Metformin drug recall

Photo Credit: Southern Ute Health Services

The providers and pharmacists at the Southern Ute Health Center have received lots of phone calls in the past few weeks, with concerns and questions about the ongoing metformin XR recalls. The first recall took place in June, and there have been several others since.

Metformin is the number one recommended medication used to treat type 2 diabetes. It can lower blood sugars quickly and safely, and provide protection for heart and kidneys, too. Unfortunately, some of the metformin extended-release (ER, XR, or 24 hour) products were contaminated with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). NDMA is a nitrosamine, which can be found in drinking water and foods like cured or grilled meats, dairy, and vegetables. In small amounts, it is not considered harmful, but in larger amounts and over longer periods of time, it may cause cancer. It is not fully understood how the NDMA gets into the metformin XR, but it has not been found in any of the regular metformin immediate release products.

Southern Ute Health Center pharmacy is notified immediately by the FDA, the manufacturer, and the distributor of medications when there has been a medication recall. Any medication that is recalled is taken off our shelves immediately, and not given to patients. The health and safety of tribal members and patients is our top priority.

Please reach out with your questions at 970-563-4781, or see the FDA website for more information at

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