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Blood pressure drug recall causes concern and confusion

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Blood pressure drug recall causes concern and confusion

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a voluntary recall of several drug products containing the active ingredient valsartan, used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. But what does this mean for patients who take the medication daily?

Hendrick Professional Pharmacy Manager, Greg Young, offers information to alleviate confusion and keep patients safe.

What patients need to know about the recall:

Why were some valsartan products recalled?
Several valsartan products were recalled because trace amounts of an impurity were found. A major manufacturer of valsartan issued a voluntary recall at the retail level to ensure patient safety.

Are all products containing valsartan affected by the recall?

No. Only certain brands are affected by the recall. Your pharmacy can tell you if you take the affected product.

How can I tell if my valsartan product has been recalled?
Contact your pharmacy. The pharmacy will have records of the brand of valsartan that was dispensed to you, as well as the list of valsartan products affected by the recall.

What should I do if I’m taking recalled valsartan?
Do not stop taking valsartan without the advice from your healthcare professional. Continue taking valsartan as prescribed until you receive a replacement product. Because valsartan is used to control serious medical problems such as high blood pressure and certain heart conditions, it can be harmful to suddenly stop.

Your pharmacy will replace the product with brands not affected by the recall, or your medical provider will prescribe an alternative to valsartan.

Will the recall cause a shortage of valsartan?
Yes. Depending on your location and supply chain, it is possible valsartan brands not affected by the recall will be in short supply. Contact your pharmacist for updates.