Blood pressure medication recalled for impurity that might cause cancer

One lot of Losartan tablets, used to treat high blood pressure, has been recalled by Sandoz because it includes “a trace amount” of N-nitrosodiethylamine, commonly referred to as NDEA.

While the company-written, FDA-posted recall notice says NDEA “occurs naturally in certain foods, drinking water, air pollution and industrial processes,” it also admits the International Agency for Research on Cancer says NDEA probably causes cancer in people.

But, late in the notice comes the advice for patients taking Losartan to arrange for another way to deal with hypertension before ditching or returning recalled medication: “Patients who are on Losartan Potassium Hydrochlorothiazide should continue taking their medication, as the risk of harm to a patient’s health may be higher if the treatment is stopped immediately without any alternative treatment.”

This covers lot No. JB8912 of Losartan Potassium Hydrochlorothiazide 100 mg or 25 mg tablets in 1,000-count bottles, expiration date 06/2020. None of the recalled tablets were distributed before Oct. 8.

Anyone with questions should contact their pharmacist, doctor or call Sandoz at 1-800-525-8747, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday.