If you've been reading my eTips for a while, you know that blood pressure meds can do a lot more harm than good.
As I've shared with you before, these drugs come with some pretty hefty side effects, from irregular heartbeat to problems in the bedroom.
But if you're currently taking the BP drug valsartan -- which actually has fewer side effects than some other prescription BP meds -- you may think you're taking less of a gamble with your health.
But now, the FDA has sounded the alarm on valsartan for a pretty shocking reason.
It’s issued a RECALL of the drug... because it was found to contain a chemical known to cause CANCER!
That chemical is called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NMDA), and it's used to make stuff like rocket fuel and industrial lubricants.
The FDA classifies it as a "probable human carcinogen," so what in tarnation is it doing in your medicine?!
Well, it turns out that valsartan -- like many prescription drugs today -- is produced overseas in countries like India and China, where the feds have little oversight of manufacturing processes.
And since NMDA can unintentionally make its way into products through certain chemical reactions , it can sneak into your drugs… especially if no one's looking out for it.
The FDA sure wasn't -- that is, until the European Medicines Agency kicked off a recall of valsartan at the beginning of July, followed by countries such as Japan, Taiwan, and Canada.
When the flunkies in OUR federal government finally followed suit mid-July, they issued a voluntary recall of five different generic valsartan products manufactured in China but sold by U.S. companies.
And now, in August, the FDA has expanded that recall list to include some valsartan products manufactured in India , too.
All told, there are a DOZEN drugmakers whose valsartan products -- including valsartan drugs that contain a diuretic called “HTCZ” -- were found to contain NMDA!
Of course, the feds are urging everyone not to stop taking valsartan abruptly, lest your BP shoot through the roof. And your doc may recommend switching to another version of the drug made by other companies -- or to another BP drug entirely.
But the question is: Do you really need to be on BP meds in the first place?
Too often, a diagnosis of hypertension is made by tightening that cuff on your arm ONE time during ONE visit to the doctor's office.
And the stress of being at the doc's can send anyone's BP higher than normal -- something known as "white coat syndrome."
A better way is to measure it consistently at home, where you're most comfortable, multiple times over a week or two.
And if it turns out that your BP is truly, dangerously high, simple lifestyle changes like losing weight... moving around a bit more... and supplementing your diet with tart cherry juice and cinnamon can bring it down naturally.