Officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently expanded the labeling recommendations for metformin, a diabetes medicine, specifically for patients who have decreased kidney function.
Medicines that include metformin currently have labeling that discourages patients from using the substance if they have reduced kidney function.
Officials reviewed several different medical studies concerning whether metformin is safe for patients who have mild to moderate impaired kidney functions.
As a result, the officials chose to modify the degree of kidney function that is listed in the metformin drug labeling. This detail determines whether or not a patient can use metformin to find relief from their diabetes symptoms.
Now all of the new labels on medicines that contain metformin will account for the changes and safety concerns.
Everyone involved in the health care profession is encouraged to follow the latest recommendations when they consider prescribing medicines with metformin, particularly if the patients have decreased kidney function. In turn, if any patients have concerns about metformin medicines, they should ask their primary health care professional about their options.
Medicines with metformin are only available through prescriptions. These medicines are typically paired with exercise and diet changes, which serve to lower blood sugar levels. This is important for patients who have type 2 diabetes, which can cause serious problems like kidney damage, blindness, heart disease and nerve damage, if left untreated.