The ongoing saga of contaminated valsartan continues with another valsartan recall. In July, European drug regulators recalled Chinese-made valsartan because it was contaminated with a probable carcinogen, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). The FDA followed suit with its own recall.
Ripple Effect of the Initial Valsartan Recall:
Eventually more than a dozen companies had their valsartan removed from the marketplace because of carcinogens. The raw material for most of these products originated from the Zhejiang HuaHai Pharmaceutical company in Linhai, China.
Another US Valsartan Recall:
Now, a U.S. generic drug company, Mylan, is recalling many lots of its valsartan because they contain the potentially cancer-causing chemical, N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA). Some of the affected pills contain valsartan alone, while others are a combination of valsartan and a different blood pressure medicine. Both amlodipine and hydrochlorothiazide combos with valsartan are included in the recall. Here are the details on the specific lots that have been recalled. It is not clear where the active pharmaceutical ingredient for these pills was made. The European Union is also recalling Mylan’s valsartan made in Hyderabad, India.
Watch Out for Recalls on Other ARBs:
Valsartan is not the only medication to have been recalled in the past few months. Some lots of losartan and irbesartan were also found to have been contaminated and were voluntarily removed from the market. It is possible that manufacturers have not yet done the necessary trouble-shooting to produce medications that are reliably free from carcinogenic contamination.
If you discover that the pills in your medicine chest are affected by this latest valsartan recall, return them to the pharmacy for replacement. You should also check with your doctor about how to proceed.