FDA on Metformin: OK in Some Patients with Reduced Kidney Function

May 25, 2016

FDA is requiring a class labeling change that will allow many more diabetes patients to benefit from metformin.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a Drug Safety Communication in April revising warnings regarding the use of metformin in certain patients with diabetes and reduced kidney function. It is requiring a labeling change by manufacturers of all metformin and metformin-containing drugs. Current labeling, in place since the approval of metformin in 1985, strongly recommends against use of metformin in patients with renal disease or renal dysfunction (eg, SCr levels ≥1.5 mg/dL [men], ≥1.4 mg/dL [women] or abnormal creatinine clearance.FDA also is requiring that labeling recommend use of eGFR rather than SCr to evaluate renal function. The systematic review behind the FDA action was published in the Journal of the American Medical Assocation.  The 7 slides above provide a quick clinical update on the FDA guidance.