FDA expanding recall of blood pressure drug, citing cancer risk

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expanding a recall of prescription drugs used to treat high blood pressure, which contain the ingredient valsartan.

The FDA first issued a recall in July after laboratory tests revealed that some of the drugs may have been tainted with a substance called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which can cause cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency considers NDMA a possible carcinogen.

The substance is used to make liquid rocket fuel, but can be unintentionally introduced through chemical reactions.

The drugs included in the expanded recall list are tablets sold by AvKare, A-S Medication Solutions LLC, Bryant Ranch Prepack Inc, H J Harkins Company, Northwind Pharmaceuticals, Prinston Pharmaceutical Inc. (labeled as Solco Healthcare LLC), Proficient Rx LP, Remedy Repack, Teva Pharmaceuticals (labeled as Major Pharmaceuticals), Teva Pharmaceuticals USA (labeled as Actavis).

Not all of the products containing valsartan are included in the recall. The FDA advises that if you’re taking a valsartan drug, you should check the company name on the prescription bottle.

If you can’t find the information on the bottle, call your pharmacy.

The FDA says the recalled medicine is linked to Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals, a manufacturer in eastern China.

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