China-made medicines with Valsartan to be withdrawn

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An impurity, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), was found in the valsartan used in these products.

Pharmacies in 22 countries including Germany, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, France, Poland, Croatia, Lithuania, Greece, Canada, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bahrain and Malta have been warned and asked to recall products containing Valsartan as a precaution.

The recall affects several drugs containing the ingredient valsartan, Health Canada announced Tuesday.

NDMA can cause cancer after long-term exposure to it. Manufacturers issued the recall of the drugs.

This recall has been issued following indications of the presence of an undesirable impurity N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in the valsartan active ingredient, which is manufactured by a facility in China.

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"Patients should not stop taking their medicine if it contains valsartan unless they've been specifically instructed to do so by their prescriber or pharmacist".

You should not stop taking your valsartan medicine unless you have been told to do so by your doctor or pharmacist.

Valsartan is used to treat hypertension and can prevent cardiovascular complications associated with the condition.

Health Canada says that if you find out the drug you are taking contains the ingredient to continue taking it for now and to contact your health care practitioner as soon as possible to discuss your treatment options.

"An investigation into other potentially impacted products is now being undertaken and further updates will be provided as the investigation progresses", the MHRA said.

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