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Cancer-Causing Chemical in BP Drug Spurs Another Recall

A batch of blood pressure drugs found contaminated with the cancer-causing chemical N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) has been recalled by the manufacturer. Aurobindo Pharma USA Inc. said 80 lots of its Amlodipine Valsartan Tablets, Valsartan HCTZ Tablets and Valsartan Tablets are involved.

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According to KLFY, the company hasn’t received any complaints of patient harm, and the FDA is advising patients not to stop taking their pills if they have no other alternative drug. Two other drug companies issued earlier recalls for their blood pressure drugs for the same reason. The FDA has a full list of lot numbers and drug names on its website.

The toxic contaminant at the center of the other blood pressure drug recalls was N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Both NDEA and NDMA are substances used in certain industrial processes. NDMA was originally produced in the U.S. to make rocket fuel.

It was discontinued when the chemical was detected in air, water and soil samples and was found to contribute to the development of liver and lung cancer. Consumption is also known to cause severe liver damage accompanied by internal bleeding, and potentially death.

But even without contamination, blood pressure drugs increase the risk of more common side effects associated with how the medication works in the body or affects other organ systems. Although experts recommend starting any antihypertensive drug at the lowest possible dose and increasing gradually, even at low doses these drugs can trigger physical reactions such as erectile dysfunction, gastrointestinal issues, dizziness, cough and more.

Since it’s true that maintaining a healthy blood pressure is important to reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke, the idea of making dietary changes that can influence blood pressure becomes even more important — beginning with reducing consumption of processed sugars.

Exercise routines can also help lower blood pressure, especially those that help increase the body’s nitric oxide levels, like the Nitric Oxide Dump. This exercise, which consists of short bursts of high-intensity activity, can be done anywhere, anytime, three or four times a day to help release nitric oxide, relax arterial walls and reduce blood pressure.