Monday, 18 February, 2019

Blood pressure drug recalled on cancer fears

Health Canada A sign is displayed in front of Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa on Jan. 3 2014
Gustavo Carr | 13 July, 2018, 14:58

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. One-hundred-and-four drugs were cleared of the measure Monday while the remaining 115 carcinogen-containing pills remain off the market, following component analyses.

Several drugs used to treat high blood pressure and help prevent heart attacks and strokes have been recalled by Health Canada.

The decision was given following the previous announcements of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Health Canada and other medical management authorities on the withdrawal of Valsartan-containing medicines produced by the mentioned company.

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The Mohap explained that other medicines containing Valsartan manufactured using the same active ingredient from other sources are safe to use. "Patients should contact their pharmacist (s) to see if the drugs they're taking are indeed the affected, recalled valsartan products". The agency said it would evaluate the severity of the problem and the effects that the possible carcinogen might have on patients who are now taking drugs containing Valsartan. Of 484,682 kilograms of Valsartan imported over the last three years, only 13,770 kilograms, or 2.8 percent contain ingredients from China.

Health Canada describes NDMA as "a potential human carcinogen, which means that it could cause cancer with long-term exposure". It initiated on-site investigations of 82 companies to check whether the drugs contain NDMA. He said the government needs to devise a system to alert patients if unforeseen problems arise concerning their medicine.

Health Canada indicated it is monitoring the companies' recalls and suggests people taking medicine with valsartan should keep doing so unless their doctor or pharmacist tells them to stop.