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WARNING: High Blood Pressure Med Recall Expands Again

WARNING: High Blood Pressure Med Recall Expands Again
August 14
11:04 2018

High blood pressure (hypertension) affects about 75 million American adults, about 1 of every 3. Left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can drastically increase a person’s chance of having a heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and eye problems. Sadly, only about 54% of adults with high blood pressure have it under control.

There are many factors that contribute to high blood pressure, including smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, too much alcohol, eating foods high in sodium and low in potassium and AGE. Like it or not, for many of us, as we age, the greater tendency we have to develop high blood pressure.

What is high blood pressure? It’s a measure of the blood pressure in your arteries during a heartbeat and in between heartbeats. It is listed by two numbers (120/80) meaning that the pressure during a heartbeat is 120 (systolic) and the measure when the heart is resting and filling with blood is 80 (diastolic). Actually, 120/80 is normal. Anything over is considered pre-hypertension or hypertension. If your numbers are lower than 90/60, that’s low blood pressure and you may need some thing to help bring it up into the normal range.

The American College of Cardiology changed the definition of high blood pressure from 140/90 to 130/80 for older adults. Older people naturally have a higher systolic because our arteries tend to stiffen with age. For some older folks like me, (134/64), we have a high systolic but normal diastolic number. This is called isolated systolic hypertension and is often associated with aging and stiffening of the arteries, but it’s still best to see a doctor to make sure.

There are a variety of high blood pressure medications on the market and they all depend upon the severity of your high blood pressure and what you can afford. My doctor has me on Lisinopril 20mg once a day and hydrochlorothiazide 25mg (to eliminate excess water from the blood). With my systolic above 130, I expect her to increase my dosage of Lisinopril.

Another medication used to control high blood pressure is Valsartan. However, you need to be aware that over the past couple of weeks, both US and European health officials have been issuing recalls for Valsartan. The recall is now in effect in the US, Canada and over 20 European countries.

The reason for the recall is that the medication has been found to contain N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a substance that is a potential carcinogen. This substance has been detected in Valsartan that was made by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals of Linhai, China and a company in India. Earlier this week, the recall on Valsartan was expanded because the N-nitrosodimethylamine was detected in Valsartan made by Zhejiang Tianyu Pharmaceuticals of Taizhou, China.

If you take medication for your high blood pressure, take time to see what you are taking and if necessary, check with your doctor or some medical expert. If you have high blood pressure and are NOT taking any medication, you need to start because you are a ticking time bomb if you don’t.

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HLA Staff

HLA Staff

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