Hello? Is there an echo in here?
That’s the only thing that could possibly explain why we’re here, yet again, telling you about another Losartan blood pressure medication recall. Yes, that’s right — the same medication recalled multiple times last year is now being recalled again, this time under the brand name Camber Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
At United Voice, we believe you have the right to be informed about your medications, especially when they may be tainted with impurities.
You NEED this information to stay safe.
- Camber recalled a total of 87 lots of losartan tablets; you can see a full list of the included lot numbers here. All lots tested and included showed evidence of trace amounts of a carcinogenic chemical, N-Nitroso-N-methyl-4-aminobutyric acid (NMBA).
- Researchers know NMBA causes cancer in animals; however, there is no proof (yet) that it causes cancer in humans. Still, the FDA does list it as a possibly carcinogen, meaning the risk is real.
- All of the tablets were produced at a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant called Hetero Labs Ltd. in India. Camber then distributed them to several countries around the world, including the United States.
- Camber is denying any reports of adverse events from the medications, but this could be a bit of a red herring. The nature of most carcinogens is that they cause cancer very slowly, over time, meaning that patients could be left wondering about their status if they develop it years down the road.
- Last year, a long list of blood pressure medications were recalled for similar reasons, including Losartan. At the time, they were shown to contain N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA and N-nitrosodiethylamine or NDEA. Both of these chemicals are very close in structure and effect to the now-identified NMBA; they are effectively chemical cousins.
- Furthermore, the FDA is reporting that it is “deeply concerned” about its findings this time around. “It’s important to underscore that, based on the FDA’s initial evaluation, the increased risk of cancer to patients with NMBA exposure appears to be the same for NDMA exposure but less than the risk from NDEA exposure,” they said. “That said, any presence of such impurities in drug products is not acceptable.”
- “Over the past few months, the FDA has conducted a major investigation and has worked with drug companies to address the presence of impurities in these products,” Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said. “Because of the potential for discovering other nitrosamine impurities, we are conducting an extensive organic chemistry analysis to develop novel testing methods to detect additional nitrosamine impurities, including NMBA.”
- What if your drug is included in the recall? Your first step should be to reach out to your pharmacy or your doctor, if they haven’t been in contact already. Do not stop taking your medication without your doctor’s advice, even if your lot is included. Coming off of blood pressure medications “cold turkey” can be dangerous, and your physician or pharmacist can help you through dealing with this recall without putting your health at risk.