Remember that Valsartan recall we told you about just a short time ago? As if the fact that the company potentially poisoned thousands of Americans wasn’t enough to get them to be responsible, the manufacturer has now expanded the warning to include other variants.
• A total of 14 new lots of Valsartan/Amlodipine/HCTZ tablets have been identified as containing N-nitrosodimethylamine, a “probable human carcinogen.” This item is only present in trace amounts, but these trace amounts may be enough to make someone sick over time.
• No deaths or injuries have been reported as a result of the chemical’s presence in the Valsartan. But that doesn’t mean that it is safe; much of the risk is attributed to chronic exposure – the exact kind of exposure you might receive on long-term blood pressure treatment.
• The FDA’s statement was clear about how to proceed if you believe you may be affected. “Patients should contact their pharmacist or physician who can advise them about an alternative treatment prior to returning their medication.”
• FDA representatives were also careful to advise patients to stay on their medication unless otherwise advised, even if they are taking a recalled prescription pill. “Patients who are on valsartan should continue taking their medication, as the risk of harm to the patient’s health may be higher if the treatment is stopped immediately without any alternative treatment.”
• This is sound advice; stopping blood pressure treatment suddenly can produce cardiac arrest, arrhythmias, or even heart attacks and strokes. If you’re affected, it is safer for you to remain on your medication until you can safely wean off and replace it with another pill – even with the presence of the carcinogenic chemical.
• If you believe you may be suffering a negative reaction from your Valsartan, seek medical advice immediately. Otherwise, contact Torrent Pharmaceuticals at 800-912-9561 or send an email to [email protected] for more assistance.
• The list of affected medications now contains nearly 100 lots across various brands, including Teva, Prinston, Solco, AvKARE. A-S Medication Solutions LLC, Bryant, and many more. To check whether your medication is affected, visit the the FDA’s disclosure document here. Note that the brand name is placed in the left column; lot numbers and affected expiry dates are in the far right column. Your medication must match all columns to be affected, meaning that your particular lot may not be involved.