You may have heard in the news this week (CBC or The Globe and Mail or Global News) that Health Canada has issued a recall for some brands of valsartan, a blood pressure pill. The chemical valsartan itself is completely safe, but in the affected brands, the pills contain a low-dose of a contaminent, called NDMA. If you are exposed to NDMA in high enough quantitites, for a long enough time, it can increase your cancer risk.
What should I do if I’m taking valsartan?
Not all brands of valsartan are affected – call your pharmacist, or check the recall page from Health Canada to see if the one you’re taking is included in the recall.
The brand I’m taking is recalled! Now what?
Talk to your pharmacist about switching to a different brand of valsartan, that doesn’t contain NDMA. If they don’t have one available, then we can talk about switching you to a different medication to control your blood pressure. Do not just stop taking your medication – the risks of NDMA are only with long-term exposure, so DO continue to take it for the couple of days while we get an alternative sorted out.