The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is looking into whether Metformin, a drug that is commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes, contains a probable carcinogen, which was recalled abroad. According to a KTLA news report, health officials are investigating whether Metformin sold in the United States contains NDMA, a contaminant linked to cancer.
Testing will also look into whether the amount of NDMA in the drug is above the acceptable daily intake limit of 96 nanograms. The FDA has instructed patients to continue using Metformin while the investigation continues because there are no alternative medications that are currently available to treat type 2 diabetes the same way.
How Does NDMA Affect Us?
NDMA is a contaminant that is commonly found in food and water. We are regularly exposed to it, but in relatively low amounts, which is not considered harmful. NDMA is a yellow, odorless liquid, which was once used to make rocket fuel, but its use stopped after high levels of the substance were found in the air, soil and water samples near manufacturing plants. Now, it is inadvertently produced from chemical reactions at industrial sites.
There are a few ways in which NDMA can find its way into drugs. It may contaminate the products during the manufacturing process or because of how drugs are stored and packed. If a person ingests at least 96 nanograms of the substance daily, it could increase the risk of cancer. The increased exposure can also lead to other symptoms such as fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, dizziness, and jaundice. It has also been associated with liver toxicity.
If the FDA were to determine that metformin in the U.S. market contained unacceptable levels of NDMA, officials said it would advise drug makers to issue a recall. Earlier this year, CVS announced it will be taking Zantac and other ranitidine heartburn drugs off its shelves after health officials said that the drug contains low levels of NDMA. At least a dozen blood pressure medications were recalled earlier this year for NDMA contamination.
Product Liability Issues
Drug manufacturers have a responsibility to make products that are safe for consumers. Drug manufacturers can be held financially responsible when tainted drugs cause serious side effects. If you or a loved one has suffered adverse health effects from contaminated drugs, an experienced defective drug lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options.