Valsartan is an ingredient found in various medications that are used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). Drugs with valsartan are also used to help people recovering from heart failure and a heart attack. The drug is available under the names valsartan, valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), and Diovan HCT.
While valsartan has proven effective in the past, manufacturing problems and impurities found in valsartan drugs have resulted in the FDA issuing a voluntary recall of pharmaceuticals that contain valsartan. The lawyers at our Chicago, IL law firm have experience dealing with medication injuries and dangerous pharmaceuticals. Let’s cover some of the basics regarding the liver damage risks related to valsartan.
The Dangers of Valsartan
The dangers of valsartan can be traced to the Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals manufacturing company in Linhai, China. In May of this year, the European Medicines Agency discovered N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in valsartan drugs made at Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals. This dangerous impurity is a portable human carcinogen, and has been linked to numerous health problems.
Since this discovery, health officials in the United Kingdom and Canada have also issued their own recalls for the safety of patients/consumers.
Statement by the FDA
In a statement released earlier in July by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA officials issued a voluntary recall of valsartan drugs, naming three specific pharmaceutical companies:
- Major Pharmaceuticals
- Solco Healthcare
- Teva Pharmaceuticals
The NDMA found in valsartan drugs from these companies violated safety standards by the FDA.
In addition, the FDA asked that pharmacists return any valsartan drugs from Teva Pharmaceuticals, Solco Healthcare, and Major Pharmaceuticals to their respective manufacturers as part of the voluntary recall.
Liver Damage and Other NDMA Health Risks
Patients who take valsartan run a high risk of experiencing liver damage. In fact, some patients taking the blood pressure drug have noticed the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Enlarged liver (hepatomegaly)
In addition to these liver problems, NDMA is a potential cancer-causing agent. The exact cancer risk may vary from patient to patient, but any increase in developing cancer shouldn’t be tolerated when it comes to pharmaceuticals.
What Should Patients Taking Valsartan Do?
If you currently take drugs that contain valsartan, it’s important that you visit the drug company’s website and the FDA website for recall instructions. If you are unsure of the company who made your drug, contact your pharmacist for additional assistance.
It is also important that anyone currently taking valsartan contact their doctor about the ideal way to proceed with their medical treatment. Patients may be given an alternative drug to take, or may be instructed to continue taking their current prescription for the meantime until a safer option is available.
Potential for a Valsartan Lawsuit
People who take valsartan drugs from Major Pharmaceuticals, Solco Healthcare, and Teva Pharmaceuticals may want to consider seeking legal action. We trust drug companies to provide us with safe medications that only have positive impacts on wellness. Product liability lawsuits help hold the makers and distributors of defective drugs accountable.
Our lawyers can help you seek damages for injuries sustained, medical problems that have developed due to the use of valsartan, and any material losses related to your use of the drug.
Contact the Attorneys of Rubin, Machado & Rosenblum
For more information about your legal options following use of valsartan, be sure to contact our law firm today. Our attorneys will answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you and your loved ones in your time of legal need.