Health Canada recalls heart drug due to contamination with possible carcinogen

Health Canada recalls heart drug due to contamination with possible carcinogen

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) has ordered the recall of some antihypertensive medicines containing the active substance valsartan that is supplied by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals, a company in Linhai, China.

The medications contain the ingredient "valsartan" which was found in some products to have an impurity called N-Nitrosodimethylamine, a potential human carcinogen that could cause cancer with long-term exposure.

Simultaneously, the administration also suspended the use of Valsartan in producing medicines and is conducting research on the use and impact of Valsartan to ensure patients' safety and follow the procedures for changing drug registration dossiers as regulated.

"Patients should not stop taking their medicine if it contains valsartan unless they've been specifically instructed to do so by their prescriber or pharmacist".

Health Canada announced Tuesday a major recall of drugs used for high blood pressure and heart failure because they may be contaminated with a probable human carcinogen.

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Valsartan is used to treat hypertension and can prevent cardiovascular complications associated with the condition.

"We continue to undertake an urgent review of all these products that may pose a low risk to public health".

Health Canada said it is monitoring the product recalls, and advises anyone using an affected product to contact their health-care practitioner as soon as possible to discuss treatment options.

"An investigation into other potentially impacted products is now being undertaken and further updates will be provided as the investigation progresses", the MHRA said.

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