The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expanding a recall of drug products containing the ingredient valsartan, which is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.
The FDA first issued a voluntary recall in July after results from laboratory tests revealed that some drugs may have been tainted with the substance N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA, which could cause cancer.
The Environmental Protection Agency considers NDMA a possible carcinogen. It's used to make liquid rocket fuel, but can be unintentionally introduced through chemical reactions.
Health officials believe the presence of the substance may be linked to the way it was manufactured.
The drugs included in the expanded recall list are tablets sold by AvKare, A-S Medication Solutions LLC, Bryant Ranch Prepack Inc, H J Harkins Company, Northwind Pharmaceuticals, Prinston Pharmaceutical Inc. (labeled as Solco Healthcare LLC), Proficient Rx LP, Remedy Repack, Teva Pharmaceuticals (labeled as Major Pharmaceuticals), Teva Pharmaceuticals USA (labeled as Actavis).
Not all of the products containing valsartan are included in the recall. The FDA advises that if you're taking a valsartan drug, you should check the company name on the prescription bottle.
If you can't find the information on the bottle, call your pharmacy.
The FDA says the recalled medicine is linked to Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals, a manufacturer in eastern China.
If you take a drug that has been recalled, the agency suggests that you continue to take it until your doctor prescribes a replacement since the medicines are used to treat serious medical conditions.
FDA expands blood pressure drug recall due to cancer concerns