Major recall after chemical 'used in rocket fuel' is found in pills

Company expands recall for potassium tablets

"Patients taking the recalled valsartan-containing medicines should consult their doctor or pharmacist and continue taking their medicine until they have a replacement product", Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum of Mount Sinai in NY told CNN after a similar recall a year ago. "We typically use them to treat blood pressure, but they may also be used for heart failure and kidney protection".

This week Aurobindo Pharma USA announced a voluntary recall of 78 lots of valsartan tablets, and Torrent Pharmaceuticals expanded its voluntary recall of losartan potassium tablets to a total of 10 lots.

The FDA explains in its bulletin that the carcinogen discovered in the tablets is NDEA (N-nitrosodiethylamine), which can be a byproduct of industrial manufacturing and has been linked to cancer in the past. The agency stresses that not all valsartan and related products are under recall, only specific lots.

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The agency says patients should not stop taking the medication as that could lead to greater risk, but instead to talk to their doctor about other treatment options.

2018 ended in what had become the year's drug recall style, with an addition to the still-growing list of blood pressure drugs being recalled due to contamination concerns.

If you think you've experienced adverse reactions, you can report them at the FDA's MedWatch website.

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Losartan potassium tablets, USP were distributed nationwide to Torrent's wholesale distributor, repackager and retail customers.

See the full list of lots recalled below. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have any problems associated with taking the medication.

General questions about the return of the recalled blood pressure medications can be directed to Qualanex at 1-888-280-2040 from 8 a.m.to 9 p.m. EST. Forms can be completed and submitted online at www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm. Some tablets may contain a possible cancer-causing substance. Dr. Elizabeth Maziarka reads a blood pressure gauge during an examination of patient June Mendez at the Codman Square Health Center on April 11, 2006 in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

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