The FDA has extended it’s recall of the blood pressure drug Losartan for the fifth time after the manufacturer Torrent Pharmaceuticals found possible carcinogenic impurities in additional batches of the drug. The effected lots contained unacceptable levels of N-Nitroso-N-methyl-4-aminobutyric acid (NMBA), a “potential human carcinogen” according to the FDA.
This recall comes on the heels of similar recalls of other blood pressure medications, Valsartan, Losartan and Irbesartan. These were also found with trace levels of NMBA, along with other carcinogens N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA).
These medications contain angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) which work by relaxing the blood vessels which naturally lowers blood pressure. Not all ARBs have been recalled and patients should not discontinue medication without consulting your physician, as this could be harmful.
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The FDA did state the cancer risk for people who took these drugs is small, and the impurities are most likely caused by a change in the manufacturing factories in China and India.
There have also been more than 15 recalls of the generic versions of these medications, causing a shortage. FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb has recently approved the generic version, Diovan, in an effort to minimize the shortage of these important medications.
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