's almost uncanny that I came today to ask questions about hand pain, and you have a fresh post here. About a week and a half ago, I woke up with my thumbs hurting and kinda stiff. Plus, when I would try and bend them, they kinda snapped from open to closed. I thought it was odd, but thought it would go away.

    Well, it did not. It's almost 2 weeks later and now ,in both hands, ALL of my fingers and thumbs, except for my pointer fingers are really killing me. They feel numb and swollen, but don't look swelled up. The joint snapping is getting much worse and hurting more. I can feel the snapping in my wrists.

    It's getting hard to hold things in my hands. Also, it is really the worst after I wake up, and that can be from an over night sleep, or even a 15 minute nap.

    I do take Metformin, but have been taking it for about 4 years for Pre Diabetes , so that's not new. I'm kinda thinking its from the Xgeava and/or the Lupron. I read that joint pain can be a side effect of Xgeava. I get my Lupron and Xgeva injections in 4 days. I'm wondering if I should call my Oncologist tomorrow and not wait till Thursday to ask about it.It is getting worse day by day.

    Anyone have anything happen to them like I've described?

  • esmitee, what you describe is the point of my post. You describe in exacting detail, what the people on Metformin for a period of time experienced. on the forums I visited, where all on Metformin---true the men were on ADT of some form---so one might say it was the combo of ADT and Metformin---but the kicker, kind of the truth teller, was there were many women taking Metformin for Diabetes, and were having the same symptoms as the men with Pca. The women had no cancer, and were certainly not on ADT drugs.


  • Be interesting to hear what your Doctor says--Remember in my original post---women are having the same problem---having Diabetes and no cancer. So I suspect the Build-up of Metformin---probably enhanced by the ADT drugs.

    Let me know what your Doc. thinks.


  • If I hadn't came to this forum to ask a question, I would have never thought if was from the Metformin , Or combo of it and ADT, if at all? I was thinking it was the Xgeva, or Lupron,or the combo of those 2. But, 1 thing for sure, I need to find something out about this condition, because #1, it's very painful, #2 I do work with my hands. I'm tired of being tired, and aching all over from what I think is the Lupron. My body hurts all the time, I feel worse Now, 1 year after my diagnosis AND TREATMENTS then before the diagnosis. The pain meds I take everyday only give me I'd say, maybe about a 70% of pain relief. To be honest, I feel like a drug addict. Having to take them 5 times a day. Its wearing me down. Now this NEW pain, Now what, more drugs?

    Yes, I can't wait to hear what he has to say about this. I will be certain to let you (ALL) know.

  • About two months ago, I got a packet of metformin, and took them once a day. Around the same time, I developed trigger finger on the right hand, baby finger. Went to an immediate care place where the doctor told me what it is called. I am out of the metformin (want to get more), the trigger finger is still lingering but may be resolving (I can extend it by trying).

    Interesting observation!

  • Yes the little I know---but still learning, is that when off the Metformin, the pain in fingers and trigger finger will resolve eventually. But given the choice of taking Metformin for the Cancer Benefits/blood sugar help---i would rather take and suffer with the hand issues. Cancer kills---trigger finger annoys.


  • Nalakrats,

    Much as I am against vitamin B12 supplementation when borderline insufficient, some might need B12 when taking Metformin. It's a complex topic & it seems that diabetics at risk for neuropathy are at greatest risk.

    When I think of trigger finger I think of Dupuytren's Contracture. But with that, you should see some physical changes in the palm of the hand. My DC was totally reversed with Iodoral.


  • Yes I thought ab out what people were experiencing might have been DC. As for me, I take 1,000 micro milligrams twice a day--Sublingual that is 32,000 times the Minimum of B-12 according to our Fake FDA. Thanks for you response.


  • I have not taken Metformin but I did develop finger (and toe) joint stiffness, pain and trigger finger after some time on ADT (Lupron). Looking up the drug label for Lupron at the time I found that joint pain was a common side effect.

    Here's how I cured my joint pain. Whether it works for anyone else, I can't say, but I recommend trying it. I got the ideas from reading a book on arthritis, including chapters on rheumatoid arthritis, which also affects small joints.

    To provide immediate relief from joint pain, stiffness, and trigger finger: Run your hands under alternating hot and cold water. For me, the pain and stiffness was relieved fairly quickly, if only temporarily.

    To reduce the incidence of joint pain and trigger finger: Sleep with your hands balled up into fists. If you can't manage that, you can try putting your fists into gloves (with the fingers balled up, not in the glove fingers) to hold the fists closed. I believe this worked for me because the muscles and tendons were in the stretched position all night instead of the shortened position and so did not freeze up in the shortened position.

    To conquer the problem for the long term: Perform massive numbers of hand exercises. For example, relieve the pain and stiffness with hot and cold water, then open and close your fists forcefully a hundred or more times, many times per day, using the muscles isometrically to oppose each other. I also used spring type hand exercisers or rubber hand exercisers, often doing a thousand or more squeezes per day. I did exercises while driving, watching TV, or doing anything that did not require both hands. When I drove my car I would alternately squeeze and release each hand on the steering wheel or on a hand exerciser. Sometimes I'd push the fingers of one hand against the fingers of the other, or oppose the closing of fingers with one hand with the opening of fingers of the other. There are many different ways to exercise your hands and you can vary them as you please. It doesn't require hours or even one hour of exercise, but you do have to exercise hard and you have to do it repeatedly over the course of a day. Two or three minutes of hard hand exercise, ten times a day, might be a good amount.

