By Kate Gibson MoneyWatch December 5, 2018, 1:59 PM Mylan recalls blood pressure drugs over cancer concern

Pharmaceutical firm Mylan is dramatically expanding a nationwide recall of some blood pressure medications after detecting trace amounts of a chemical linked to cancer. The recalled products all contain Valsartan, which is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.

Mylan said in an announcement posted on the the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's website that the drugs — which were sold in the U.S. between March 2017 and November 2018 — show trace amounts of the chemical N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA). The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies NDEA as a probable human carcinogen. Research shows the chemical is found in certain pesticides and in tobacco smoke, as well as in water used in industrial processes.

People who take the recalled drugs — which all have Valsartan in their name — should contact their pharmacist or physician about alternative treatments, but continue taking them in the meantime due to to he risks of abruptly stopping, Mylan said.

Mylan on Nov. 20 said it was recalling a total of 15 lots of tablets containing Valsartan. The expanded recall adds another 104 lots, including Amlodipine and Valsartan Tablets, Valsartan Tablets and Valsartan and Hydrochlorothiazide Tablets, with varying strengths. All have expiration dates in 2019 and 2020 (see full list here or check images below.)

Mylan did not immediately respond to requests for information on how many bottles might be on consumers' shelves.

Consumers who have the recalled product and have questions can call 1-888-406-9305 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time).

In July, the FDA also recalled certain batches of Valsartan made by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals in China. Those drugs were found to contain the chemical N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which has been shown to increase the occurrence of cancer in animals.

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