The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned that several popular drugs used to treat high blood pressure may be contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals.
The agency found that the ingredient valsartan contains a chemical called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen. As a result, the FDA voluntarily recalled several drugs that contained the active ingredient valsartan. The agency made this announcement a week after 22 other countries conducted their respective recalls of valsartan.
The FDA took this action after considering the review from the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The EMA found that valsartan supplied by China-based Company Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals contained NDMA.
According to the FDA, “The presence of NDMA was unexpected and is thought to be related to changes in the way the active substance was manufactured.”
The FDA has not recalled all medications containing valsartan — only those contaminated with NDMA.
Here is a list of the medications that have been recalled by the FDA.
The FDA advised patients who are taking one of the recalled medicines to contact their healthcare providers.