Signs & Symptoms of Valsartan Toxicity

November 15, 2019 | Firm News

Recalls of several types of generic Valsartan have been issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), due to a manufacturing impurity. Originally intended as a solution for high blood pressure, batches of the drug contaminated with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), are allegedly increasing the risk of cancer. Patients suffering signs and symptoms of Valsartan toxicity are filing Valsartan lawsuits against the manufacturers for drugs made between 2012 and 2018.

Valsartan pills on counter

What is Valsartan?

Valsartan belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). It is an active ingredient in many generic drugs used to treat hypertension, heart failure, left ventricular heart failure, and left ventricular heart dysfunction following myocardial infarction. Its purpose is to assist with blood flow by relaxing blood vessels.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Valsartan Toxicity?  

When taking Valsartan, it is important to monitor one’s health for signs of severe symptoms related to NDMA exposure. If experiencing any of the following side effects, notify your doctor immediately:

  • Feeling faint or fainting
  • Jaundice
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Enlarged liver
  • Kidney issues: swelling of the feet, ankles, or hands, blood in urine, decreased frequency or amount of urination, pain with urination, or unexplained weight gain.

Valsartan in and of itself, can cause damage to the liver, even when it is not contaminated. The liver has a difficult time metabolizing the drug, and as a result some patients suffer acute liver injury. Within one to eight weeks symptoms will typically develop, such as fatigue, dark urine, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, pale stool, unexplained weight loss, jaundice, and flu-like symptoms. Severe cases can lead to the liver disease cholestasis, in which the flow of bile from the liver slows or stops.

Side Effects Leading to Lawsuits

Patients are at increased risk of developing cancer when exposed to NDMA over a long period of time. A 2018 Danish study confirmed the association between the drug and the following types of cancer:

  • Liver cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Rectum cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer

Lawsuits are also being filed by those who have been diagnosed with:

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Prostate cancer
  • Non-Hodgkins lymphoma
  • Multiple myelomas

Valsartan cases are still in the early stages of litigation and have not yet made it to trial or settlement negotiations. However, victims are pursuing and may be able to recover compensation for medical bills and expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and possibly punitive damages.

Manufacturers of Contaminated Valsartan

The many valsartan recalls are impacting batches sold by the following pharmaceutical companies:

  • Acetris
  • Aurobindo
  • Camber Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Hetero
  • Major Pharmaceuticals
  • Mylan Pharmaceutical Ltd.
  • Prinston/Solco (Prinston is a subsidiary of Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical)
  • Teva/Actavis
  • Torrent

ARBs are continuing to be investigated to ensure all products on the market are free from contamination. Due to the shortage of Valsartan medication, the FDA prioritized the review of new applications for the drug and approved Alkem Laboratories Ltd. as a safe manufacturer in March 2019.

We Will Review Your Case for Free!

If you or a loved one believes to be suffering from a Valsartan-related condition, contact the Dunken Law Firm. We will evaluate the facts of your case and advise you on your right to collect compensation. Call us (713) 554-6780 at or reach us online.