FDA expands blood pressure drug recall for fifth time this year

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By Shamard Charles, M.D.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that it will expand its recall of blood pressure medicines to include four lots of losartan after they were found to contain a cancer-causing chemical.

This is the fifth recall in 2019; over the past year, dozens of batches of medications used to treat hypertension have been recalled over contamination fears.

According to the FDA, Legacy Pharmaceutical Packaging has recalled four lots of losartan because the batch contained trace amounts of the nitrosamine, NMBA, which has been linked to increased risk for bladder cancers. In January, several generic valsartan products sold in the United States were found to be contaminated with NDMA, another nitrosamine chemical associated with higher risk of colorectal and uterine cancers.