Finding cancer-causing contaminants causes FDA to recall blood-pressure drugs
Millions of bottles of generic blood-pressure meds have been recalled after a contaminant that causes cancer was found.
According to a recent story on the Tech2.org website, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) ordered the recall after determining that folks who've taken certain hypertension meds over the past four years may have been exposed to small amounts of impurities following a change in the way companies manufacture the active ingredient.
The carcinogens, the article continues, "are a chemical byproduct of the process used to synthesize the active ingredients in medicines, which includes valsartan, losartan and irbesartan."
Agency leaders, the story says, have estimated that "between 1 and 2 million people may have taken the drugs with the impurities."
The recalled products, a USA Today story says, "are part of a large class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers, or ARBs, which relax blood vessels. Many of these commonly prescribed drugs are not part of the recall."
But, overall, "the risk to individual patients remains very small, although this doesn't diminish the significance of this episode or our concerns," read a joint statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and FDA Director Janet Woodcock.
Details on risks of drugs that might worsen medical conditions can be found in "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.