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Dubai: Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health has confirmed that pharmaceutical products containing metformin have proven to be safe and free from N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a semi-volatile organic chemical that is highly toxic and is a suspected human carcinogen.

The ministry issued a statement clarifying that the results of laboratory analysis conducted on samples of all pharmaceutical preparations containing metformin available in the market have proven to be safe to use and free from NDMA.

The move comes as part of the ministry’s continuous follow-up of statements issued by international health organisations stating that initial analysis of drugs containing metformin revealed that some of these drugs contain the NDMA substance at higher levels than the permitted rates and that this substance is considered among the potentially carcinogenic substances.

The analysis of the products had been conducted after receiving information from the American Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.

Metformin is a drug used to treat diabetes and its trade name is registered as Glucophage, while NDMA is present in nature but in small and safe proportions.

The ministry recommended that patients with diabetes continue to use these preparations and not to drop them in order to treat diabetes, as well as to continue to monitor their health with doctors and health care providers.