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More Blood Pressure Med Recalls & What You Can Do

More Blood Pressure Med Recalls & What You Can Do
December 04
16:02 2018

The older we get, more of us end up with high blood pressure and find ourselves having to change our diets, get more active and take medications to help control your blood pressure.

Earlier this year, a recall was issued for a popular blood pressure medication known as valsartan and any medications containing valsartan.

One of the recalls was a voluntary recall of valsartan and valsartan hydrochlorothiazide tablets manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals:

“Teva Pharmaceuticals USA today confirmed a voluntary recall to the consumer / user level of 29 lots of single and 51 lots of combination valsartan medicines distributed under the Actavis label in the U.S. due to the detection of trace amounts of an unexpected impurity found in an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufactured by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical. The impurity detected in the API is N- nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is a substance that occurs naturally in certain foods, drinking water, air pollution,  and industrial processes, and has been classified as a probable human carcinogen as per International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classification.”

This past week, the Food and Drug Administration issued another recall involving Teva Administration for medications containing valsartan. The new recall involves amlodipine/valsartan pills and amlodipine/valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide pills.

This new recall involves the presence of NDEA found in the pills produced by Teva Pharmaceuticals. According to the FDA, NDEA is a compound used as a stabilizer in the production of gasoline and other fuels. NDEA is also considered to be a probable human carcinogen.

“The recalled drugs are part a large class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers. ARBs work by widening or relaxing blood vessels, thus lowering a person’s blood pressure.”

If you are concerned that you or someone you know is taking medication for high blood pressure, you can view a complete list of the recalls HERE.

So, what do you do if find out that you are taking one of the recalled medications to help control your high pressure?

The FDA advises people taking the recalled medications to continue taking them until they have a chance to talk to their doctor or pharmacist about an alternative medication.

According to one report, there are other options:

“ARBs and another class of blood-pressure drugs called angiotensin converting-enzyme inhibitors, or ACE inhibitors, are often the first drugs doctors recommend to lower a patient’s blood pressure, according to Dr. Robert M. Carey, dean emeritus at the University of Virginia College of Medicine.”

“‘These are recommended as first line therapy for high blood pressure,’ said Carey, who co-chaired the clinical practice committee of the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. ‘So when you get recalls, you do start to worry about what the alternatives would be’.”

“While a small number of ARBs have been recalled, Carey said, doctors and patients still have plenty of options. Patients are often prescribed an ACE inhibitor in lieu of an ARB. ACE inhibitors have not been affected by the recalls. Furthermore, several versions of ARB drugs also have not been recalled.”

“Carey said a small number of patients who take ACE inhibitors might develop a cough. Doctors often switch those patients to an ARB, or other drugs such as a diuretic or calcium-channel blocker.”

“‘There are multiple agents in both of these classes that can serves as alternatives while the recall issue is being worked out,’ Carey said.”

The bottom line is for you compare your blood pressure medications with those on the FDA list and if necessary, talk to your doctor or pharmacist for the best alternative for you.

 

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HLA Staff

HLA Staff

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