Common Diabetes Drug Has Been Recalled Due to Possible Link to Cancer

October 13, 2020

Marksans Pharma Limited in India has voluntarily recalled the popular Diabetic drug, metformin hydrochloride extended-release tablets after discovering that they contained unacceptably high levels of carcinogens. Learn more below. 

What is Metformin?

Metformin tablets are designed to treat type 2 diabetes by reducing the amount of sugar that gets released into a person’s liver, while simultaneously improving how their body responds to insulin. Currently, metformin is the most commonly prescribed drug to treat type 2 diabetes and has been prescribed to more than 120 million patients worldwide. 

Marksans Pharma Limited specifically recalled tablets between 500mg and 750mg that were sold under the pharmaceutical brand, Time-Cap Labs, Inc. These tablets are embossed with the numbers 101 or 102 on one side and are plain on the other. 

The FDA Findings

Marksans Pharma Limited first found the possible link to carcinogens after discovering that the tablets’ levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA were unacceptably high; carcinogens are substances that could possibly cause cancer. NDMA is an environmental contaminant that is commonly found in water, vegetables, dairy products and meats. 

They discovered that the NDMA in the medicine was much higher than the FDA’s acceptable daily intake limit of 96 nanograms per day. This is one of several metformin products that have been found to contain NDMA within the past year. In fact, there have been seven other pharmaceutical companies who have issued recalls for metformin hydrochloride extended-release tablets as a result of these carcinogens. 

As it stands, the FDA is currently investigating not only where the NDMA comes from but how it ends up in so many metformin products. Most NDMA levels found in medications generally fall within the FDA’s accepted daily intake, however, the recent surge in findings has created cause for concern. 

While Marksans Pharma Limited initially issued the recall, they did not indicate exactly how much NDMA was found in their products. At the time of publication, Marksans Pharma Limited has not received any reports of adverse reactions or events related to this recall. 

Read more: Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania Years After Treatment?

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