Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Medical | By

Blood pressure drugs end up on ban list

Blood pressure drugs end up on ban list

On an online forum of hypertension patients, there were hundreds of questions asking whether it was safe to take drugs for high blood pressure. One-hundred-and-four drugs were cleared of the measure Monday while the remaining 115 carcinogen-containing pills remain off the market, following component analyses.

Valsartan molecule structure. Drugs containing valsartan are used to treat patients with high blood pressure to help prevent heart attacks and stroke.

The recall and review were sparked after Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals - the company that supplies the active ingredient for some valsartan medicines - detected an impurity, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), in their product.

The recall was first issued on July 9th by the federal agency.

You should not stop taking your valsartan medicine unless you have been told to do so by your doctor or pharmacist. "Patients should contact their pharmacist (s) to see if the drugs they're taking are indeed the affected, recalled valsartan products".


Pharmacies in 22 countries including Germany, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, France, Poland, Croatia, Lithuania, Greece, Canada, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bahrain and Malta have been warned and asked to recall products containing Valsartan as a precaution. Of 484,682 kilograms of Valsartan imported over the last three years, only 13,770 kilograms, or 2.8 percent contain ingredients from China.

A substance in valsartan than is found in some heart and high blood pressure drugs has been linked to cancer. It initiated on-site investigations of 82 companies to check whether the drugs contain NDMA.

While the review is underway, national authorities across the European Union are recalling medicines containing valsartan supplied by Zhejiang Huahai.

Oh Beom-jo, a professor of family medicine at Dongguk University Medical Center, said, "Patients will be confused about whether their drugs are problematic or not".

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