FDA Recalls Common Blood Pressure Drugs After Finding Possible Carcinogen

The FDA recalled several brands of blood pressure drugs that contained a contaminant linked to cancer. (Photo: PureRadiancePhoto / Shutterstock)
The FDA recalled several brands of blood pressure drugs that contained a contaminant linked to cancer. (Photo: PureRadiancePhoto / Shutterstock)
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns of a shortage of a certain type of blood pressure medication, after contaminants were found that may be linked to cancer.

The class of blood pressure drugs known as angiotensin II receptor blockers, or ARBs, have been recalled because of manufacturing impurities, which the FDA describes as “probable human carcinogens.” The recalled drugs include several brands of generic valsartan, losartan, and irbesartan.

One in three adults in Cuyahoga County has high blood pressure, but data has shown an improvement in the region in recent years, according to the nonprofit consortium Better Health Partnership.

Greater than the threat of contamination would be stopping blood pressure medication entirely, which could increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, says Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Steven Nissen.

"If your drug has been recalled, talk to your physician about getting another brand of an ARB or getting another blood pressure lowering medication that has not been recalled," Nissen said. "What you don’t want to do is stop the drug and not replace it with something else."

The FDA said in a statement they will continue to investigate the risk of the contaminant in the recalled drugs. For a full list of FDA recalled drugs, visit this link.

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