Clearing the air on Metformin medicine

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has cleared the air regarding the recent information from the Health Sciences Authority, Singapore on December 4, regarding three Metformin brands that have been recalled.

The following recalled products were found to contain the impurity, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) that was above internationally accepted levels.

The list of Metformin containing products recalled in Singapore are:

– Glucient XR tablet 500mg from Batch 2881382;

– Meijumet Prolonged Release Tablet 750mg (all batches)

– Meijumet Prolonged Release Tablet 1000mg (all batches)

The three Metformin brands recalled in Singapore are not used by the Ministry of Health, Brunei Darussalam. They are not registered, nor imported into Brunei.

The MoH reassured the public that monitoring of the quality of metformin containing products for NDMA is being conducted. The MoH has requested product licence holders and importers to liaise with the manufacturers to test their Metformin containing products and ensure they are free from NDMA.

All importation of Metformin containing products into Brunei are also being closely monitored.

Metformin belongs to the class of medicines called biguanides, which is used to control high blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. It is a prescription only medicine in Brunei.

Patients on Metformin are advised to not stop their treatment and to consult their doctor if they have concerns. Patients who may have supplies of the recalled Metformin brands in Singapore are advised to immediately consult their doctor. Stopping Metformin medication could lead to uncontrolled diabetes, which has serious health risks such as heart disease, nerve problems, kidney damage, blindness and amputations.

The MoH is monitoring the global Metformin situation to ensure that the medicines are of quality, safe and efficacious for use in Brunei Darussalam.