What’s the Problem with Valsartan Medication?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Nancy J. Winkler with Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C..
Valsartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker or ARB designed to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. Unfortunately, this medication and others like it have been known to contain nitrosamine impurities, which have been linked to a variety of cancers including liver, kidney, bladder, and more, not to mention severe liver and/or kidney damage.
Whenever someone suffers from a defective or dangerous pharmaceutical, it may be possible to seek compensation for the resulting damages in a product liability lawsuit. Damages that can occur from taking a medication like Valsartan may include extensive medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and in the event of the patient’s death, loss of a loved one for the bereaved family.
In 2018 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered a recall of Valsartan and similar ARB medications.
This recall came about after the FDA discovered that several hundred batches of the medication were contaminated with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) during the manufacturing process; NDMA is broadly considered a dangerous carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent and is also largely responsible for the Zantac (ranitidine) heartburn medication recall and lawsuits. Other similar ARB medications that were recalled include Losartan and Irbesartan.
Even though Valsartan was recalled, individuals who suspect their health condition or cancer diagnosis was a result of taking Valsartan or another ARB may still be eligible to file a claim to pursue compensation for their damages.
The following may indicate you are suffering from the adverse effects of NDMA:
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Skin rash
- Hair loss
- Abdominal cramps
- Kidney damage or failure
- Liver damage or failure
- Cancer diagnosis
Drug manufacturers have a responsibility to provide reasonably safe products and warn consumers about potential risks.
Valsartan manufacturers are facing lawsuits regarding the manufacturing defect or error that resulted in several hundred batches of the pharmaceutical being contaminated with potentially cancerous NDMA. The manufacturers are also facing allegations of improper labeling, leaving patients largely unaware of the risks the medication posed to their long-term health and safety.
Whenever an error occurs in the design or manufacturing process of a product, including medication, the manufacturer may be liable. Pharmaceutical manufacturers in particular have a strict responsibility to ensure that their products are being produced in an acceptable manner and that consumers are adequately informed about any potential risks associated with the product.
If you or a loved one suffered from taking Valsartan or another ARB medication, consider the following:
- Do not throw away the medication or packaging if possible.
- Talk to a doctor.
- Obtain copies of your medical records.
- Collect records of any expenses related to taking Valsartan or a related illness.
- Contact a Valsartan product liability attorney.
Most product liability attorneys like those that handle defective pharmaceutical cases offer free consultations and work on contingency, which means clients don’t pay unless they win. To learn more about the problems with Valsartan and other ARBs, reach out to an experienced Valsartan liability attorney in your area.