Just last month the FDA issued a voluntary recall for several types of valsartan tablets, a drug used to treat high blood pressure. Since then they have expanded the recall twice due to concerns that the medications may contain the chemical N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) which has been linked with cancer in humans.
Some of the originally recalled medications were manufactured in China by a company called Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals in Linhai. Since then, the additional recalls have included more valsartan from additional drug manufacturers as well as some valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) pills, a combination that was not included in the original recall.
The recall goes further than the United States, with health officials in Canada and Europe also having recalled the medication produced by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals.
The recalled valsartan tablets range from 40 to 320 mg doses. They are produced by A-S Medication Solutions (labeled as Solco Healthcare), Prinston Pharmaceutical Inc. (also labeled as Solco Healthcare), Bryant Ranch, HJ Harkins Company, Northwind Pharmaceuticals, and Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. with some labeled as Actavis and some as Major Pharmaceuticals.
The recalled valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide tablets range from 80/12.5 mg to 320/25 mg. They come from the following companies:
- AvKARE, A-S Medication Solutions
- Northwind Pharmaceuticals
- Prinston Pharmaceutical (labeled as Solco Healthcare)
- Proficient Rx
- Remedy Repack
- Teva Pharmaceuticals (with some labeled as ACtavis)
Not every type of valsartan contains the worrisome NDMA. To find a list of the brands that are not being recalled, you can visit the FDA not-recalled list. They also have a complete list of all of the brands of the drug that are being recalled.
Continue taking any medication that you have until you have a replacement drug, even if the one you are taking is on the recall list. Reach out to your pharmacist or doctor to see if they can offer a version that is not affected. In many cases, your pharmacist will be able to change the brand for you. However, in some cases, your doctor may need to prescribe a different medication.
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