Another cancer-causing ingredient found in popular blood pressure drug

If you take high blood pressure medication, you may want to check the label on your prescription.

The federal government last week said it discovered another suspected carcinogen in valsartan, the popular active ingredientalready under recall that is used in several generic drugs to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.

The suspected carcinogen, N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), which is found in tobacco smoke, was discovered in three lots of valsartan drugs made by Torrent Pharmaceuticals, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA said it also found NDEA in several batches of Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals’ valsartan active ingredient.

Valsartan was voluntarily recalled in July after a different, potentially cancer-causing ingredient, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), had been found, the FDA said.

NDMA is a human carcinogen found in liquid rocket fuels, additives for lubricants and softeners and other processes.

Valsartan products part of a voluntary recall over potentially cancer-causing ingredients.


The FDA said at that time that it believed the impurity was “related to changes in the way the active substance was manufactured.”

In its statement last week, the agency said it is continuing to test all valsartan products for NDEA and related impurities, and that if more contaminated products were found, it would work with companies “to ensure all affected products are removed from the market.”