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FDA continues to find nitrosamines in popular medications

Undoubtedly, a lot is going on across the country right now, and Ohio cannot escape it either. In the midst of it all, it would likely be a mistake to forget about other pressing issues, such as the presence of nitrosamines in popular medications. The Food and Drug Administration continues to find these chemicals in medications, including N-Nitrosodimethylamine, known as NDMA, which is now being linked to certain cancers. 

The investigations conducted to this point reveal that the nitrosamines result from chemical reactions that occur during the manufacturing process of the affected medications. Right now only NDMA is "possibly" linked to cancer in patients. Others are not yet included as probable human carcinogens.

Beginning in 2018, certain blood pressure medications called angiotensin II receptor blockers, including valsartan and lorsartan, were recalled due ot the presence of NDMA. Then in 2019, it was found in medications containing ranitidine, a popular heartburn and acid reflux medication, such as Zantac. Shortly thereafter, the FDA began investigating whether the probable human carcinogen was present in metformin, a popular medication taken by type 2 diabetes patients.

The prevailing advice regarding this issue is to not stop taking the affected medications without speaking to a doctor first. It may be possible to switch to an alternative medication. A source of frustration for many people is figuring out if their medication is included in the numerous recalls and investigations being conducted.

The other problem is that even if individuals find out their medications are recalled, they may have already taken them long enough for the damage to occur. After taking them for years, the nitrosamines in popular medications could have already caused cancer in a large number of people. Ohio residents who wonder whether a cancer diagnosis is connected to their medication may want to take the time to find out and take action if appropriate.

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