On July 13, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled certain medications containing valsartan, a common ingredient used in drugs to treat high blood pressure and help prevent heart failure. The FDA issued an update in August 2018 expanding their recall to include additional medications made with valsartan.
The FDA’s voluntary recall was prompted by lab tests that showed certain medications contained the impurity N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), an organic chemical known to cause cancer.
NDMA is used in the making of liquid rocket fuel and is a byproduct of manufacturing pesticides. However, NDMA can also be created unintentionally through “certain chemical reactions.”
Health Problems Linked to NDMA Exposure
Symptoms of NDMA exposure include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Enlarged liver
- Reduced function of the liver, kidney or lungs
Prolonged exposure to NDMA can lead to significant damage or cancer of the liver, kidneys and lungs.
Check Your Medication Against The Recall List
If you are currently taking a valsartan-based medication, or if you think that your medication may contain valsartan, check your prescription drug bottle for the ingredients and the name of the drug manufacturer. If your prescription label does not have the drug manufacturer, you should call your pharmacist or prescribing doctor immediately to get that information and check if FDA placed that manufacturer on their updated recall list.
It is important that you do not stop using your medicine, as a sudden change in your prescription routine could be risky. The FDA advises patients to continue taking their medicine until a doctor can provide a safer alternative or a different treatment option, if necessary. Please note that only medications with the impurity, NDMA, are on the recall list.
Take Legal Action
If you or a loved one took medication containing valsartan and are experiencing the symptoms above – or you or a loved one were diagnosed with liver, kidney, or lung cancer – you may be entitled to compensation. Your time to file a claim may be limited, so contact Sokolove Law today for a free legal consultation.