Losartan Recall: Blood Pressure Drug Recalled Over Possibly Cancer-Causing Impurity

If you’re one of the many people that take medication to keep your blood pressure in check, you may want to take a second look at the bottle before you ingest any more of it. As Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has decided to expand its recall of both its losartan potassium and losartan potassium/hydrochlorothiazide tablets.

The reason? New tests have found an impurity called N-methylnitrosobutyric acid in some of the drugs, which is an impurity that could potentially cause cancer. Per a release from the company last Thursday, it’s recalling an additional 36 lots.

Furthermore, a full list of the recalled drugs can be found on the US Food and Drug Administration website.

Thankfully, there are still no reports of any customers getting sick. However, the impurity level found in the pills are above the FDA’s recommended daily intake level.

Related recalls

This latest recall by the company is closely related to the valsartan recall, which, since July last year, have expanded multiple times. After the FDA learned that the Chinese company Zheihang Huahai Pharmaceutical made the tainted ingredient that caused most of the recalls, the agency immediately placed the company on an import alert. Per the FDA, the impurity was a chemical that’s used as a lubricant additive and gasoline stabilizer.

Due to these impurities, the FDA then started testing for all drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers. Commonly known as ARBs, these block a potent chemical in the blood called angiotensin, which is one of the reasons why muscles surrounding blood vessels contract. It does this by narrowing the vessels, which then leads to high blood pressure.

Per the FDA, the cancer risk with the valsartan recall was relatively low, although it’s not clear what the cancer risk was with the contaminated pills. Following this, FDA reported that they will continue testing all valsartan drugs for the presence of impurities.

Doctors usually prescribe the recalled drugs for those with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.