Diagnosed With Cancer from Valsartan Side Effects?

In July 2018, the FDA warned consumers throughout the United States that many version of generic valsartan and valsartan HCTZ drugs distributed in recent years may contain an impurity known as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is a human carcinogen.

Did You or a Loved One Suffer Valsartan Recall Side Effects

Saiontz & Kirk, PA, Attorneys & Lawyers, Baltimore, MD

Side effects of NDMA in recalled valsartan pills may result in the development of:

  • Liver Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Intestinal Cancer

The product liability lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are investigating potential valsartan cancer lawsuits for individuals and families nationwide.

All cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means that there are no fees or expenses unless a settlement is obtained for an injury caused by recalled valsartan side effects.

Recalled Valsartan Cancer Risks

Valsartan is an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), and part of a class of drugs use to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure. Once sold under the brand name Diovan, it has been available as a generic drug for years.

On July 5, 2018 the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced that it was recalling several valsartan products after NDMA was detected in batches of the active ingredient supplied by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals in China.

The FDA issued its own valsartan recall on July 13, 2018. The recalls have been expanded several times, impacting a number of different manufacturers that distributed valsartan pills with NDMA, which resulted from bad manufacturing processes.

NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen, and has been linked to various forms of cancer, particularly liver cancer and other digestive tract cancers

N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) Side Effects from Valsartan

N-Nitrosodimethylamine forms due to reactions by chemicals called alkylamines. While it was once used as an ingredient in rocket fuel, it is no longer intentionally manufactured. However, it may be created as a byproduct of some chemical manufacturing processes, which is what U.S. and European investigators say happened with recalled valsartan products.

Fortunately, NDMA does not persist long in the environment, breaking down quickly when exposed to sunlight and only lasting a few months in soil. However, it could persist for long periods of time in medication tablets, which are kept out of direct sunlight.

At high doses, NDMA in Valsartan may be poisonous, causing severe liver damage, bleeding and death. NDMA is a known contaminant, meaning there are already set limits on how much NDMA is allowed in food. Recalled valsartan drug contained NDMA levels that exceeded “safe” levels for an estimated four years. The FDA has published a list of recalled products.

The FDA estimates suggest that taking the highest dose of valsartan containing NDMA over the past four years would have resulted in additional cases of cancer. According to study published in The BMJ in September 2018, exposure to NDMA increased the risk of cancer by nine percent.

While early studies and testing suggest the risks of cancer is low, the investigation into the potential side effects of valsartan NDMA exposure remains in the earliest stages and it appears likely that many individuals may have avoided a diagnosis if they had not been given contaminated pills.

NDMA has specifically been used to poison individuals in the past, and has shown high rates of toxicity in animal testing. In both cases, researchers noted the severe damage the chemical did to the liver, however it has been linked to an increased risk of other cancers as well.

Diagnosed With Cancer From Valsartan Side Effects?

Types of Cancer Side Effects Reviewed

Liver Cancer
There are several forms of liver cancer, with the most common being hepatocellular carcinoma. Symptoms can include weight loss, loss of appetite, upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, abdominal swelling and white, chalky stools. They only represent about 2.4% of all cancer cases, but account for 5% of cancer deaths, with only a 17.7% survival rate after five years.
Kidney Cancer
Renal cell carcinoma is the most common form of kidney cancer, representing 90% of all cases. Symptoms include blood-tinged urine, persistent back or side pain, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, fatigue and intermittent fever. Kidney cancer represents about 3.8% of all cancer cases and accounts for 2.5% of cancer deaths, with a 74.5% survival rate after five years.
Intestinal/Colon Cancer
This form of cancer can occur in the large or small intestines. When it occurs in the large intestine, it is referred to as colorectal cancer, or colon cancer. It is simply referred to as small intestine or small bowel cancer when located in the small intestines. Symptoms can include diarrhea, constipation, rectal bleeding, cramps, gas pain, fatigue, unexplained weight loss and a feeling that your bowel doesn’t completely empty. Intestinal cancer represents about 8.1% of all cancer cases and 8.3% of cancer deaths, with a 64.5% survival rate after five years.
Stomach Cancer
Also known as adenocarcinoma, it usually begins in the mucus-producing cells that line the stomach. Symptoms include fatigue, bloated feelings after eating, severe and persistent heartburn, persistent indigestion, stomach pain, nausea, persistent vomiting, and weight loss. It represents only 1.55 of cancer cases and accounts for only 1.8% of cancer deaths. There is a 31% survival rate after five years.
Bladder Cancer
One of the more common forms of cancer, it is fortunately often detected quickly and treated in the early stages. Symptoms include blood in the urine, painful urination, pelvic pain, back pain and frequent urination. It represents nearly 5% of cancer cases but only 2.8% of deaths. It has a 76.8% survival rate after five years.
Pancreatic Cancer
A particularly deadly form of cancer, pancreatic cancer often has spread to other organs before it is detected, decreasing the chances of survival. Symptoms include upper abdomen and back pain, loss of appetite, depression, new-onset diabetes, blood clots, fatigue, and jaundice. While it only accounts for 3.2% of cancer cases, it causes 7.3% of deaths and has a five-year survival rate of only 8.5%.

Valsartan Cancer Lawsuits

The lawyers at Saointz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing potential valsartan class action lawsuits, as well as individual cancer claims for individuals diagnosed following use of the recalled hypertension drugs.

As a result of the failure to follow proper manufacturing practices, individuals were exposed to a risk of cancer that would not have otherwise been associated with side effects of valsartan.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer after taking recalled valsartan products, request a free consultation and claim evaluation. All claims are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are never any out-of-pocket expenses and no fees unless a recovery is obtained.

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