Nostrum Laboratories has voluntarily recalled another lot of metformin HCl extended-release tablets 750 mg dosage, expanding their initial announcement in November 2020. According to the new notice, issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this week, the recalled tablets are off-white and oblong with a debossed ID “NM7”.
The lot number, NDC, and expiration dates can be found on the FDA website.
Nostrum notes that the tablets were distributed across the United States to wholesalers; these distributors are being notified of the recall and the company is arranging for the drug to be returned.
Metformin is the most prescribed medication worldwide for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Nostrum says that anyone in possession of any of the affected lots should consult their physician or pharmacist to obtain a replacement treatment option because it can be dangerous for patients with type 2 diabetes to stop taking metformin.
This new announcement expands further the number of metformin HCl extended-release tablets recalled in the United States because they contain potentially high levels of nitrosamines, also known as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which are possible carcinogens.
The risks of nitrosamines are not clear. The FDA says they may increase the risk of cancer in people who are exposed to high levels over a long period of time, “but we do not anticipate that shorter term exposure at levels above the acceptable intake limit would lead to an increase in the risk of cancer,” it has previously stated.
As well as the November recall of two lots of metformin by Nostrum, 76 more lots of metformin extended-release tablets were flagged in October from various manufacturers for possible contamination with NDMA, on top of an earlier recall for the same problem in May 2020.
More than 175 different drug combinations, all extended-release with either 500 mg or 750 mg of metformin, have now been recalled since late May, and a list of those recalled to November 2020 is available here.