Numerous blood pressure medications in recent months have been recalled over concerns of possibly carcinogenic ingredients, leaving some consumers wondering how to tell whether their medicines are safe.
Since July, dozens of the medications have been recalled because of trace amounts of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) or N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) in the products, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
NDMA and NDEA are probable carcinogens, and the FDA has found levels of the impurities in three drugs: valsartan, irbesartan and losartan-containing products, the agency says.
The recalled drugs are part a large class called angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). These drugs work by widening or relaxing blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure.
To find out whether your medication is under recall, check the FDA website for all three drugs.
- For valsartan-containing products currently recalled, click here.
- For irbesartan-containing products currently recalled, click here.
- For losartan-containing products currently recalled, click here.
Not all ARBs contain NDMA or NDEA or are under recall, the FDA says. Consumers should not stop taking their medication without an alternative or replacement from their pharmacist or doctor, the agency said.
- For valsartan-containing products not currently recalled, click here.
For more information on the recalls, read all of USA TODAY’s coverage here:
Jan. 14: Blood pressure drug recall: FDA investigates foreign plants that made drugs with cancer-causing impurities
Jan. 7: More blood pressure medication recalled over carcinogen concerns — this time, losartan
Jan. 2: More blood pressure medication recalled: Company recalls 80 lots of valsartan over cancer concerns
Dec. 6: Three more blood pressure drugs recalled over cancer concern: Here’s what you need to know
Nov. 30: Doctors: Blood pressure drug substitutes are available for patients affected by recalls
Nov. 30: Two more blood pressure drugs recalled for potential cancer risk
Nov. 14: FDA chief: Blood pressure medicine recalls reflect increased scrutiny on drug safety
Nov. 13: FDA recalls another blood pressure drug for possible cancer risk
Nov. 2: Blood pressure drug recalled for possible cancer risk, FDA says
Aug. 7: FDA expands recall of heart drug for possible cancer-causing contamination
Contributing: Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY. Follow USA TODAY’s Ryan Miller on Twitter: @RyanW_Miller