UF Student Health Care Center announced July 19 it will no longer offer prescriptions for certain high blood pressure medications.
This announcement comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recalled several drug products due to NDMA being found in the capsules, which was possibly due to changes in manufacturing the medications.
The pills contain an active ingredient called valsartan, which is commonly used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure, according to the FDA.
NDMA, also known as N-nitrosodimethylamine, is an organic chemical that is highly toxic and can cause liver fibrosis, which is like liver scarring, UF pharmacology doctoral student Sandy Saunders said.
The recalled products include: Valsartan sold by Major Pharmaceuticals Inc., Solco Healthcare and Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd., as well as Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) sold by Solco Healthcare and Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.
Janet Woodcock, the director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said the listed valsartan-containing medications didn’t meet the FDA’s safety standards.
“This is why we’ve asked these companies to take immediate action to protect patients,” Woodcock said.
The FDA urges patients taking the medications to continue taking them until they are able to find a replacement.
Since the recall, the UF SHCC has notified patients using medications containing valsartan that there will be no refills, Laura Tipton, a UF SHCC employee, said.
While there are alternatives for the recalled medications, Tipton said they are available in short supply and can be prescribed at the UF SHCC.