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Blood pressure medication has been in the news a lot lately for its recent classification by the FDA as a medication to watch and subsequent recall. The FDA has put this medication, specifically Valsartan, on its recall list because of potential cancer-causing agents contained in some brands. Knowing what this recall means and what you should do moving forward is extremely important.
Why did the blood pressure medication get recalled?
The FDA has placed a recall on blood pressure medications which have the presence of N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) or N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). NDEA and NDMA are contaminants which are also included on the list of potential cancer-causing chemicals. Because of this danger, the FDA thought it was prudent to place all of the medications which contain this on the recall list.
What should I do if my medication was recalled?
It is important to make sure that even with the recall, you do not abruptly stop taking your blood pressure medication. If you stop taking it immediately there could be serious physical consequences. It is best to first consult with your physician and let them do it properly. There may be alternatives which your doctor can prescribe which are not affected by the recall. While the FDA has recalled certain blood pressure medication, it is important to understand that not all blood pressure medications have been recalled. If you are uncertain whether or not the medication you are taking has been recalled, you may want to give your physician a call to verify.
The blood pressure medications which contain the dangerous chemicals can cause cancer of the liver, kidneys, stomach or intestines. The drug of concern is called Valsartan, and it is manufactured by the Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Huahai. This Chinese manufacturer sold the drug to many major pharmaceutical companies in the United States including Major Pharmaceuticals, Solco Healthcare and Teva. After these companies received the drugs, they then distributed them into the market here in the United States.
You might be wondering just how dangerous this medication is to the average consumer? Believe it or not, NDMA is actually present in very small levels in water and other common foods. It is not at a level which should be concerning in those instances, however. The amounts of NDMA in Valsartan is much higher and is the reason for the recall.
Is legal action being taken against those responsible?
In Illinois, a class action claim has begun which claims that Walgreens sold this drug to many consumers without warning them that it contained a cancer-causing carcinogen. In Cook County Circuit Court, the lawsuit claims that Walgreens knew about this potential risk and failed to pass that information onto the consumers. The plaintiff, Harry Shanov, claims that had Walgreens warned him about the potential cancer-causing agents contained in Valsartin, he never would have purchased the product. Many other consumers share this concern. Mr. Shanov also claims that the label on his prescription was misleading and did not warn of the potential risk either.
What should I do if I was taking Valsartan?
If you feel like you may have been affected by your blood pressure medication, the legal process is very important. Always start by collecting as much evidence as possible. If you developed cancer as a result, make a list of all of your medical records so that your attorney can review. Each case depends on how you were exposed to the Valsartan and for how long. You may be able to get compensation for your economic damages as well as potential punitive damages against the companies responsible.
If you or someone you know was taking Valsartan or any other blood pressure medication which is subject to the recall, it is important to remain calm. It is important that you reach out to your physician about the medication and talk about alternatives which may exist. If you have cancer and you believe that it was because of your extended use of your blood pressure medication, you will want to get an attorney involved who might be able to assist. The attorneys at the Lopez Law Group are here to assist. We can be reached at 727-933-0015. If you feel like you took these dangerous medications and developed cancer as a result, do not hesitate to contact us today!