In September 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), expanded a recall of a common blood pressure medication called losartan. Losartan is made by the manufacturer Torrent Pharmaceuticals. The FDA found a possibly carcinogenic impurity in several batches of the drug. The losartan potassium tablets contained excessive levels of N-Nitroso-N-methyl-4-aminobutyric acid (NMBA). These levels were catagorized by the FDA as a “potential human carcinogen.”
The recall comes as part of a larger string of recalls of blood pressure medications valsartan, losartan and irbesartan that contain trace levels of carcinogens NMBA, N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and N-Nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA). In January, the FDA admitted that some versions of the drug valsartan have contained a carcinogen for four years before regulators detected the impurity in the summer of 2019.
It is disconcerting to find out that ingredients in our medications can contribute to cancer. Prevention is always the wisest course of action. To learn more about prevention, see chapter 23 in my book, There’s An Elephant in the Room–Exposing Hidden Truths in the Science of Health.
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