Blood Pressure Drug Recall: Cancer-Causing Chemical Detected in More Losartan Tablets

Published on July 3, 2019 by Sandy Liebhard

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has announced yet another blood pressure drug recall, after tests detected a potentially cancer-causing chemical in losartan tablets manufactured by Macleods Pharmaceuticals.

The June 26th recall involves 22 drug lots sold to retail and wholesale customers, including:

  • 12 lots of losartan/HCTZ 50 mg/12.5 mg
  • 3 lots of losartan/HCTZ 100 mg/12.5 mg
  • 15 lots of losartan/HCTZ 100 mg/25 mg

The specific lot numbers and expiration dates can be found here.

The losartan tablets involved in this recall may be tainted with N-methylnitrosobutyric acid (NMBA), a potential carcinogen.  Macleods is advising customers to immediately stop distribution and return the affected products.

Blood Pressure Drug Recalls Began Last Year

Dozens of generic drug makers have announced blood pressure drug recalls over the past year due to the presence of NMBA and other cancer-causing nitrosamines in active pharmaceutical ingredients sourced from suppliers in China and India.

The recalls began with generic valsartan, and eventually extended to losartan and irbesartan products, as well as combination pills containing one of these three medications.

Consumers should check the FDA website or contact their doctor or pharmacy to determine if their drugs are included in the ongoing blood pressure drug recalls.  If so, they should continuing taking the medication until they obtain a replacement, as stopping treatment abruptly could prove dangerous.

Last month, Valisure online pharmacy disclosed it had detected traces of a fourth cancer-causing chemical in generic valsartan tablets in products the FDA had deemed safe. The company petitioned the agency to announce a new blood pressure drug recall for those products, but the FDA has yet to respond.

60 Valsartan Lawsuits Pending in Federal MDL

Around 60 valsartan lawsuits are pending in a multidistrict litigation currently underway in New Jersey federal court. The claims include product liability cases that seek damages for various cancers allegedly caused by the ingestion of tainted valsartan, as well as class actions alleging economic damages due to the purchase of tainted drugs.

Lawsuits involving recalled losartan and irbesartan products have also been filed in courts around the country, but such claims have yet to be included in the federal litigation.

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