When a medication that you take is found to have a carcinogen in its makeup, it can make you furious. Yes, you need the medication, but you don’t want to increase your risk of getting cancer because of certain ingredients being present.
High levels of a probable carcinogen called NDMA were found in the diabetes drug metformin, according to a report out of New York. The online pharmacy Valisure, which is asking for recalls, tested the batches of drugs and issued an immediate alert.
The testing found that NDMA was included in 16 batches of the drug that were made by 11 different companies. Of those, the batch with the highest levels of the carcinogen was made by Amneal. In that batch, there was 16 times the acceptable limit of NDMA detected, according to the pharmacy’s data.
Metformin is a common drug, so this is a significant issue that has to be addressed. In fact, metformin is the fourth-most prescribed medication in the United States.
The Food and Drug Administration has yet to speak out
According to the report, the FDA did not yet speak out or seek recalls of the drugs. It said that it would recommend recalls as appropriate after testing samples that it had collected.
In some recent testing by the FDA, there were low levels of NDMA in some batches of metformin. The administration stated that none of the levels were higher than the limit of 96 nanograms per day.
NDMA is something that people can be exposed to in their diet or as a result of issues in manufacturing. It could be deposited into a batch of drugs due to the way it’s stored or because of processes used to create the drug itself. Some medications, like the blood-pressure medication alsartan, contained NDMA and have already been pulled from shelves.
What should you do if a carcinogen is found in a medication you’ve taken?
If you have cancer or have developed unusual symptoms while taking a medication that is later recalled, it’s worth a trip to your medical provider or attorney to discuss the possibility of a link. Toxins can build up in the body and lead to serious side effects and illnesses, which is something that should be minimized by pharmaceutical companies. Patients trust that they’re receiving medications that are safe, and cases like this make it hard to trust what you need to take to stay healthy.