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Nationwide Recall of Popular Blood Pressure, Heart Drugs Expanded Over Cancer Concerns

A multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical company has expanded its national recall of a prescription drug used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart failure for the fourth time since December after trace amount of a possible carcinogen were detected, federal officials announced Thursday.

Torrent Pharmaceuticals, based in India, expanded its U.S. recall to include thousands upon thousands more losartan potassium and losartan potassium/hydrochlorothiazide tablets due to the detection of an "unexpected impurity" -- N-Methylnitrosobutyric acid (NMBA) -- in an active ingredient.

NMBA, a potential cancer-causing impurity, was found at levels above the acceptable daily intake recommendations of the FDA, Torrent said. No adverse health effects related to the recall have been reported, the company said. Consumers taking the affected medication should speak with their doctors to discuss the recall before they stop taking the drug, or if they have experienced any adverse effects that may be related to the drug.

Losartan is used to treat high blood pressure, left ventricle-heart conditions and nephropathy in Type 2 diabetic patients, among other conditions. Losartan potassium and hydrochlorothiazide tablets are also used to treat high blood pressure and heart issues, but are not used to treat nephropathy.

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