Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Health Canada recalls heart drug due to contamination with possible carcinogen

Health Canada recalls heart drug due to contamination with possible carcinogen

In a statement, the superintendence said it is following the developments with regard to Valsartan, which was found by the European Medicines Authority to have an impurity in one of the ingredients manufactured in China.

The recall was triggered after traces of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) were found in the valsartan used in the affected products.

Swiss multinational pharmaceutical compaany Novartis informed the ministry that their products containing Valsartan - Diovan, Co-Diovan Entresto and Exforge - are not impacted because these products do not contain the active ingredient from an external supplier. Health Canada describes NDMA as "a potential human carcinogen, which means that it could cause cancer with long-term exposure".

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Drugs containing valsartan are used to treat patients with high blood pressure to help prevent heart attacks and stroke.

The recall affects several drugs containing the ingredient valsartan, Health Canada announced Tuesday. They are also used by patients who have had heart failure or a recent heart attack.

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

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