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FDA Recalls Blood Pressure Medication for Potential Cancer Risk

Several common drugs that contain valsartan, which is used to control blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart failure, have been recalled due to possible contamination. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating various heart medications due to the possible presence of NDMA, a chemical considered to be a cancer-causing agent by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Various manufacturers, including Major Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries, and Solco Healthcare have issued voluntary recall orders for their medicines containing valsartan. NDMA’s components are difficult to detect, so the FDA has worked to develop a test to detect NDMA and the quantity present within a medication. This test, the FDA says, will be used in the future to expose drug impurities. The FDA reports that, unlike most impurities in drugs, NDMA is a “genotoxic impurity” with the potential to cause harm even at very low levels.

The FDA suspects that the maker of the recalled valsartan ingredient, the Chinese company ZHP, changed the way it manufactured the drug ingredient, resulting in its contamination with NDMA. The FDA is now testing other drugs in the same class as valsartan known as ARBs, or angiotensin II receptor blockers, to ensure they are not harmful as well.

Patients who are currently taking a drug classified as an ARB blood pressure reducer, including Cozaar, Micardis, Benicar, Avapro, Eprosartan, Atacand, and Edarbi, should verify with their doctor or pharmacist whether their medication has a valsartan impurity. In the meantime, however, doctors do not recommend that patients stop taking their medication abruptly.

Any individual who believes they were harmed by the impurities in a valsartan-containing medication or any other affected medication may have legal recourse. Victims should not hesitate to reach out to the knowledgeable lawyers at Whitley Law Firm for a review of their situation. Attorneys can consult with trusted medical professionals and help injured individuals pursue compensation for any damages caused by the contaminated medication.