Published: Fri, July 20, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Some blood pressure meds recalled over cancer-causing impurity

Some blood pressure meds recalled over cancer-causing impurity

Health Canada advised people taking drugs containing valsartan not to stop taking their medication, but to contact their pharmacist and ask about the recall.

The FDA says that several drugs containing the ingredient "valsartan" were found to have an impurity in them called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) - a probable human carcinogen. The investigation is said to include "investigating the levels of NDMA in the recalled products" as well as "assessing the possible effect on patients who have been taking them".

The FDA said patients should continue with the recalled medicine until they have a replacement as valsartan is used to treat serious medical conditions.

The class-action request accuses five Canadian pharmaceutical companies that manufactured drugs containing valsartan of negligent behaviour.

However, the DRAP orders won't affect the medicines containing valsartan produced by other companies.

As a result, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) triggered a recall of all valsartan containing medicines having made using same source of active substance.

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Companies impacted by the recall have shared instructions for patients impacted by these products.

To determine if a specific product has been recalled, look at the drug name and company name on the prescription bottle's label. Vulsartan is the commonly used medication used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.

The FDA said in a statement that the discovery of the carcinogenic component was unexpected and likely to be linked to changes in how the generic drug's active substance was manufactured. Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals supplied the three USA -based pharmaceutical companies with these products, according to The New York Times. "As a precaution, the review will also consider whether other valsartan medicines may be affected". If the information is not there, patients should contact the pharmacy where they got it, the FDA said. The Valsartan products on the Barbados market are produced by Novartis and Jubilant and are not subject to the worldwide recall.

"EMA has made this aspect of the review a priority and will update the public as soon as new information becomes available", the agency said.

Prinston Pharmaceutical, doing business as Solco Healthcare, is recalling "all lots" of Valsartan tablets manufactured by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical.

This is the list of medications recalled by the FDA.

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