Gigionthat.com has learned that high blood pressure and the African American community seem to go hand in hand. In fact, more than 40 percent of non-Hispanic African-American men and women have high blood pressure. For African-Americans, high blood pressure also develops earlier in life and is usually more severe. With these numbers also cause for a high number of African Americans taking high blood pressure medication. Nearly 100 million prescriptions were written for blood pressure in 2016 and continues to grow.
Ongoing 2018 blood pressure recalls began back in July when three drug companies, including Teva Pharmaceuticals, began recalling medications containing valsartan. Here’s a full list. With this recall, companies like Teva Pharmaceuticals is now pulling back all of its valsartan drugs on the U.S. market.
Other blood pressure drugs have been recalled over concerns they also contain trace amounts of NDEA. In early November, another blood pressure drug, irbesartan, was recalled, followed in mid-November by a voluntary recall of losartan potassium hydrochlorothiazide tablets, also prescribed to treat hypertension.
In each case, a recalled drug was contaminated with either N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) or N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA).
Both chemicals are believed to cause cancer in humans. Research also suggests NDEA can cause liver and blood cell damage.
NDEA is used to make rocket fuel and can also be found in some food and drinking water, but at low levels. It can also be a created through certain chemical reactions and as a byproduct of industrial processes.
Here are some of the drugs that were recalled:
Valsartan. There have been so many types of valsartan recalled this year that the FDA has created a website listing just for them.
The agency has also created a page that lists the drugs that have not been recalled.
Losartan. In December, the FDA announced a voluntary recall of losartan potassium tablets USP. See which products were affected by the recall.
In November, the FDA announced a voluntary recall of losartan potassium/hydrochlorothiazide, 100 mg/25 mg tablets in 1,000-count plastic bottles, NDC 0781-5207-10, Lot number JB8912, Exp. Date 06/2020.
Irbesartan. In July, the FDA announced a voluntary recall of irbesartan tablets. See which products were affected by the recall.
Teva. Teva Pharmaceuticals has launched a voluntary recall into two drugs used to treat high blood pressure as yet more medications face concerns over a possible cancer risk.
In a statement from Teva posted by the Food and Drug Administration, the recall affects all lots of combination tablets featuring the drugs amlodipine and valsartan and another combo drug featuring amlodipine, valsartan, and hydrochlorothiazide.
The drugs could contain an impurity called N-nitroso-diethylamine (NDEA), which has been classified as a possible human carcinogen, the FDA said.
Patients taking either drugs should contact their doctor or pharmacist for advice or alternative treatments. Stopping the drugs immediately with no comparable alternative could pose a greater risk to patients’ health, said Teva.
In case you were wondering what kind of blood pressure medications are out there, here is a list of the different types as well as what they do (compiled by the American Heart Association):
The classes of blood pressure medications include:
– ACE inhibitors
– Angiotensin II receptor blockers
– Calcium channel blockers
– Alpha blockers
– Alpha-2 Receptor Agonists
– Combined alpha and beta-blockers
– Central agonists
– Peripheral adrenergic inhibitors
Diuretics help the body get rid of excess sodium (salt) and water and help control blood pressure. They are often used in combination with additional prescription therapies.