Metformin extended release tablets

Update 4 - medicine shortages change in status

19 January 2017

Consumers and health professionals are advised that there have been changes in the availability of:

  • DIABEX XR 500 metformin hydrochloride 500 mg extended release tablet blister pack
  • DIAFORMIN XR metformin hydrochloride 500 mg extended release tablet blister pack
  • DIABEX XR 1000 metformin hydrochloride 1000 mg extended release tablet blister pack
  • DIAFORMIN XR 1000 metformin hydrochloride 1000 mg extended release tablet blister pack
  • METEX XR metformin hydrochloride 500 mg extended release tablet blister pack

The status of METEX XR has been updated from 'limited availability' to 'available', while the statuses of the DIABEX and DIAFORMIN products have been changed from 'available' to 'limited availability'.

Additionally, it has been identified that another product is affected by this medicine shortage – APO-METFORMIN XR 1000 metformin hydrochloride 1000 mg modified release tablet blister pack, the status of which is 'limited availability'.

The 'Affected products' table below has been updated to reflect the current status of the shortages.


Update 3 - medicine shortages change in status

28 September 2016

Consumers and health professionals are advised that there has been change in status in the availability of:

  • DIABEX XR 500 metformin hydrochloride 500 mg extended release tablet blister pack
  • DIAFORMIN XR metformin hydrochloride 500 mg extended release tablet blister pack
  • DIABEX XR 1000 metformin hydrochloride 1000 mg extended release tablet blister pack
  • DIAFORMIN XR 1000 metformin hydrochloride 1000 mg extended release tablet blister pack.

These products are now available.

The 'Affected products' table below has been updated to reflect the current status of the shortages.

Additionally, the information below has been updated to advise pharmacists that, if they are unable to obtain metformin extended release products that are currently available through their regular wholesaler, they should contact an alternative wholesaler to try to secure stock.


Update 2 – medicine shortages change in status

31 August 2016

Consumers and health professionals are advised that there has been change in status in the availability of metformin extended release tablets. All products in the table below now have limited availability.

The 'Affected products' table below has been updated to reflect the current status of the shortages.


Update - medicine shortages change in status

10 August 2016

Consumers and health professionals are advised that there has been change in status in the availability of:

  • DIABEX XR 500 metformin hydrochloride 500 mg extended release tablet blister pack
  • CHEMMART METFORMIN XR 500 metformin hydrochloride 500 mg modified release tablet blister pack (ARTG 197405)
  • TERRY WHITE CHEMISTS METFORMIN XR 500 metformin hydrochloride 500 mg modified release tablet blister pack (ARTG 197406).

These products now have limited availability.

The 'Affected products' table below has been updated to reflect the current status of the shortages.


Medicine shortages

17 June 2016

Consumers and health professionals are advised that there is a shortage of metformin extended release tablets, which are marketed in Australia under several trade names and by several sponsors.

Metformin is used to treat type 2 diabetes in adults. It may be used alone or in combination with other oral antidiabetic agents, and can also be used, with insulin.

The shortages are due to some suppliers having limited or no stock, resulting in unexpected increased demand on other suppliers that cannot be fully met at this time. Suppliers are working closely with their manufacturers to expedite delivery of stock.

There are no safety concerns with the existing supplies of these products.

Affected products

The affected products are:

ARTG No ARTG Label Sponsor Status
98982 DIABEX XR 500 metformin hydrochloride 500 mg extended release tablet blister pack Alphapharm Pty Ltd Limited availability
120868 DIAFORMIN XR metformin hydrochloride 500 mg extended release tablet blister pack Alphapharm Pty Ltd Limited availability
153699 DIABEX XR 1000 metformin hydrochloride 1000 mg extended release tablet blister pack Alphapharm Pty Ltd Limited availability
208441 DIAFORMIN XR 1000 metformin hydrochloride 1000 mg extended release tablet blister pack Alphapharm Pty Ltd Limited availability
197405 CHEMMART METFORMIN XR 500 metformin hydrochloride 500 mg modified release tablet blister pack Apotex Pty Ltd Limited availability
197402 APO-METFORMIN XR 500 metformin hydrochloride 500 mg modified release tablet blister pack Apotex Pty Ltd Limited availability
218270 APO-METFORMIN XR 1000 metformin hydrochloride 1000 mg modified release tablet blister pack Apotex Pty Ltd Limited availability
197406 TERRY WHITE CHEMISTS METFORMIN XR 500 metformin hydrochloride 500 mg modified release tablet blister pack Apotex Pty Ltd Limited availability
143464 METEX XR metformin hydrochloride 500 mg extended release tablet blister pack Arrow Pharma Pty Ltd Available

Information for consumers

Consumers should contact their treating doctor if they are unable to obtain metformin extended release tablets that they have been prescribed.

Information for all health professionals and wholesalers

Enquiries regarding supply of metformin extended release tablets should be directed to the product sponsor.

Pharmacists and wholesalers are requested to order minimum quantities of stock from suppliers to try and minimise the chance of further shortages as supplies become available.

If your pharmacy is unable to obtain metformin extended release products that are currently available through their regular wholesaler, you should contact an alternative wholesaler to try to secure stock.

Reporting problems

Consumers and health professionals are encouraged to report problems with medicines, vaccines or medical devices. Your report will contribute to the TGA's monitoring of these products.

The TGA cannot give advice about an individual's medical condition. You are strongly encouraged to talk with a health professional if you are concerned about a possible adverse event associated with a medicine or vaccine.