New carcinogen discovered in valsartan

A solvent called dimethylformamide (DMF) was discovered in valsartan made by several companies, including Novartis, according to a filing last week to FDA by Valisure. DMF is classified by the World Health Organization as a probable carcinogen. Valsartan is a decades-old treatment for hypertension that is frequently combined with other products into a single tablet. Valisure found DMF in valsartan that is still on the market in the United States. The findings could complicate the agency's efforts to pull tainted products from pharmacies while informing doctors and patients which products are safe. DMF is the fourth potential carcinogen to be found in batches of the heart tablets. FDA is investigating how the recalled products were contaminated. Patients should keep taking their blood-pressure product even if it is recalled, FDA says, until they can talk to their doctor. Suddenly stopping such medicines could cause harm.

Read More