On May 28, 2020, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert to patients and healthcare providers that unsafe levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen, were detected in some forms of metformin. Metformin is a medication commonly used to treat high blood sugar levels for individuals with type 2 diabetes. In addition to the alert, the FDA has also asked five pharmaceutical firms to issue a voluntary recall on certain types of metformin tablets. While the FDA is still investigating the presence of NDMA in metformin, the discovery of the carcinogen in the high blood sugar medication may lead to further action.
What Types of Metformin Are Included in the Recall Alert?
Unsafe levels of NDMA were found in several lots of extended-release (ER) metformin. This has prompted a recall of some 500mg and 750mg metformin tablets issued by Amneal Pharmaceuticals and Apotex Corporation, a Canadian pharmaceutical company. Additionally, the FDA has contacted several other companies and asked them to issue a recall of metformin tablets. This includes Actavis Pharma, Marksans Pharma, and Lupin Pharma.
Should I Keep Taking Metformin?
At this time, the FDA has advised individuals currently prescribed metformin to continue taking the drug until they consult a healthcare professional. Individuals taking extended release metformin affected by the recall should consult a health care professional who could prescribe an alternative medication. The FDA warns that individuals with type 2 diabetes may face serious health risks if they discontinue taking medication to treat high blood sugar.
The Future for Metformin
Currently, the FDA is still investigating the presence of NDMA in metformin. Because of this, the agency is currently unable to determine how long NDMA may have been present in the drug, how NDMA developed in metformin, and how likely an individual who took metformin containing NDMA may develop cancer. However, the FDA has provided a testing method for pharmaceutical companies and other laboratories to test metformin for unsafe levels of NDMA.
Contact an Experienced Dangerous Drug Attorney
If you or a loved one took metformin or another potentially dangerous drug for long-term treatment and later developed cancer, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced dangerous drug attorney from the Whitley Law Firm could evaluate your case and advise you on your rights. To speak to one of our knowledgeable attorneys, contact us today.