Health Canada urges consulting doctor after blood pressure drug recall

The recall is on medication containing valsartan which is used to treat high blood pressure.					Courtesy of Hope Litoff

The drugs, made with the active ingredient valsartan, were found to contain N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a chemical that's been classified as a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The decision was given following the previous announcements of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Health Canada and other medical management authorities on the withdrawal of Valsartan-containing medicines produced by the mentioned company.

This recall has been issued following indications of the presence of an undesirable impurity N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in the valsartan active ingredient, which is manufactured by a facility in China.

Health Canada says patients taking the drug should check with their pharmacists to learn if their medicine is being recalled.

Other medicines containing valsartan are not affected.

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As a result, valsartan medicines containing the active substance from Zhejiang Huahai are being recalled in the EU.

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

Valsartan is an angiotensin-II-receptor antagonist used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), recent heart attack and heart failure.

"It is vital that patients taking valsartan medication affected by this recall do not stop taking their medication abruptly and consult with their doctor or healthcare professional as soon as possible for alternative treatment", according to the Inspectorate of Health.

"We will communicate the outcome of our investigations and ensure that any other affected products are recalled".

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