Diabetes drug being investigated for possible cancer-causing agents; here’s what doctors advise

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating a drug that's often prescribed to people with diabetes because it's found to potentially contain carcinogens.

Overseas, the drug - Metformin - has been recalled for this reason.   Now, the FDA in the United States is looking into its safety.

Although most people take it for diabetes, Rock Island mom Sasha Reyes takes Metformin for endometriosis. Endometriosis is a disorder where tissue that is meant to grow inside the uterus, grows on the outside of it, often causing pain and potential fertility problems. 

"Having cysts on your side like sometimes it would cause me to bend over and almost cry, because that's how much pain I was in," said Reyes.

Her doctor prescribed Metformin for the pain.

The FDA is testing the drug for cancer-causing chemicals. But so far, medical professionals are telling patients to keep using it, unless told otherwise.

For diabetes patients, Nurse Practitioner Danita Harrison said it's important because "if people stop taking it their blood sugars will be very high."

She said Metformin made in the United States doesn't appear to have the same harmful chemicals that the products had overseas.

"Nothing has been issued," said Harrison, "such as a company name other than Metformin used in other countries is under suspicion."

As the investigation continues, Reyes says she plans to see her doctor in mid-December,  and is hoping other medications are put on the market that can do the same thing Metformin does.

According to the FDA, there are no Metformin recalls affecting the United States as this time.

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