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Blood pressure medication recall continues to expand

A recall on blood pressure medication first announced in April has been expanded. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. issued a voluntary recall for losartan potassium tablets that may contain N-Nitroso-N-methyl-4-aminobutyric acid (NMBA) at levels higher than the FDA’s acceptable exposure limit. NMBA, which has been shown to cause cancer in rats, qualifies as a known animal carcinogen and a potential human carcinogen. The expanded recall involves six lots of bulk losartan potassium USP tablets — two are 50 mg strength tablets, while the other four are 100 mg strength tablets.

The tablets were sold to Golden State Medical Supply, Inc., and packages under GSM’s own label. They were then distributed in retail bottles of 30, 90 and 1,000 tablets. The affected losartan potassium tablets being recalled are described as:

  • Losartan potassium tablets, USP 50 mg, are green, film-coated, oval-shaped biconvex tablets with “LK 50” on one side and “>” on the other side.
  • Losartan potassium tablets, USP 100 mg, are dark green, film-coated, oval-shaped biconvex tablets with “LK100” on one side and “>” on the other side.

The FDA maintains that the risk of developing cancer by taking these recalled medications over a long period of time is low, but present.

Approximately 70 million Americans and 1 billion people worldwide have high blood pressure, which can raise the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, dementia and more when left untreated. In the vast majority of cases, drugs are not needed to reverse high blood pressure. They’re prescribed to take the place of healthy lifestyle choices that can naturally lower blood pressure levels and often pose even more of a health threat.

If you’re looking for ways to treat your high blood pressure without potentially harmful prescription drugs, consider changing your lifestyle and dietary habits. Safe and natural ways to beat high blood pressure include:

Eat a healthy diet — An unhealthy diet is a major risk factor for high blood pressure. To help normalize levels, avoid processed foods, since they usually contain hidden amounts of sodium, trans fat, fructose and grains.

Keep your weight in check — Being overweight can strain your heart. Losing as little as five to 10 pounds can significantly lower your risk for high blood pressure.

Manage your stress levels — Stress can cause short-term spikes in blood pressure levels. Determine your stress triggers and manage them in a way that works for you.

Exercise regularly — Regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight and ease stress, which can in turn help lower blood pressure levels.

Load up on vitamin D — Vitamin D deficiency can cause arterial stiffness, which may lead to high blood pressure. Increase your vitamin D levels through safe sun exposure or by eating foods rich in vitamin D, such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon and organic eggs.