Do you take medication to reduce high blood pressure or treat heart failure?
If so, you’ll want to grab your pills and check where they’re from, because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a recall of select batches of pills with the active ingredient valsartan due to an ingredient that may cause cancer.
Three companies have had their medications recalled as a result of contamination with an ingredient known as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).
This defect is a serious one, as multiple studies conducted on animals involved NDMA has suggested that the component is capable of causing cancer in the respiratory system, liver, and kidneys.
Although no studies on NDMA’s possible effects on humans have been done thus far, this is still a cause for concern.
The companies involved as of right now are Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Inc., Solco Healthcare, and Major Pharmaceuticals, with the latter of the three also stating that their pills have been distributed to a wide variety of retail and wholesale facilities as well as pharmacies and hospitals nationwide.
While not all valsartan products are affected by this recall, these specific companies’ products have been stated to not meet the FDA’s safety standards according to the director of the association’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Janet Woodcock.
As such, all companies involved were requested to immediately recall the defective items.
The companies affected by the recall were supplied valsartan from Zhejiang Huahei Pharmaceuticals, and this supplier’s products have also led to recalls in 22 other countries.
This supplier has had all medications and drugs sold reviewed thoroughly by the European Medicines Agency at the beginning of 2018.
If your medication bottle does not clearly state the manufacturing company’s name, please contact your pharmacy for further details.
If you happen to have pills that are affected by the recall, don’t fret.
Contact your pharmacist or your doctor to discuss alternative treatment medications and head onto the website of the drug manufacturers for instructions on how to get refunds or what to do next.
Some manufacturers may have directly sent you an email about what to do, as well.
In the meantime, the FDA actually recommends that you continue to use the affected medications until you are able to get a safe replacement for them, though you should work to get a replacement as soon as possible.
This is because there have been no reports of bad responses to the affected medications as of yet, and it’s not yet known whether NDMA even has an effect on humans.
Still, if you believe you are experiencing negative effects from taking one of the affected drugs, alert FDA through their MedWatch program.
Remember to be aware of the medications you’re taking and to check the FDA website regularly for updates and future recalls.
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