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By Shamard Charles,
The Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday it will extend the recall of blood pressure medicines to four losartan quantities after it has been found to contain a cancer-causing chemical.
This is the fifth call back in 201
According to the FDA, Legacy Pharmaceutical Packaging recalled four batches of losartan because the batch contained trace amounts of nitrosamine. which is associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. In January, several generic valsartan products sold in the US were contaminated with NDMA, another nitrosamine chemical associated with an increased risk of colon and uterine cancer.
"We know that the discovery of these genotoxic contaminants, called nitrosamines, is alarming for patients who expect their products to be free of these contaminants," Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "While our risk assessments have concluded that the maximum possible nitrosamine exposure to ARB drugs appears low, their presence in medications is unacceptable."
The drug company has received no reports of adverse reactions to this recall and believes that the cancer risk of contaminated pills is low.
The latest recall came after Torrent Pharmaceuticals had expanded its recall campaign for losartan potassium and losartan potassium / hydrochlorothiazide tablets last week after traces of N-methylnitrosobutyrics had been found in acid, another pollutant associated with cancer in Connection stands.
The FDA advises patients who continue to take these medicines, even if they have been recalled, to take them with them, however, they should immediately talk to their doctor or pharmacist about an alternative medication treatment
The FDA says that Losartan is not in short supply, but there are other antihypertensive drugs available, and further callbacks may soon lead to bottlenecks.
"Valsartan, Olmesartan and Eprosartan products are currently lacking, and we know that other types of products have the potential to be short-lived soon," said FDA spokesman NBC News.
"It's important to know that not all ARB products contain contaminants, so pharmacists may be able to top-up medicines from non-recalled batches, or doctors prescribe other medicines other than the same," he added
The FDA has been proactive in helping manufacturers ensure the safety of their products by encouraging manufacturers to be vigilant in evaluating the supplies used to manufacture common medicines that they are nitrosamine-free
The agency sent a letter to manufacturers on April 4 to inform them of factors that may contribute to the formation of nitrosamine contaminants during manufacturing Repeated steps they should take to ensure that these contaminants in any of their blood pressure medicines in the future.
An FDA spokeswoman told NBC News that the agency could not predict how long the recalls would go on.
Losartan is a prescription drug used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.
In 2016, nearly 60 million prescriptions were prescribed for losartan – the ninth most prescribed drug in the US – and nearly 14 million for valsartan or a drug containing it. This year, another 3.6 million prescriptions were written for Irbesartan.
The alarming number of recalls has caught the attention of the federal government. In February, the House Energy and Trade Committee contacted former Commissioner FDA, Scott Gottlieb, who was investigating overseas drug packaging facilities. Recently, at least a dozen cardiovascular drugs have been recalled, including amlopidine, irbesartan and valsartan.