Nationwide Recall: Commonly Used Medication May Cause Cancer, FDA Says

November 01, 2018

Most of us have heard of the active ingredient, valsartan, which is found in commonly used medications; however, there is a new one with a completely different component.

The United States Food and Drug Administration is warning healthcare professionals and patients of another drug recall for a potential cancer risk due to contamination.

SciGen is recalling specific lots of its irbesartan, which treats high blood pressure. The label will display "Westminster Pharmaceuticals" and "GSMS Inc," according to "CNN."

"Irbesartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker, or ARB. This is a drug that blocks a potent chemical in the blood called anigiotensin, which causes muscles surrounding blood vessels to contract from binding with angiotensin II receptors. When the chemical binds, it narrows the vessels, and that can cause high blood pressure," "CNN" reports.

During testing, the FDA results showed that these drugs contained N-Nitrosodiethylamine or NDEA, which is a suspected animal and human carcinogen that is used in gasoline as a stabilizer and a lubricant additive.

This drug recall is the first non-valsartan product that the FDA has found to contain the NDEA contaminant. Not all products containing irbesartan or valsartan are being recalled. In fact, the recall only affects about one percent of the irbesartan drug products in the pharmaceutical market in the United States. The full drug list can be found here

Be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist before changing medications. Also, let your friends and family know of this recall as they may have to make some changes.