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FDA receives reports of yet another carcinogen in BP meds

Numerous patients here in Ohio and across the country are affected by recent recalls of blood pressure medications. So many drugs are recalled by the Food and Drug Administration that it is feared supplies of those not affected could run out before new, supposedly safer batches of the affected drugs are manufactured. Just when it looked like things were beginning to turn around, the FDA received a report of yet another carcinogen in these prescription medications.

For those who are keeping count, that is the fourth carcinogen found in these blood pressure medications. This time, dimethylformamide was found in part of the supply of valsartan still for sale. The World Health Organization classifies DMF, which is a solvent, as a possible human carcinogen.

This find only increases the questions regarding oversight when it comes to the safety of medications manufactured for patients in this country. The FDA is running out of so-called "safe" blood pressure medications to recommend for those needing them. Finding out how the recalled medications were contaminated in the first place. Until this mess is sorted out, properly investigated and fixed, consumers may hesitate every time they take their blood pressure medication.

Another problem is that it could be years before the FDA knows whether the recalled medications caused cancer in those who were taking them. Until that time, consumers may have to live with the fact that they could receive a cancer diagnosis because of a medication that was supposed to be safe and control a chronic and potentially life-threatening condition. Anyone here in Ohio or elsewhere who takes a blood pressure medication may want to retain as much evidence of doing so as possible just in case.

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