Marketed as Riomet ER, the extended-release formula was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August 2019. It’s intended for people who have trouble swallowing pills, or who often don’t take their medication on schedule because they don’t like swallowing pills.
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Currently, some people who have trouble swallowing pills are instructed by their doctors to crush tablets of metformin and either dissolve it in a beverage or sprinkle it on food. Having a liquid formulation available will eliminate this requirement for certain patients and caregivers, potentially making it easier to take the drug on a regular schedule. It also means that these patients can take an extended-release version of metformin, which isn’t currently possible with crushed pills. Extended-release versions of metformin are associated with fewer unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects — such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting — than immediate-release versions.
Riomet ER will be available in 16-ounce bottles in either strawberry or grape flavor. The company notes that in a taste test, the liquid formulations were preferred by patients over crushed pills.
“As the fourth Sun Pharma product designed to address the needs of the 40% of U.S. adults who cannot or will not swallow solid medications, Riomet ER reflects our continued commitment to providing alternative formulations to underserved patient populations,” says Sun Pharma CEO Abnay Gandhi in the press release.
If you think you could benefit from a liquid version of metformin, talk to your doctor about the possibility of making the switch.