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The National Drug Authority (NDA) has urged all health workers in Uganda of an impure ingredient-nitrosodimethyiamine (NDMA), which cause cancer in patients.

According to the NDA, the dangerous substance was discovered in valsartan API produced by Zhenjang Huahai Pharmaceuticals Linhai, China. Valsartan is used to treat high blood pressure and other illnesses.

The agency on July 27 warned the local health workers through a letter it distributed to them.

The agency now says it has recalled all medicines containing valsartan API supplied by the Chinese company and others. Some of the medicines recalled include; Valsar.Denk 80, Valsar.Denk 160, Valsar. Denk 320, Valsar 160,

NDA mentions Benie Consults Limited and Abacus Pharma Africa Limited as some the companies in Uganda distributing the above drugs.

The drug, according to NDA, has been recalled in the European Union and the United States.

As such, the agency has advised patients who were using the drug to look for alternatives as it continues with the surveillance on the local market.

“Please note that there is no immediate risk and patients using the above listed valsartan brands are advised to switch to alternative brands. NDA will continue to investigate presence of NDMA in all valsartan products on the market and will update this communication immediately,” NDA says.

Valsartan is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. It belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), which help lowering high blood pressure, prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.