In the past few months, there has been a recall for blood pressure treatment medications, on the suspicion of potential cancer-causing impurities. According to the US Public Interest Research Group1 Blood pressure medication recalled for 75th time in 8 months – US Public Interest Research Group , the recall announced that Valsartan pills was the 75th recall since the issue first came to light. The latest recall announced by MHRA2 Three further batches of blood pressure and heart medication recalled from pharmacies – Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is for three batches of Losartan medications.
MHRA Announced Recall for Losartan Batches
Losartan is a blood pressure medication that is utilized by many hypertension patients and to treat nephropathy in patients with Type 2 diabetes. MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) recently announced the recall for three more Losartan batches as a precaution to protect the health of the public. Losartan medications are recalled due to the contamination with NMBA (nitrosamine N-nitroso-M-methylamino butyric acid).
Reason Behind the Recall
This recent recall is part of the ongoing investigation about the possible nitrosamine contamination of medications containing sartan. These medications are used to treat heart failures, heart attacks, and blood pressure. However, up till now there hasn’t been any concrete evidence about the nitrosamine impurities causing any harm to the patients.
Background of the Investigation
This investigation initiated in 2018 when NMBA was identified in Valsartan medicines, which were being manufactured at a China-based facility. MHRA recalled various Valsartan batches last year in July3 Blood pressure and heart medication recalled from Pharmacies – Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and later in November 4 MHRA recalls Valsartan blood pressure and heart medication from pharmacies – Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to pharmacy level because of the suspicion of possible NDEA and NDMA contamination.
MHRA again announced a recall in the first two months of this year for Irbesartan 5 MHRA recalls more blood pressure and heart medication from pharmacies as a precaution – Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency medication after they were tested and found potential NDEA contamination. The entire situation is being constantly monitored in the UK by MHRA and there is a comprehensive investigation going on alongside EDQM (European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines) and EMA (European Medicines Agency).
Since the investigation is still ongoing, the manager of MHRA stated that hasn’t been any clear evidence so far that these blood pressure medications that contain possible NMBA, NDEA or NDMA have been harmful to the patients. For now, these recalls are simply a precautionary measure till the investigation is complete.
Individuals taking Losartan have been advised to keep on taking the medication because they might be at higher risk if they immediately stopped their treatment without consulting their doctors for an alternative treatment plan. It is best to consult their physician or pharmacist to determine an alternative blood pressure treatment plan instead of stop taking Losartan altogether.