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FDA Issues List of ‘Safe’ Blood Pressure Meds

FDA Issues List of ‘Safe’ Blood Pressure Meds

April five, 2019 — The FDA on Thursday issued an inventory of 40 blood force drugs it discovered unfastened of contamination with the chemical nitrosamine, an ongoing factor that has caused a number of drugs recollects since final summer season.

The checklist is supposed to assist docs make remedy choices, however a heart specialist no longer fascinated with its advent says it will have to additionally spur sufferers to do so and make sure that their docs and pharmacies aren’t nonetheless giving them tainted drugs.

The medicine concerned are drugs that decrease blood force in a circle of relatives of medicine referred to as ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers), which paintings by means of blocking off the impact of angiotensin, a protein hormone that constricts blood vessels and raises force. The medicine are extensively utilized to regard center failure and different issues.

Nitrosamines are environmental contaminants additionally present in water and meals; they’re labeled as elements that might purpose most cancers. In its ongoing overview of the problems, the FDA says that “the maximum possible exposure to nitrosamines … in ARB medicines appears to be small,” however their presence in drug merchandise isn’t applicable.

The downside got here to mild final July, when the FDA introduced a voluntary recall of a number of drugs containing valsartan when the impurities have been discovered.

The preliminary 40 drugs unfastened of nitrosamine can be added to the “safe” checklist, the FDA says. The checklist is supposed for well being care execs to check as they imagine remedies. “We’re also working with manufacturers to swiftly remove medications from the market if they contain a nitrosamine impurity at levels higher than the interim acceptable intake limits,” the FDA remark says.

The elimination of infected merchandise has ended in shortages, and the company says it’s running to assist unravel the ones. One answer government suggest is to briefly permit explicit so much of losartan, a drug additionally suffering from the contamination, to proceed to be allotted. “Our scientists really feel that this won’t have a significant greater possibility for most cancers over the time it will have to take to get impurity-free losartan to marketplace,” the remark says. The FDA predicts that may occur inside 6 months.


Cardiologist’s View

While the checklist will have to assist docs and pharmacies center of attention at the vetted drugs, Guy L. Mintz, MD, director of cardiovascular well being and lipidology on the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, NY, isn’t assured that may occur.

“I don’t have a lot of faith in the pharmacies to stock their shelves [only] with the medicines that have been vetted,” he says. “It’s nice that the FDA has done their due diligence and vetted 40 drugs,” he says. But ”now you must rely at the pharmacy.”

Many sufferers use mail-order pharmacies, and the producers at the medicines can also be switched with out alerting them, he says.

He takes factor with the FDA announcing other people the usage of the tainted losartan may just proceed taking it till a contaminant-free provide of that drug is to be had. While the danger of most cancers is deemed small, he says, many sufferers, particularly those that have already survived a most cancers, in finding that possibility unacceptable.

Those sufferers would possibly ask their docs about switching to different sorts of ARBs, he says. “There are two other members of the ARB class that are actually longer-acting,” he says. Those come with telmisartan (Micardis) and olmesartan (Benicar). “To my knowledge, those two have never been contaminated.”

His recommendation for the ones on blood force drugs: “Do no longer forestall your drugs. You may just do extra injury to your self by means of preventing.”

For the ones at the infected medicine, he says: “Call your physician. Make an appointment to speak about choice drugs in your hypertension.”

“I would also tell patients to contact their pharmacies,” he says, “to be sure they are on a brand vetted by the FDA and proven to be safe.”



News Release, FDA, April four, 2019.

Guy Mintz, MD, director of cardiovascular well being & lipidology, Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital, Manhasset, NY.

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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