Common heart drug recalled due to contamination with possible carcinogen

Common heart drug recalled due to contamination with possible carcinogen

Common heart drug recalled due to contamination with possible carcinogen

Several heart and high blood pressure drugs that contain valsartan are being recalled because of a substance that can cause cancer.

The medicines affected were manufactured by Chinese company Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical.

The recall was triggered after traces of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) were found in the valsartan used in the affected products.

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According to Health Canada recommendations, patients that take that drug should talk with their pharmacists to know if their medicine was recalled.

NDMA is a potential carcinogen that could cause cancer with long-term exposure.

The agency also said that everyone that takes medication which contains valsartan should continue taking it unless their doctor or pharmacist tells them to stop.

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You may be given a different valsartan medicine (or an alternative treatment) when you go for your next prescription. Pharmacies are therefore instructed to remove the affected medications from their stock and quarantine them. For example, Swiss company Novartis informed the ministry that their products containing valsartan are not impacted because these products do not contain the ingredient from external suppliers.

EMA and United Kingdom regulators are working together to investigate the extent of the issues and any possible impact for patients.

Valsartan is used to treat hypertension and can prevent cardiovascular complications associated with the condition.

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In the United Kingdom, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is working with pharmacies to recall the affected medicines but have also stated the importance of patients continuing their treatment but to seek advice from a healthcare professional immediately.

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