Valsartan and Losartan Blood Pressure Drugs Recalled for Cancer Risk
Valsartan and Losartan, prescription drugs used primarily to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), but also congestive heart failure and heart attack, have been the center of recent recalls for trace amounts of carcinogens. The manufacturers of these drugs have recalled batches of these drugs and taken them off the shelves because they have been found to contain NMBA and NDEA, potentially cancer-causing chemicals.
A statement issued by the FDA indicates that the presence of N-Nitroso N-Methyl 4-amino butyric acid (NMBA) and N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) is connected to the manufacturing process used to make Valsartan and Losartan’s active substance. Exposure to NMBA is associated with cancer in the liver, G.I. tract, stomach, kidney, and colon, as well as liver damage. NDEA is also a suspected human carcinogen. Valsartan is the generic forms of Diovan. Losartan is the generic form of Cozaar. Diovan and Cozaar are not involved in the recalls.
The CDC reports that 75 million Americans have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Angiotensin II receptor blocker medication was introduced in 1996 to effectively treat the condition, with the brand names Diovan and Cozaar. You or a loved one may have been prescribed Valsartan or Losartan, generic versions of these drugs. Drugs in the same class as Valsartan and Losartan include:
- Amlodipine/Valsartan combinations
What should you do?
- Valsartan products from 12 different pharmaceutical companies are affected in these recalls of potentially dangerous drugs.
- If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure;
- Have taken generic Valsartan or Losartan drugs since 2012;
- Have developed one or more of the following cancers or liver disease after taking Valsartan or Losartan: liver cancer, stomach cancer, rectal cancer, intestinal cancer, or pancreatic cancer;
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