PETAL, MS (WDAM) - The Food and Drug Administration recalled several blood pressure medications in recent months because of concerns of possible carcinogenic ingredients. Petal pharmacist Kim Rodgers said he has been facing shortages at his pharmacy and there are three medicines in particular at the center of this recall.
“They are all in the same class of drugs of what we call ARBs. There’s Valsartan, Losartan and Irbesartan. They have all been recalled,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers said the FDA has a pedigree law, meaning manufacturers have to be able to trace all the raw materials that go into the tablet. He said certain companies found particular lots of their raw materials were tainted in one location.
"The raw materials were being produced in a chemical plant in China, and they found some minute contaminates that we know are carcinogenic in nature," Rodgers said.
Rodgers said if you find out your blood pressure medicine is under recall, talk with your pharmacist.
“And then usually what we’ll offer you is an option to bring it in and swap it for a different company that has not been recalled,” Rodgers said.
He said even with alternatives out there, this recall caused nation wide shortages which impacted pharmacies and patients.
“Valsartan 320 we couldn’t get, but we could get the 160′s, so we’re just having the patients take the two 160′s to make a 320," Rodgers said. "We have to do things like that, so it can be difficult. Sometimes, the patients, they are getting confused because when they hear cancer, they’re thinking it’s the drug itself causing it, but it was not the drug just some of the ingredients.”
Rodgers said until the recall ends folks should keep in touch with their doctor and their pharmacist.