Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Health Canada recalls heart drug due to contamination with possible carcinogen

Anna Jefferson | 12 July, 2018, 07:40

Several heart and high blood pressure drugs that contain valsartan are being recalled because of a substance that can cause cancer. The offending impurity is N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which has been listed as a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Health Canada said it is monitoring the product recalls, and advises anyone using an affected product to contact their health-care practitioner as soon as possible to discuss treatment options.

Swiss multinational pharmaceutical compaany Novartis informed the ministry that their products containing Valsartan - Diovan, Co-Diovan Entresto and Exforge - are not impacted because these products do not contain the active ingredient from an external supplier.

Patients are also advised to speak with a pharmacist who can check if the specific drug someone is taking with the ingredient is being recalled.

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Valsartan should continue to be taken unless users have alternative medicine available, the Public Health Superintendence said today.

The announcement follows news last week that the European Medicines Agency launched a recall and review of valsartan-containing drugs.

Drugs containing valsartan are used to treat high blood pressure and help prevent heart attacks and stroke.

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