blood-pressure-medication-recall
John Roufaiel, MD, MS

John Roufaiel, MD, MS

Blood Pressure Medication Recall by the FDA | Learn More

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Blood pressure medication recall currently is causing a media frenzy. People are rushing online to see if there is a recall for their blood pressure medication. With 1 in 3 adults having hypertension (high blood pressure), everyone knows someone with hypertension. When you hear about a recall, it is very important to first know what organization is issuing the recall. In this case, it is the FDA that is issuing the recall of blood pressure medications.

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FDA Recalls Blood Pressure Medication

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recalls products weekly that can be found on their site. It is not only high blood pressure medication that they recall. In regards to the recent blood pressure medication recalls by the FDA, that started back in July of 2018. As the announcement states, it is a “recall of several drug products containing the active ingredient valsartan.” You may know Valsartan by its trade name, Diovan. Valsartan lowers blood pressure by blocking the action of a hormone called Angiotensin II. To learn more about how Angiotensin II works, sign up for a free membership.

Blood Pressure Medication Recall | Cancer Components

The blood pressure medication recall is due to chemicals in Valsartan causing cancer. Nitrosamines are the specific class of cancer-causing chemicals in Valsartan. In the July 2018 article, the nitrosamine mentioned is N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). “NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer) based on results from laboratory tests.” The FDA blood pressure medication recalls continue until the most recent update on March 22. In the April 9, 2019 video, Dr. Janet Woodcock of the FDA, adds that NDEA (N-Nitrosodiethylamine) is an additional carcinogen in the high blood pressure medications.

Is my blood pressure medication on recall?

Dr. Woodcock mentions that Valsartan, along with Losartan, and Irbesartan have been recalled. These high blood pressure medications belong to a family of drugs called ARBs (Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers). To learn more about how ARBs work, sign up for a free PhysioStasis membership. Each company makes their ARBs different. To know if there is a recall on your specific ARB product, make sure to check the FDA’s regularly updated recall list.

Questions about your high blood pressure medication?

Is Amlodipine blood pressure medication on recall?

No, not alone, because it belongs to a family of high blood pressure medications called calcium channel blockers, not ARBs. However, if your Amlodipine is coupled with an ARB (i.e. Valsartan), then it could be. Make sure to check with your physician. To learn more about calcium channel blockers, make sure to sign up for a free PhysioStasis membership.

Is Lisinopril blood pressure medication on recall?

No, not alone, because it belongs to a family of high blood pressure medications called ACE (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme) inhibitors, not ARBs. However, if your Lisinopril is coupled with an ARB (i.e. Valsartan), then it could be. Make sure to check with your physician. To learn more about ACE inhibitors, make sure to sign up for a free PhysioStasis membership.

Is Losartan blood pressure medication on recall?

Yes, however it depends on the manufacturer of the product. ARBs end in -sartan (i.e. Losartan). As of the date of this article, the most recent FDA recall of Losartan is on March 25, 2019. Make sure to check the FDA’s regularly updated recall list and speak with your physician.

Should I immediately stop taking my high blood pressure medication if it is on the recall list?

This question should be discussed with your physician. As Dr. Janet Woodcock of the FDA mentions, “Don’t stop taking your medicine! The risk of exposure to cancer is so much lower than your risk of a heart-related or other problems if you stop your medicine.  If you think your current medicine is subject to a recall, talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about finding a replacement. There are many other therapeutic options that can be prescribed.”

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