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13 July 2018, 09:54 | Melissa Porter
Valsartan a common heart disease drug is being recalled across Europe because it contains a chemical that has the potential to cause cancer
Valsartan, a drug widely used to control blood pressure is being recalled in several countries around the world because of its chemical ingredient possibly linking to cancer.
The valsartan was supplied by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals.
The alert comes after the watchdog issued a recall last week (July 6) for seven batches of valsartan-containing medicines made by Accord Healthcare and Dexcel Pharma Ltd, after an impurity was identified in their manufacturing process which "may have carcinogenic potential".
The announcement follows news last week that the European Medicines Agency launched a recall and review of valsartan-containing drugs. The report of withdrawal includes shipments, withdrawal quantity and other evidence of withdrawal at wholesalers, retailers and users who have purchased drugs according to the regulations of the Ministry of Health.
Valsartan is an angiotensin-II-receptor antagonist used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), recent heart attack and heart failure.
As a precautionary measure, the valsartan-containing medications are recalled on a pharmacy level. "The pharmacist can then figure out alternative medications that are unaffected by the recall".
Health Canada says that if you find out the drug you are taking contains the ingredient to continue taking it for now and to contact your health care practitioner as soon as possible to discuss your treatment options.
Mina Tadrous, (pharmacy faculty, University of Toronto), explained that valsartan is a common drug used by people with high blood pressure. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.
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