The FDA finds a third cancer-causing toxin in recalled blood pressure meds

March 5, 2019

A global recall of a commonly used blood pressure medication has widened after the FDA detected the presence of a third chemical linked to cancer. 

In November, Novartis reported that its Sandoz division had recalled a Chinese-made lot of losartan, which is frequently used to treat hypertension, after finding a cancer causing impurity:N-nitrosodiethylamine. Regulators have also found lots of losartan to be contaminated with N-nitrosodimethylamine.

Now, the recall has widened to include 87 lots of losartan potassium pills made by India’s Hetero Labs after N-Nitroso-N-methyl-4-aminobutyric acid (NMBA), another cancer-causing impurity, was detected in the medication. 

Torrent Pharmaceuticals has also recalled 114 lots of medication containing losartan due to the presence of NMBA. Mylan and Teva have also recalled losartan products.

The FDA is reportedly investigating the possibility that other types of drugs could be contaminated with these chemicals, and is working on developing a test to better detect cancer-causing impurities. 

Read the full Reuters report.