The Journal of the American Medical Association released a study suggesting patients' with kidney disease or those who take drugs for heart failure could be at risk because the drug is being given inappropriately.
Endocrinologist Dr. Meg Reitmeyer says not all people taking Glucophage are in the high risk group. But for those suffering from kidney disease or taking heart meds, it can cause lactic acidosis.
Dr. Reitmeyer says lactic acidosis is a build-up of lactic acid in the blood and can be fatal in about half of all cases. What alarmed researches most was 1/4 of diabetic patients in the test group of 100 met at least one of the high risk concerns. Dr. Reitmeyer wants patients to know the warning has been there since Glucophage came out, so they prescribe accordingly.
"I have some patients with very mild kidney disease that the benefits of having Glucophage out way the risk," says Dr. Reitmeyer. "Now I continually reassess them to make sure there is not a change in their condition that would mean we should stop the drug."
It's important to note that the research leader says none of the patients in the University of North Carolina's study developed acidosis.