Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Health Canada recalls heart drug due to contamination with possible carcinogen

Several medications containing valsartan are being recalled due to fears of contamination Valsartan should continue to be taken unless alternative medicine available
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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