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Popular blood pressure medications recalled

One of the most common chronic health issues people face is hypertension, or high blood pressure. It occurs when the blood flows through your arteries too fast and the force of it puts undue stress and pressure on the artery walls. It is one of the leading risk factors to heart disease.

Luckily, high blood pressure is treatable through lifestyle changes and medication. However, three of the most commonly prescribed medications have recently led to some bad news: Over 125 lots tested positive for three different types of carcinogens. What does this mean for you?

The FDA issued a recall

Scientists found trace amounts of carcinogens, or cancer-causing chemicals, in samples of one medication in the summer of 2018. The Food and Drug Administration issued a voluntary recall of drugs consisting of valsartan at first, but as the investigative agency uncovered more contaminations in other blood pressure medications, it enlarged the recall. The medications now on the list not only include those with valsartan but also two other popular drugs: irbesartan tablets and losartan potassium tablets USP.

Honing in on the culprit

Pharmaceutical companies do not have the answer to how these chemicals got into the medications. What was once a single contaminant in July 2018 has now led the FDA to two additional cancer-causing chemicals. The working theory is some kind of change occurs between ingredients during the manufacturing of the pills.

Do not stop taking your medicine

One of the worst things you can do is panic and stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor. The chance of developing cancer is far lower than suffering a cardiac event if you suddenly go off the medication. You can check the FDA's website to see if your current prescription is on the recall list.

The recall of these popular drugs is scary. It is important to note that the FDA believes the risk factor is minor, but you should still go see your doctor and speak to him or her regarding a replacement.

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