    As long as I did this sort of exercise, the pain and stiffness was held at bay and my hands worked normally and were free of pain and stiffness. As a side benefit, my hands and forearms grew stronger. To prevent the pain in my toes, I did toe exercises inside my shoes.

    I have been off Lupron for a long time and have reduced my level of hand exercise. However I still occasionally experience stiffness and trigger finger and can relieve them with the above treatments.


  • You should be an Orthopedic Hand Doctor--Alan

    As an aside---you said you have been off lupron for a long time---what are you on now---or are you vacationing?


  • As far as I can tell, I was cured by my HDR + EBRT radiation and adjuvant ADT in 2003/2004. I had some scary PSA "bounces" after that but haven't had any treatment since 2004.

    I worked for many years as a computer programmer at the U.S. National Cancer Institute. When I was, myself, diagnosed with prostate cancer, the work took on a whole new dimension for me. It was no longer just about ones and zeros in C++ and Python, but about human beings who were suffering. I sought and got treatment in an NCI clinical trial and I got a lot of advice and support from a group like this one. I made a personal commitment to try to do something more personal for other patients as well as to do my computer programming. I retired from programming last year (age 70) but I'm still trying to do what I can to help out.


  • I assume you read my posts and I am also trying to help out making use of my scientific background. Thanks for your service.


  • I have been taking this drug for 4 years (2000 MG a day). I have not experienced any negative side effects. I would definitely check with my doctor.

  • sounds like a form of peripheral neuropathy, which is usually/often blamed on ADT. I have it in my legs, but don't see a noticable problem in the hands. I am on ADT only.


  • How long have you been on ADT--is it single double or triple blockade. Do you know your pathology and gene mutations?


  • Nal, I assume the q is for me:. I"m on intermittent ADT-3, have been for 15+ yrs. But I have a very short DT, usually 3.5 mo, but recently 6 mo, still not good. No, I do not know my pathology (they haven't found my recurrent cancer!) and I have not done any gene studies--later.


  • I started on Metformin in October, 2013. In late May, 2014, I jammed my right ring finger but I did not think much abut. However, it did not get better so I asked my rheumatologist about it and he diagnosed trigger finger. Still on Metformin, still have trigger finger. Who woulda thunk it?

  • I am not on Metaformin, but had the problem as soon as I started on Lupron. It was quite bad at the beginning. The pain has lessened over time but it is still there. I have less instances of actual Trigger finger but I believe it's because I have learned to accomodate. I no longer sleep with my fists clenched. I'm careful when I use a knife or tie my shoes.

    My uro said he hadn't heard that this was a side effect of Lupron. But I know that's what it is.

  • As a follow up, I did go and see a hand specialist. He said that there was no evidence of arthritis, could do surgery if I wanted, but said something which I believe is a piece of the puzzle. He said that whenever a patient comes in complaining about sudden on-set of trigger finger in multiple fingers, they usually look for changes in hormone levels. Ding ding ding. This is also common for women going through menopause. Based on what I read for those women, i started taking magnesium supplements to help with the hot flashes (it works) and am now wondering if the magnesium might also be helping with my hands? Just a guess but there has been a definite improvement over time.

  • Magnesium it is, Thx cfrees1. I just got over a bout, I hope, that were about the worst flashes I ever had. I had a stretch there, where I enjoyed a couple months of minimal hot flashes. Now there back with a vengeance. None today, but one on Sunday put me in bed for 16 hours, my head felt like it was about to implode. I had tried meds and herbals to control them, but nothing so far has helped.


  • Let me know if you have success with that. I try so many things, I never really know what helps with what...or if it's just time that does it. But I read about it, tried it and I think it has helped.

  • I already was taking 1000 mgs per day of magnesium--and had been for years. I almost have enough replies to put out a blast on this subject, as my research is winding down.


  • Im female age 46.I started taking merformin at the beginning of April 2017. I don't have diabetes. I was taking it for the benefits of weight loss. About 3 weeks into taking it in got very sick, thought it was the flu or food poisoning. Check the bad side effects of metform and I had several of them. May 1st I woke up and was fine. By the end of the night my hands and wrists hurt so bad were numb tingling and felt swollen, but weren't swollen. Woke up in the middle of the night and my knees also hurt, could barely walk. Today my knees don't hurt as bad but my hands still do. I quit taking the metformin on Tuesday. Does anyone know how long it will take for the pain in my hands to go away?

  • Unknown; some men say 6 Months, as I have not stopped taking.


  • hey krats, not using metformin but all same side effects with Lupron. been on Lupron and exgeva for about 4 years. hands started with trigger finger and stiffness, doc said it was arthritis. Our blogs show that it is side effects from these meds, to many of us have same problems. By the way the hot flashes do not subside with time, with me they get worse. Hey we all hang in there and get a great deal of help from our friends on this blog. keep blogging and best wishes.

  • I have been CT'ed, and have had 3 Xrays---all showing perfect hands, and fingers. I will be seeing an Arthritis Doctor, who specializes in Integrative use of Supplements. This should answer the last set of questions---still may have an MRI, as there has to be something that interferes with proper use of fingers. But I do not plan to add another drug. Unless the Doc. can give me a 100% promise.


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