Ministry recalls some medicines containing valsartan over cancer fears

Valsartan should continue to be taken unless alternative medicine available

In a release on July 9, Health Canada identified a list of 28 products containing the ingredient valsartan that are being recalled by their manufacturers.

Health Canada announced Tuesday a major recall of drugs used for high blood pressure and heart failure because they may be contaminated with a probable human carcinogen.

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

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Health Canada said Chinese company Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals supplied the valsartan to several companies that used it to make drugs. N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is a chemical substance classified as potentially carcinogenic.

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 says that if you find out the drug you are taking contains the ingredient to continue taking it for now and to contact your health care practitioner as soon as possible to discuss your treatment options.

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