Metformin is a drug prescribed to some people who have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes affects one in ten Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In patients who otherwise classify as healthy, doctors may prescribe metformin for daily use at doses between 500 and 2500 mg per day, according to the StatPearls.
Metformin can treat type 2 diabetes, and doctors can also prescribe it as a part of a combination of medicines used to treat diabetic patients. In addition, patients can treat type 2 diabetes with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and an active lifestyle. The full extent of what metformin can do is not understood yet. Recently, the drug was under scrutiny by pharmaceutical researchers from the U.S. Drug and Food Administration (FDA) for possibly containing the carcinogen NDMA.
Metformin for Type 2 Diabetics Treatment
The function of metformin is to reduce glucose levels. For patients with type 2 diabetes, metformin can decrease the levels of glucose and the liver’s absorption of glucose, according to StatPearls.
Side Effects of Metformin
While doctors generally consider metformin safe and effective, it can have negative side effects for some people. Common side effects include the following:
- Gastrointestinal side effects, such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
- Chest pain
- Unusual amounts of sweating
- Weakness and fatigue
- Long-term decrease in vitamin B12 levels
Another serious side effect of metformin is lactic acidosis, which does not usually occur but can become severe. Because of this, metformin comes with a warning from the FDA restricting drug use for certain patients, such as the elderly or those suffering from hypoxia and alcoholism. These issues may increase the risk of one developing lactic acidosis.
Metformin also has a thoroughly developed list of potential drug interactions. Some of the medications that interact negatively with Metformin include other anti-diabetic drugs that could be prescribed alongside it. The biggest concern with lactic acidosis is that it can cause long-term health complications, including death. Some people believe the benefits of this drug are worth the relatively small risk of developing lactic acidosis. Still, researchers are still finding out more about what metformin can do, for better or worse.
NDMA in Metformin
As a research chemical once used to manufacture rocket fuel, N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) occurs in certain manmade materials. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry acknowledges the definite possibility for NDMA to cause cancer, but reports that there are currently no reports of patients with cancer who can link causation to NDMA exposure directly. The known damages of NDMA are equally as alarming, with recorded cases of severe liver issues.
FDA Investigation and Metformin
When Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority issued a recall for 3 out of 46 products containing metformin, alarm bells were sounded around the world that revealed the true nature of what metformin can do. In the United States, the FDA announced an investigation into Metformin and possible contamination of NDMA, but the agency recommended that people who are prescribed the medication continue to take it, since there are allegedly no other medications that perform exactly as metformin does. The current federal regulations for NDMA in any products used or sold in the United States require a limit on the amount of NDMA, but does not ban them entirely.
When NDMA was found in over-the-counter heartburn medication Zantac, it was reportedly removed from shelves through an abundance of caution. No recalls currently exist for any metformin product.
Metformin has powerful effects against Type 2 diabetes, which some Americans currently have. That is just one of the reasons federal agencies and corporate pharmaceutical companies may not be issuing a recall yet. The benefit of the medication allegedly outweighs the risk of complications like cancer, but the failure to warn consumers about this potential threat could create unprecedented legal battles.
Pharmaceutical Companies Face Metformin Lawsuits
For patients with type 2 diabetes, metformin might feel like a complete relief; however, recent investigations by the FDA into metformin for its potential to contain carcinogenic chemicals is concerning.
If you or someone you love takes metformin to treat type 2 diabetes, legal representation remains available to you. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we handle cases involving health issues resulting from the use of metformin, and we can help you determine your legal options.
For your free case evaluation, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin looking into your case and your potential for compensation through legal action.