Metformin Tablets

Metformin Tablets

Question

My cousin is a diabetic and has been taking Metformin tablets until he found out that it is film coated. One of the ingredients of the film coating is Magnesium Stearate. The Stearate component is Fatty Acid. In a Daily Mail article, the Fatty Acid part was described as being of animal origin. SANHA has listed Magnesium Stearate as a substance of doubtful halal status. For this reason, he has stopped using this tablet and has not been able to find an alternative. Is it permissible for him to take this tablet? (This question is from Malawi)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

Answer

We have checked with medical experts in the UK who have confirmed that Magnesium Stearate can also be sourced from plants. Many companies make Metformin and some use the plant source whilst others use the animal source. We would therefore advise to contact the company and ascertain its source. If the source is plants, the ingredient is lawful. If the source is animal, contact an alternative supplier and try to source the Metformin made from plants. If this is not available, and there is no alternative Halal medicine and a Muslim practitioner advises it is necessary to use this medicine, it will be permissible to do so due to necessity.

قال ابن مازة في المحيط البرهاني (٥/٣٧٣): وما قاله الصدر الشهيد فهو غير مجرى على إطلاقه، فإن الاستشفاء بالمحرم إنما لا يجوز إذا لم يعلم أن فيه شفاء. أما إذا علم أن فيه شفاء وليس له دواء آخر غيره فيجوز الاستشفاء به، انتهى. وقال الزيلعي في تبيين الحقائق (٦/٣٣): وقال في النهاية: يجوز التداوي بالمحرم كالخمر والبول إذا أخبره طبيب مسلم أن فيه شفاء، ولم يجد غيره من المباح ما يقوم مقامه، انتهى. وقال البابرتي في العناية (١٠/٦٧): فإن علم أن فيه شفاء وليس له دواء آخر غيره يجوز له الاستشفاء به، انتهى. وقال الحصكفي في الدر المختار (١/٢١٠): وقيل: يرخص إذا علم فيه الشفاء ولم يعلم دواء آخر كما رخص الخمر للعطشان وعليه الفتوى، انتهى. وراجع رد المحتار )٥/٢٢٨)۔

Allah knows best

Yusuf Shabbir

18 Ṣafar 1439 / 7 November 2017

Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmad and Mufti Muhammad Tahir

www.nawadir.org