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What to Do If Your Losartan Medication is Recalled

Jason Reese

Additional Blood Pressure Medication Losartan Recalled Over Cancer Risks

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has again announced a third blood pressure medication recall over concerns the drug Losartan may be contaminated with impurity N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA). NDEA may increase cancer risks or cause health issues as the organic chemical is classified as a probable human carcinogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, reports NDEA is used to make liquid rocket fuel and is a byproduct of fish processing as well as manufacturing certain pesticides.

As of November 8, 2018, drug manufacturer Sandoz Inc. started the voluntarily recall of Losartan potassium hydrochlorothiazide tablets after further FDA testing.

Losartan pills affected by the recall include 100 milligram/25 milligram tablets from the lot number JB8912 and are sometimes sold under the brand name Hyzaar. The tainted medication was distributed after October 8th but patients who are currently taking this medication should speak with their prescribing doctor for further guidance before stopping use. If stopped, it is believed the risk of going off of the medication could be greater than the possible cancer risk.

The FDA has been busy recalling blood pressure medications like Losartan for similar risks, including Irbesartan and Valsartan. NDEA contamination is also a concern for Irbesartan users and N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is a known impurity in some batches of Valsartan. These medications are widely-prescribed in the United States and around the world for the treatment of high blood pressure and heart failure. Studies have specifically shown the contaminated medications may induce:

  • liver cancer
  • gastric cancer
  • colorectal cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • bladder cancer
  • pancreatic cancer

It is believed the contaminants could cause other adverse health effects, such as long-term liver damage. Per the EPA, potential symptoms of overexposure to these chemicals may include headache, fever, nausea, jaundice, vomiting, abdominal cramps, enlarged liver, or dizziness. Overexposure can lead to reduced function of the liver, kidney, and lungs, or damage to these organs. Animal studies found that NDMA caused cancerous tumors of the liver, respiratory tract, kidney, and blood vessels.

What To Do If Your Medication Was Recalled?

Contact your pharmacist or prescribing physician, if you have concerns that your medication/s may have been part of the recall. We recommend asking whether any of your medications prescribed since 2012 could have been part of the recall, as it is possible that recall notices may be sent only regarding current prescriptions. Do not stop taking recalled medication without first contacting your prescribing physician. Alternative medicines exist. Be sure to keep any prescription bottles and recall notices. Contact your primary care physician for appropriate testing if you are concerned that recalled blood pressure and heart failure medications like Valsartan, Irbesartan, or Losartan may have affected your health.

Have You Been Seriously Injured by a Defective or Dangerous Medicine?

Defective medication or health product cases are complex and often leave consumers in a vulnerable place. Whether your medicine-related injuries were caused by defectively designed or manufactured drugs, by hidden side-effects, or by inadequate warnings by drug sales representatives or medical professionals, we offer a free, no-obligation consultation to help you. If you were taking any of the contaminated medications, and have experienced liver damage, tumor, cancer or other alarming health issues, contact our office for a free consultation.

Our experienced defective drug and device attorneys at Wagner Reese, LLP can provide you with the legal support and advice you need so that you can focus on your own health and healing. Simply give us a call today at (888) 204-8440 to schedule a free consultation or speak with us by submitting our online form and our attorneys will review your information regarding your recalled medication concerns.

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