High Blood Pressure Drug Linked to Tumors and Cancer
Valsartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure), heart attacks, and heart failure.
About 3 million Americans take valsartan-containing medications each year.
Valsartan lawsuits claim that batches of the blood pressure medication contaminated with a toxic chemical called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) caused them to develop cancer and liver damage. Although it is not a typical valsartan side effect, cancer has developed in people and animals exposed to NDMA.
A large-scale recall of certain generic valsartan blood pressure medications began in July 2018 after it was discovered that the medication might have become contaminated in the Chinese and India manufacturing plants it was being produced. This led lawyers to investigate claims and file lawsuits on behalf of people who took tainted medication.
The companies involved include Actavis; A-S Medication Solutions; AvKARE; Bryant Rank Prepack; Camber Pharmaceuticals; Hetero Labs, Inc.; HJ Harkins Company; Major Pharmaceuticals; Mylan Pharmaceuticals; Northwind Pharmaceuticals; NuCare Pharmaceuticals; Preferred Pharmaceuticals; Prinston Pharmaceutical; RemedyRepack Inc.; Solco Healthcare; Teva Pharmaceuticals; and Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited.
Valsartan Side Effects
The contaminated batches Certain batches of valsartan contain the substances N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and/or N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), a known carcinogen. These batches were produced by the Chinese company Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals and the India company Hetero Labs Limited.
Valsartan side effects range from headaches to low blood pressure. The drug includes a black box warning from the FDA for fetal toxicity. Although cancer is not a typical side effect of valsartan, manufacturers in 2018 recalled some batches of the medication because of contamination with a cancer-causing chemical called NDMA.
Short-term exposure to NDMA can cause liver damage
Long-term exposure can increase the risk of liver, kidney, and lung tumors.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NDMA was formerly used in production of liquid rocket fuel, antioxidants, additives for lubricants, and softeners for copolymers. NDMA is not currently produced in pure form or commercially used in the United States, except for research purposes.
Valsartan Warnings and Recalls
In May 2018, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) began reviewing medicines containing valsartan that was supplied by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals. The review started after the company detected NDMA in the valsartan it was supplying to manufacturers in the European Union.
In July 2018, the FDA announced that three companies were voluntarily recalling their medications containing valsartan that was supplied by the Chinese company Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals. The recall occurred after the company determined the presence of NDMA in the valsartan.
It’s believed that the Chinese company’s production of valsartan could have become contaminated with NDMA starting in 2012 after the company changed its manufacturing process.
In August 2018 , the FDA announced that certain batches of valsartan produced by India company Hetero Labs Limited and sold under the label Camber Pharmaceuticals also will be recalled because of the presence of NDMA.
In November 2018, Teva Pharmaceuticals voluntarily recalled all lots of amlodipine/valsartan combination tablets and amlodipine/valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide combination tablets after NDEA was detected in an active pharmaceutical ingredient manufactured by Mylan India.
The FDA issued an updated Valsartan recall list in December 2018.
Patients should not stop taking the recalled products without first contacting their treating physicians, and being prescribed a replacement drug
The Russo Firm and Valsartan Lawsuits
Our firm is currently investigating cases for clients who took valsartan and have been diagnosed with liver damage, tumors, or cancer
Contact Our Experienced Pharmaceutical Lawyers For A Free Case Evaluation.
If you or a loved one has developed liver damage, tumors, or cancer as a result of taking Valsartan, call The Russo Firm at 844-847-8300 or contact us online to talk with an experienced lawyer about your injuries. If you can’t travel to our office, we will come to you, or we can work by phone, fax, email or other methods of communication. Remember, you pay no fee unless we obtain compensation for you.