EMA is aware that trace amounts of an impurity, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), have been found in a small number of metformin diabetes medicines outside the EU.
The levels of NDMA in the affected non-EU metformin medicines are very low and appear to be within or even below the range that people can be exposed to from other sources, including certain foods and water.
At this point, there are no data indicating that EU metformin medicines are affected. Authorities in the EU are in the process of working with companies to test EU medicines and will provide further updates as more information becomes available.
Patients in the EU should continue taking their metformin medicines as normal. The risk from not having adequate diabetes treatment far outweighs possible effects of the low levels of NDMA seen in tests. Healthcare professionals should remind patients of the importance of keeping their diabetes under control.
Metformin is widely used alone or in combination with other medicines to treat type 2 diabetes. It is usually the first-line treatment, and it works by reducing the production of glucose in the body and reducing its absorption from the gut.