Popular Diabetes Drug is Recalled Due to Cancer Risk

Metformin is a popular medication used to treat thousands of patients with diabetes and other conditions. Now the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discovered the presence of a possible carcinogen in the drug, and many lots from different manufacturers have been recalled. The most recent recall comes from the manufacturer Nostrum Laboratories who in early 2021 recalled a lot of its 750 mg extended-release tablets after samples were found to contain a cancer-causing agent.


Cancer Risk

Metformin tablets are a staple of diabetes care. The drug can reduce excess sugar in the blood. People with Type 2 diabetes use the drug, along with other treatments, to lower their blood sugar levels. The dangerous substance found in the metformin tablets is called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). The substance has been found in a number of other drugs that have been recalled due to the cancer risk posed by the substance.


Multiple Recalls

Since May of 2020, several companies have recalled metformin over concern regarding the presence of NDMA. The FDA instituted the recall after discovering that several batches of the drug contained dangerous levels of NDMA. NDMA has been classified as a “probable carcinogen” based on results from laboratory tests. It is an organic chemical used to make liquid rocket fuel and can be the byproduct of manufacturing. It is also found in water and foods. The FDA has recently stepped up drug testing after high levels of NDMA were found in heartburn drugs, which triggered a widespread recall.

Since the FDA’s initial notice, at least ten companies have recalled their extended-release metformin tablets. The agency noted that at the present time, there had been no problems discovered in the immediate release version of the drug. The FDA is advising patients to continue taking metformin until their doctor can prescribe a replacement. There is a danger in discontinuing use without a replacement.


Contact a Product Liability Attorney

If you’ve been injured by a dangerous drug, you should consult with an experienced product liability attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have been helping the victims of dangerous drugs for over 50 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.