Health chiefs have recalled a number of medicines that contain the ingredient valsartan.
This recall has been issued following indications of the presence of an undesirable impurity N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in the valsartan active ingredient, which is manufactured by a facility in China.
Swiss multinational pharmaceutical compaany Novartis informed the ministry that their products containing Valsartan - Diovan, Co-Diovan Entresto and Exforge - are not impacted because these products do not contain the active ingredient from an external supplier. "NDMA is a potential human carcinogen, which means that it could cause cancer with long-term exposure".
Valsartan is used to treat hypertension and can prevent cardiovascular complications associated with the condition.
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Meanwhile, anyone who has been using an affected product should contact their health care practitioner as soon as they can to discuss treatment options.
The announcement follows news last week that the European Medicines Agency launched a recall and review of valsartan-containing drugs.
But the agency also said that anyone taking medication that contains valsartan should continue to take it unless told to stop by their doctor or pharmacist.
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