FDA Approves Metformin For Some with Kidney Issues

A review of data suggests it’s safe for those with mild kidney impairment.



One common complication of Type 2 diabetes is that high blood sugar levels can make the kidneys work too hard. Unfortunately, many medications to lower blood sugar levels are not considered safe for people with kidney problems. Use of metformin, for example, has been restricted for those with kidney issues because the drug is removed from the body via the kidneys, and it can build up in those with lower kidney function.

Recently, however, federal regulators have loosened restriction on metformin for those with kidney issues. After reviewing data from many numerous studies, FDA regulators pronounced that metformin is safe to use for patients with mild kidney impairment and some patients with moderate kidney impairment, according to a MedPage Today report.


The move will allow for the prescription of metformin and combination drug therapies that include metformin for more people with kidney issues. This change will be reflected on the labels of the following medications:

Actoplus Met
Actoplus Met XR
Avandamet
Fortamet
Glucophage
Glucophage XR
Glucovance
Glumetza
Invokamet
Janumet
Janumet XR
Jentadueto
Kazano
Kombiglyze XR
Prandimet
Riomet
Synjardy
Xigduo XR

According to the National Kidney Foundation, about a third of those with diabetes may get chronic kidney disease, so regular screening is important. If kidney problems are suspected, the FDA recommends extensive screening of kidney function before metformin is prescribed.

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Emma Dunn is a Writing, Literature, and Publishing student at Emerson College in Boston. Besides writing for Type2Nation and Insulin Nation, she also writes for the online publication, The Odyssey.