A widely prescribed blood pressure medication is being pulled off shelves across the country over fears it could cause cancer.
The Food and Drug Administration voluntarily recalled the generic drug Valsartan
The three companies the FDA asked to recall it’s products are Major Pharmaceuticals, Solco Healthcare and Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries.
A Bentonville veteran, Larry Boldra, has been taking the recalled medicine since his first heart attack in 2003. He’s now worried he’s left to choose between having another heart attack or possibly getting cancer.
“We love him, we don’t want to lose him to cancer,” said Ronda Boldra, Larry’s wife. “He has lost some weight, so maybe he already has this cancer.”
Ronda said she feels betrayed. The medicine that’s suppose to keep her husband alive, could possibly do the opposite.
“He has to stay on it until they switch him to something else,” said Ronda.
Cornerstone Pharmacist Dr. Jim Graham is telling all his patients to continue taking the medicine until they talk to their doctor.
“The risk of your blood pressure skyrocketing is a much more serious, immediate effect,” said Graham. “I have a whole basket of drugs that have been recalled that I have to send back.”
Graham said the FDA found a small amount of a toxic substance that is linked to causing caner. It was manufactured in China.
“This drug is a known carcinogen of rats and mice, they actually use it to study cancer development in the liver of mice and rats,” said Graham.
The substance in the drug could’ve possibly been on the market for two and a half years, according to Graham.
“Anytime there’s blimp like this there’s always a concern about the manufacture of any product,” said Graham.
Larry is now waiting to find out which alternative generic medicine will work for him.
Until then, he has to keep taking the recalled drugs.
Graham urges anyone who uses the drug to talk to their doctor.