Recall of popular heart drug valsartan continues to expand


The US Food and Drug Administration has again expanded the list of recalled medications that contain Valsartan. 

Valsartan is used as a component in some drugs used to treat heart failure and blood pressure.

The expanded list was posted Monday.

The FDA announced an initial recall in July after lab tests revealed that some drugs could have been tainted with a substance (NDMA) that may lead to a higher risk of cancer. The drug had been recalled in 22 other countries.

Not all drugs containing valsartan are affected.

Lab test found N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA–which can be unintentionally introduced into manufacturing through certain chemical reactions. NDMA  is the impurity found in the lab tests and is considered a possible carcinogen by the US Environmental Protection Agency. According to a report by CNN, it’s an organic chemical used to make liquid rocket fuel and a byproduct from manufacturing some pesticides and processing fish.

If you are taking a Valsartan drug, look for the company name on the prescription bottle. If the information isn’t on the label, contact your pharmacy.

The FDA also suggests taking the drug you have until your doctor or pharmacist provides a replacement.

The recalled medicine is linked to a manufacturer in China. 

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