We have bad news for anyone taking blood pressure medication: that nationwide voluntary recall of these medicines has expanded once again.
The latest recall is related to the ongoing problems with tainted blood pressure tablets that could increase a patient’s cancer risk.
A number of different blood pressure medications, all containing the ingredient valsartan and produced by the Chinese drug manufacturer Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals, were discovered to contain the chemical byproducts NDMA or NDEA.
NDEA and NDMA are both known to increase the risk of cancer in animals, and believed to do the same for humans.
Drugs produced by Zhejiang Huahai have already been recalled in more than 20 countries.
While not all drugs containing valsartan were recalled, all of the drugs included in the recall do contain valsartan.
The FDA has already barred all drugs made by Zhejiang Huahai from entering the country since September, but patients may still have these tablets in their medicine cabinets, so any patient on blood pressure medication should double check.
Losartan potassium hydrochlorothiazide 100 milligram/25 milligram tablets produced by Sandoz with the lot number JB8912 are the latest drugs to be recalled by their manufacturer.
If your blood pressure medication bottle does not include the name of the manufacturer, contact your pharmacist to learn more.
You should also consult your doctor before stopping to take or changing your medications. The FDA actually recommends that patients affected by the recall continue to take the tainted valsartan tablets until they have a safe replacement.
Because the recalled drugs make up less than 1% of the total losartan drug market in the U.S., if your medication was affected your doctor will probably only recommend switching to the same medicine from a different company.
But other patients might experience a dangerous reaction to the tainted tablets.
If you experience a reaction to your medication, you can report it using the FDA’s Medwatch form on their website.