Metformin is a medication used to treat patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It is sold under the brand names Fortament, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, and Riomet.
According to Reuters, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that their tests found unsafe levels of NDMA, a possible human carcinogen, in metformin. The FDA is currently reaching out to companies that sell metformin medication, a spokesperson told Reuters.
Metformin FDA Investigation
After reports from Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority determined that 3 out of 46 metformin products tested required a recall, other countries around the world began investigating the potentially contaminated domestic Metformin products. This is due to “trace amounts of nitrosamine impurity, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which are above the internationally acceptable level.”
The Dangers of NDMA
As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NDMA is a known cancer-causing agent. It was found in over-the-counter drug Zantac in trace amounts over an acceptable limit, which is why the FDA recalled it in 2019. NDMA was found to be toxic and potentially fatal to people and animals, with damaging effects on the liver and internal organs.
While the FDA has not yet recalled any metformin drugs, you can expect it to follow the same trajectory as Zantac, where the agency took the drug off the market until manufacturers can prove the NDMA levels are safe and stable.
Many consumers still remain in the dark when it comes to the truth about metformin and all of its related products.
Why Doctors Chose Metformin for Type 2 Diabetes
With more than 34 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes and 90 to 95 percent of them with type 2 diabetes, the CDC says that treatment is primarily up to the person diagnosed.
Beyond initial consultations with a doctor, treatment of type 2 diabetes will depend on diligent self-care. This is why doctors chose metformin for some patients: It is highly effective, and it also acts as a preventative for people who are predisposed to develop the disease, according to Johns Hopkins. Metformin offers a low-maintenance approach to managing type 2 diabetes, which is important considering the range of people who are prone to developing the disease.
The FDA mentioned metformin as one of the only medications of its kind, although it has only been manufactured since 1994. Before metformin was manufactured and widely used, there were some medications that regulated blood sugars in ways that metformin does not. This metformin is what doctors prescribed along with other medications for diabetes.
How Metformin Works
Metformin reduces the production of glucose in the liver. It is taken once or twice daily with foods to prevent an upset stomach and other gastrointestinal symptoms. In certain types of diabetes, like gestational diabetes, it can be used as an alternative to insulin.
Additionally, since metformin is considered “weight neutral,” it has the added benefit of the potential for weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes, who may already be struggling with managing weight.
Negligent Corporations Face Metformin Lawsuits
The FDA’s investigation into metformin is a cause for concern in patients who have developed cancer after long-term use of the drug. While the FDA has yet to issue recalls on the product, corporations who sell metformin may join Zantac manufacturers and other defective drug-selling companies in being sued by consumers.
People fighting against type 2 diabetes should not be put at risk for other diseases like cancer, for which they are already at an increased risk. They are prescribed metformin, not knowing that it has levels of NDMA that are too high for consumption. When they develop an NDMA-related illness, they should not have to pay for the consequences. An attorney can help you file a lawsuit against the negligent company to recover compensation for expenses related to your illness. These might include:
- Medical treatment costs
- Medical transportation costs
- Pain, suffering, and inconvenience
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Mental anguish
- Funeral and burial costs (for a wrongful death case)
If you or someone you love got sick after being prescribed metformin, finding legal representation from the start can help you understand and defend your rights. The lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are waiting to discuss your potential legal options, should you need it. Call a member of our team today at (800) 794-0444.