More blood pressure medication recalled for cancer risk

FDA recalls another blood pressure medication over concerns of cancer-causing ingredients

The full list can be seen here on the company's recall announcement on Thursday afternoon. Its announcement is an expansion to a recall that the company first initiated in December 2018 on 80 lots. Distributed nationwide online and by pharmacies and retailers including Walmart and Sam's Club, the drug was found to contain trace amounts of a potential human carcinogen, the New Jersey drug company said in a news release.

The toxin, N-Nitroso-N-methyl-4-aminobutyric acid (NMBA), identified in 87 lots of Hetero's losartan potassium pills, was not found in medicines that were previously recalled by a number of drugmakers.

He added: "Our ongoing effort has determined that the impurities may be generated by specific chemical reactions in the manufacturing process of the drug's active pharmaceutical ingredients".

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last week the latest in an already widespread recall of common blood pressure and heart failure medications.

The previous recalls of Losarta, Valsartan or Irbesartan involved too much N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) or N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).

In January, the FDA warned of the possibility of additional shortages of hypertension drugs in the United States due to the recalls. FDA scientists have developed novel and sophisticated testing methods specifically created to detect and measure N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) impurities in ARB medicines.

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Gottlieb said the agency is "deeply concerned about the presence of a third nitrosamine impurity" in hypertension drugs and is working on "novel and sophisticated testing methods" to detect these impurities. Friday, the FDA said it estimated the same for NMBA.

Friday's update from the FDA also included the reminder "patients taking an ARB medication from a recalled lot (should) continue taking their medicine until their doctor or pharmacist provides a replacement or a different treatment option". Other companies to announce recalls include Maylan, Aurobindo Pharma and Torrent Pharmaceuticals, which also listed Hetero Labs as the source of the contamination in its recall.

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