Michigan residents who suffer from heart failure or high blood pressure may rely on angiotensin receptor blockers to keep their conditions in check. These medicines, taken by pill or in liquid form, relax the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely and reducing the chances of heart attacks, strokes and other problems. Doctors prescribe ARBs such as valsartan, irbesartan and losartan as a lifesaving measure, but many patients are reporting deadly side effects.
For over two years the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been monitoring reports that certain generic versions of these ARBs may contain dangerous impurities in the nitrosamine family. Some nitrosamine impurities are known carcinogens, meaning they likely cause cancer in humans. Other nitrosamines have the potential to cause cancer.
The FDA believes the impurities are the result of chemical reactions that may take place in the process of manufacturing the drugs’ active ingredients or at some other point in the manufacturing process. The FDA has recalled many valsartan, irbesartan and losartan medications, but not all are included in the recall. Patients should carefully check the packaging for the affected lot numbers. Many may now be torn between taking a medication they need to treat serious medical conditions or risking their health by consuming potentially contaminated drugs.
Replacement medications are available for those who are taking any of the affected valsartan, irbesartan and losartan medications. However, those who are already suffering from cancer or other illnesses due to contaminated or defective drugs may wonder where they can turn. Fortunately, there are resources available where victims of bad drugs can seek guidance and assistance, including a skilled and experienced attorney.