FDA Recalls More Blood Pressure Medication

February 27, 2019, 10:30 PM UTC

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced another blood pressure medication recall for one lot of losartan tablets, according to a safety announcement posted on the agency’s website.

The latest voluntary blood pressure drug recall includes a lot of losartan potassium/hydrochlorothiazide combination tablets manufactured by Macleods Pharmaceuticals Limited. These blood pressure meds are being recalled for the same reason as the numerous hypertension drug recalls issued last year. Trace amounts of a cancer-causing impurity, N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), were detected. NDEA is classified as a probable human carcinogen, and while it does occur naturally in certain foods, NDEA is used to make liquid rocket fuel and is a byproduct of fish processing as well as pesticide manufacturing. The FDA notes that Macleods has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall.

Recalls on losartan tablets produced by various pharmaceutical companies have been ongoing since 2018. Similar hypertension drugs have also been the subject of ongoing, FDA-led recalls due to carcinogenic impurities, including some valsartan tablets that also contain amlodipine, as well as certain lots of hydrochlorothiazide and irbesartan. These recalls have been so numerous that lawmakers have started to ask questions. In mid-February, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee began asking the FDA for further details about quality control measures in overseas drug plants, where these contaminated cardiovascular drugs were made.

As with previous blood pressure medication recalls, it is important for patients taking this medication to contact their physician and continue taking their pills as prescribed. Discontinuing use of hypertension medication can have serious implications, and only a medical professional can advise on a replacement.