Metformin as an emerging concern in wastewater: Occurrence, analysis and treatment methods

Akash Balakrishnan, Mika Sillanpää, Meenu Mariam Jacob, Dai Viet N. Vo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Metformin is a wonder drug used as an anti-hypoglycemic medication; it is also used as a cancer suppression medicament. Metformin is a first line of drug choice used by doctors for patients with type 2 diabetes. It is used worldwide where the drug's application varies from an anti-hypoglycemic medication to cancer oppression and as a weight loss treatment drug. Due to its wide range of usage, metformin and its byproducts are found in waste water and receiving aquatic environment. This leads to the accumulation of metformin in living beings and the environment where excess concentration levels can lead to ailments such as lactic acidosis or vitamin B12 deficiency. This drug could become of future water treatment concerns with its tons of production per year and vast usage. As a result of continuous occurrence of metformin has demanded the need of implementing and adopting different strategies to save the aquatic systems and the exposure to metformin. This review discuss the various methods for the elimination of metformin from wastewater. Along with that, the properties, occurrence, and health and environmental impacts of metformin are addressed. The different analytical methods for the detection of metformin are also explained. The main findings are discussed with respect to the management of metformin as an emerging contaminants and the major recommendations are discussed to understand the major research gaps.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113613
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Analysis
  • Contaminant
  • Metformin
  • Occurrence
  • Treatment processes
  • Wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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