Health Canada recalls three blood pressure drugs from ‘sartan’ class

WINNIPEG — Health Canada has issued a recall covering three types of blood pressure drugs from the class of medication known as ‘sartans.’

A news release from Health Canada lists the three drugs recalled, which are produced by several manufacturers, as irbesartan, losartan and valsartan.

Sartans are prescribed to treat patients with high blood pressure to help prevent heart attacks and stroke. They are also used in patients with heart failure or those who have had a recent heart attack.

Health Canada says people who have been prescribed these medications should still keep taking them, unless a doctor or a health-care provider has advised you to stop.

“There is no immediate risk to patients taking these medications, since the potential increased risk of cancer is with long-term exposure to the impurity. Not treating your condition may pose a greater health risk.”

According to Health Canada, some lots of the affected medications may contain excessive levels of what is described as an azido impurity. The level of this impurity may exceed what Health Canada considers an acceptable level. The azido impurity is considered a mutagen which may increase the risk of cancer but the specific risk for this azido impurity to cause cancer in humans is unknown.

Health Canada said not all lots of irbesartan, losartan and valsartan from these companies are affected by this issue; however, it is possible that the recalls may affect the supply of some products. Patients should speak with their doctor or pharmacist to discuss alternatives should their regular prescribed drug not be available.

“If you have been using an affected product, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible to discuss treatment options,” the organization said in a statement. “Pharmacists may be able to provide a product not affected by the recall, or your doctor may prescribe a different medication for your condition.”

Any health product side effects or complaints should be reported to Health Canada.

Canadians can also contact the company directly with questions about a recall. The list of companies is below:

  • Auro Pharma Inc. by calling toll-free at 1-855-568-2511, or by email at cs@auropharma.ca
  • Mint Pharmaceuticals Inc. by calling 1-905-795-9437, extension 2201, or by email at orders@mintpharmaceuticals.com
  • Pharmascience Inc. by calling toll-free at 1-800-340-9735
  • Pro Doc Ltd. by calling toll-free at 1-800-361-8559
  • Sandoz Canada Inc. by calling toll-free at 1-800-343-8839
  • Sanis Health Inc. by calling toll-free at 1-866-236-4076, or by email at quality@sanis.com
  • Sivem Pharmaceuticals ULC by calling toll-free at 1-855-757-4836
  • Sun Pharma Canada Inc. by calling toll-free at 1-800-268-1975, or by email at customerservice@taro.ca
  • Teva Canada Ltd. by calling toll-free at 1-800-268-4129

A comprehensive list of the drugs affected and their lot numbers can be found at Health Canada’s website.

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