Ministry recalls some medicines containing valsartan over cancer fears

Several heart and high blood pressure drugs that contain valsartan are being recalled because of a substance that can cause cancer.

The valsartan used in the products contains an impurity, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a chemical that could potentially cause cancer in humans with long-term exposure, according to the government agency.

The valsartan active ingredient from the facility in China has been used by various pharmaceutical manufacturers to produce valsartan-containing medications in Europe, some of which are available on-island.

There is no acute health threat to patients using the affected medication containing valsartan.

The medicines affected were manufactured by Chinese company Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical.

Health Canada is advising Canadians taking any valsartan drug to contact their pharmacist and health-care provider to determine what steps to take.

Patients are also advised to speak with a pharmacist who can check if the specific drug someone is taking with the ingredient is being recalled.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention said the recall is a precautionary measure following a report issued by the European Medicines Agency.

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