Rabat – Morocco’s Health Ministry has ordered the recall of all batches of certain valsartan-based medicines supplied by the Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical.
Valsartan-based medications are used to treat clients with high blood pressure to reduce complications such as heart attacks. The medication is also used by patients who have had heart disease or a recent heart attack.
The ministry called on medicine distributors and pharmacies to stop selling all valsartan-based medicines, including VALSARTAN WIN 80 mg and 160 mg, CO-VALSARTAN WIN 80 mg/12.5mg and 16 mg/25 mg and ATENSIL 40 mg, 80 mg and 160 mg.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Health, tests detected the appearance of an impurity, probably carcinogenic, in drugs containing valsartan manufactured by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical.
“If you use any of the medicines listed above, it is important to consult your doctor to replace it with another valsartan drug from a different source or take alternative treatment,” the ministry advised citizens.
However, it is important for people using the medicines “not to interrupt” their treatment, and the ministry recommended patients consult their doctor or pharmacist with any questions.
The alert affects several countries since N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) was detected in the active substance “valsartan,” added the statement.
Analysts did not expect to find NDMA, and its presence must be linked to changes in the way the active substance was manufactured. The ministry noted that “only the drugs mentioned above are affected.”