The Food and Drug Administration has expanded the recall of a common blood pressure medication over the concern that the drugs may contain a cancer-causing substance.
Valsartan, according to the FDA, is used as a component in drugs used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. The first recall was made on July 13 by the FDA after tests revealed the drugs could contain the cancer-causing substance called N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). The expanded recall includes Valsartan Tablets distributed by the following pharmaceuticals: AvKare, A-S Medication Solutions LLC, Bryant Ranch Prepack Inc, Camber Pharmaceuticals, Inc. H J Harkins Company, Northwind Pharmaceuticals, NuCare Pharmaceuticals Inc., Prinston Pharmaceutical Inc. (labeled as Solco Healthcare LLC), Proficient Rx LP, Remedy Repack, Teva Pharmaceuticals (labeled as Major Pharmaceuticals), Teva Pharmaceuticals USA (labeled as Actavis).
Not all medications containing valsartan are involved in the recall, but several have been recalled over the last few weeks. For a list of those recalled medicines, click here.
N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was formerly used in the production of rocket fuel, antioxidants and softeners for copolymers. It is currently used only for the purpose of research.
Tablets of Valsartan were distributed nationwide to wholesalers, distributors, hospitals and retail and mail-order pharmacies, according to the FDA.
Consumers are urged to contact their doctor for guidance and change of prescription if they are currently taking valsartan tablets or if they experience any problems that may have come from taking the drug. Any questions can be made to Qualanex, LLC at 1-800-505-9291.
All adverse reactions should be reported to the FDA. According to ABC News, the drugs were manufactured by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals in Linhai, China.
For more information on the expanded recall, click here.