Drugs are taken off the market all the time, but sometimes, the medication is so popular that it causes authorities to take a look elsewhere. Technically, the recent surge in testing of medications for contaminants started with popular blood pressure medications, but things really took off with the recall of Zantac across the country, including here in Ohio. Perhaps, the fact that an immensely popular and widely used over-the-counter medication could contain the same human carcinogen prompted closer scrutiny.
It’s possible that the Zantac recall could help keep diabetics from harm now. The Food and Drug Administration is now looking into the presence of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in metformin, which is a popular medication used to control blood sugar. Unfortunately, unlike ranitidine, no substitute medication does the job as well.
Testing done in other countries of metformin found acceptable levels of NDMA, but that is not stopping the inquiry in the U.S. Like with other medications recalled for this toxic substance, patients are urged not to stop taking their medications, especially considering the inquiry is not yet concluded. Type 2 diabetes is a serious medical condition, and if it does turn out that metformin is contaminated, the fallout could be dangerous for those taking it.
While the investigation into the possible presence of NDMA in metformin continues, people continue to deal with the consequences of the recall of Zantac. It could take some time to determine the extent of any harm done to individuals who took the medication consistently — some for decades.