More Blood Pressure Drugs Recalled Due to Potential Cancer Risk

By Steve Blanchard - December 04, 2018

Teva Pharmaceuticals has launched a voluntary recall into two drugs used to treat high blood pressure as yet more medications face concerns over a possible cancer risk.

In a statement from Teva posted by the Food and Drug Administration, the recall affects all lots of combination tablets featuring the drugs amlodipine and valsartan, and another combo drug featuring amlodipine, valsartan, and hydrochlorothiazide.

The cause for all of these blood pressure drug recalls is the same: contamination of an organic chemical, either N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) or N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), both of which are classified as a probable human carcinogen. Those findings are based on results from recent laboratory tests and it is important to understand that the drug itself isn’t dangerous. It is the impurities found in some specific manufacturers’ version of the drug that pose the risk.

Dr. Michael Fradley, MD, Cardiologist at Moffitt Cancer Center.

“This is another example of it not being the drug that causes cancer,” said Moffitt cardiologist Michael Fradley. “The drug itself is quite good and important.”

Patients taking either drug should contact their doctor or pharmacist for advice or alternative treatments. Stopping the drugs immediately with no comparable alternative could pose a greater risk to patients’ health.

In August, the FDA announced an expanded recall of valsartan because products may contain the impurity. Last month, two more recalls were announced: one for the drug irbesartan and a second recall for losartan potassium and hydrochlorothiazide tablets.

Other valsartan tablets (dosages 40 mg to 320 mg) the FDA has recalled include products from the following drug companies:

  • A-S Medication Solutions (labeled as Solco Healthcare)
  • Bryant Ranch Prepack
  • HJ Harkins Company
  • Northwind Pharmaceuticals
  • Prinston Pharmaceutical Inc. (labeled as Solco Healthcare)
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (some labeled as Actavis, some as Major Pharmaceuticals)

Recalled valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide tablets (dosages range from 80 mg/12.5 mg to 320 mg/25 mg) include products from these drug companies:

  • AvKARE
  • A-S Medication Solutions
  • Northwind Pharmaceuticals
  • Prinston Pharmaceutical (labeled as Solco Healthcare)
  • Proficient Rx
  • RemedyRepack
  • Teva Pharmaceuticals (some labeled as Actavis)

NOTE: Visit the FDA website for a full list of recalls including the lot numbers. 

For previous coverage of the recall, click here.

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