There has been a series of recalls involving several well-known high blood pressure medications. Some of these medications, offered by different manufacturers, include Losartan, Valsartan, and Irbesartan.
A massive recall came from Aurobindo Pharma USA who voluntarily recalled over 80 lots of their popular high blood pressure medications including the following:
- Valsartan HCTZ Tablets
- Amlodipine Valsartan Tablets USP
- Valsartan Tablets USP
Nearly 80 million high blood pressure prescriptions have been written since 2016. Beyond that, many people who have come to rely on these medications are now left scrambling to find alternatives.
Valsartan Recalled & Other Blood Pressure Drugs Recalled
Recalls for blood pressure medications such as Valsartan began in October 2018 and the most recent recall involving Valsartan was early January 2019. It wasn’t until 22 other countries issued recalls involving 2,300 batches of Valsartan that the FDA took action. These countries include Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and more. There has been a steady stream of blood pressure medication recalls from the FDA since October 2018 as more findings of carcinogens within these drugs surface. Numerous Valsartan lawsuits are currently being filed against pharmaceutical companies by patients seeking compensation for the injuries caused by the drug. The medications recalled since October 2018 were sold by the following companies:
- Teva Pharmaceuticals labeled as Major Pharmaceuticals
- Teva Pharmaceuticals USA labeled as Actavis
- Prinston Pharmaceutical Inc. labeled as Solco Healthcare LLC
- Hetero Labs, Inc. labeled as Camber Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc.
- AvKARE (Teva/Actavis)
- AvKARE (Hetero/Camber)
- RemedyRepack, Inc. (Prinston/Solco)
- RemedyRepack, Inc. (Torrent)
- RemedyRepack, Inc. (Hetero/Camber)
- Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited
- Preferred Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Hetero/Camber)
- NuCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Prinston/Solco)
- Northwind Pharmaceuticals (Teva/Actavis)
- H J Harkins Company Inc. dba Pharma Pac (Prinston/Solco)
- Bryant Ranch Prepack Inc. (Teva/Actavis)
- A-S Medication Solutions LLC (Teva/Actavis & Prinston/Solco)
In addition to the recall of medications by top drug manufacturers, the FDA issued a voluntary recall on Losartan potassium tablets, a medication that not only lowers high blood pressure but also reduces the risk of stroke. Losartan potassium/hydrochlorothiazide was recalled on November 13, 2018, namely the 100 mg/25 mg strength (Lot JB8912/expiration date of 06/2020). Recently, the FDA issued a recall on an additional ten lots of the commonly prescribed losartan potassium tablets and six lots of the equally popular losartan potassium/hydrochlorothiazide tablets.
Why Was Valsartan Recalled?
Valsartan and other blood pressure drugs named in these recalls all link to cancer, which is a result of contamination with one of two chemical compounds, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) or N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA). Several reports have traced the contaminated medications to manufacturing facilities in India and China. As a result, more people have begun to question why prescription medications sold in the United States are being produced outside of the country.
Blood Pressure Medication Linked To Cancer
Those who have taken any the recalled blood pressure medication are concerned about being diagnosed with cancer. To help quell these concerns, the FDA states that only 8,000 batches of 320mg valsartan were dispensed to consumers. Of those 8,000 batches, there was only one documented diagnosis of cancer. Similar findings were reveals among of high blood pressure medications. However, with this Valsartan cancer risk, it is still important to stay abreast of any new information that may be released concerning these medications and to carefully monitor any changes in one’s health.
Are Alternative Medications Available?
The FDA is advising those who have remaining medication to continue taking them as prescribed as the risk of being diagnosed with cancer is minimal. As far as alternative medications are concerned, there are only a handful of high blood pressure medications that have not been recalled. That being said, the price of these medications has increased substantially as a result of increased demand. Those who have an aversion toward continuing with their current medications may want to consult with their doctor and look into other viable options for lowering their blood pressure.