FDA Recalls Losartan Lots, Another Blood Pressure Drug Contaminated With a Cancer Causing Impurity

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued more recalls for the blood pressure medication losartan.

The latest recall notices were issued on Friday as two separate, voluntary recalls, both being issued in conjunction with Missouri-based Legacy Pharmaceuticals Packaging, LLC. No adverse effects related to these recalled hypertension drugs have been reported. Lists of the impacted lots of losaratan potassium tablets included in these latest recalls can be found here and here.

As with the multitude of other blood pressure medication recalls that have piled up since 2018, these two recalls are due to a cancer-causing impurity found in trace amounts in the recalled lots of losartan. In these recalls, the chemical found was N-Nitroso N-Methyl 4-amino butyric acid (NMBA), which is listed as a potential human carcinogen. NMBA is the third type of carcinogen found in blood pressure medications that were then recalled.

These recalls are bad business for everyone, not just impacted consumers. In February, the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote to now-outgoing FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb to inquire about inspections at overseas drug packaging plants. At least a dozen cardiovascular drugs have been recalled recently, including types of amlopidine, irbesartan, and valsartan.

The FDA cautions that if you take any medications for hypertension, it is important not to discontinue use until you speak with your physician. Not taking blood pressure medication can be extremely dangerous, even if the risks associated with taking a medication tainted with a toxin also seem high.

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