The FDA has recently released a voluntary recall of several drug products containing the active ingredient valsartan. These medications are primarily used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. The FDA will continue to investigate this issue and provide additional information when it becomes available. The agency encourages patients and health care professionals to report any adverse reaction to the FDA’s MedWatch program.
Why is it being recalled?
The FDA identified a cancer-causing impurity within the recalled products based on laboratory test results. They believe the impurity is a result of the way the active substance was manufactured. Due to this, not all products containing valsartan are being recalled.
What products are recalled?
Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.
Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.
Next steps you should take
Because valsartan is used in medicines to treat serious medical conditions, patients taking the recalled valsartan-containing medicines should continue taking their medicine until they have a replacement product.
To determine whether a specific product has been recalled, patients should look at the drug name and company name on the label of their prescription bottle. If the information is not on the bottle, patients should contact the pharmacy that dispensed the medicine.
If a patient is taking one of the recalled medicines listed below, they should follow the recall instructions provided by the specific company. This information will be posted to the FDA’s website.
Patients should also contact their health care professional (the pharmacist who dispensed the medication or doctor who prescribed the medication) if their medicine is included in this recall to discuss their treatment, which may include another valsartan product not affected by this recall or an alternative treatment option.
Contact your Tria Health pharmacist today for additional assistance with the recall process: 1.888.799.8742
It’s that time of year again! Time to pack away your winter sweaters and break out your summer shorts. While we’re all looking forward to a little warmer weather it’s important to be aware of how heat can impact your health, especially if you have a history of heart disease. Certain heart medications like beta blockers, ace receptor blockers, ace inhibitors, calcium channel blockers and diuretics (which deplete the body of sodium) can exaggerate the body’s response to heat.1
We’re here to help you with a few tips so you can stay safe and have fun this summer!
Everyday Tips (Three D’s)
Dress Right: Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton, or a synthetic fabric that repels sweat. Add a hat, sunglasses and well-ventilated shoes.
Drink: Stay hydrated! Drink water before, during and after you exercise. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
Do-Nothing: Every once and awhile, stop and find a cool place to relax and hydrate for a few minutes.
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion:
Cool, moist skin
Dizziness and light-headedness
Nausea and vomiting
Symptoms of Heat Stroke:
Fever (temperature above 104 °F)
Dry, hot, and red skin
Rapid, shallow breathing
Rapid, weak pulse
If you have any additional questions regarding your medications,
reach out to the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742
February is American Heart Month, sponsored by the American Heart Association. This month is designed to raise awareness about heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. One in three deaths in the US is caused by heart disease and stroke.
Your friends at Tria Health want you to understand your personal risks, and what you can do to prevent heart disease in yourselves and your loved ones.
Know Your Personal Risk Factors
Knowing your numbers could potentially save your life! We encourage you to talk to our clinicians or another healthcare provider about your personal risk factors for heart disease.
Blood Pressure Below 120/80
Blood Sugar fasting blood sugar of less than 100
Body Mass Index less than 25
You Have the Power to Control Some of Your Risk Factors
There are many risk factors for heart disease, some within your control and others outside your control. The risks you CAN control include:
High blood pressure
High blood cholesterol
Lack of regular activity
Obesity or overweight
The risks outside your control are:
Previous heart attack or stroke
How to Live Healthy
The American Heart Association recommends that to live a healthy lifestyle, you must:
Eat Smart: Make healthy, delicious choices wherever and whenever you eat.
Add Color: Make life more colorful with fruits and vegetables.
Move More: Infuse more movement into your life for optimal health.
Be Well: Create balance, vitality and wellbeing through self-care.
Wear Red and Raise Awareness About Heart Disease for Women
National Wear Red Day is February 2nd. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement that advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. The movement also challenges people to know their risk for heart disease and act to reduce their personal risk.
Take Steps to Reduce Your Risk
Not only can you wear red to raise awareness but you can also take steps to reduce your own risk. The American Heart Association has developed an online tool called My Life Check. My Life Check allows you to find out your heart score and see if you’re at risk based on Life’s Simple 7:
Tria Health offers Chronic Condition Management through our Pharmacy Advocate Program. Heart Disease and stroke are two of the many chronic conditions that Tria Health targets. Clinical Pharmacists provide one-on-one telephonic counseling for members and act as their personal advocate to help them navigate through the health care system. Through reviewing a member’s medications and lifestyle habits, Tria Pharmacists can make recommendations that will help control their chronic conditions and help them feel better!
According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes affects 30 million Americans, including 8.1 million people who are undiagnosed. Another 86 million more—one in three adults—have prediabetes and 15-30 percent will develop diabetes within five years without change.
The Scary Statistics
People with type 2 diabetes have more than two times the risk for developing heart disease
People with diabetes live 7-8 years less
Two out of three deaths in people with type 2 diabetes are attributed to cardiovascular disease
Less than half of people with diabetes are aware of their risk of cardiovascular disease. This lack of awareness prevents people with diabetes and their health care providers from addressing risks and improving health.
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease states that “the increased co-occurrence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease demands greater awareness to save lives and health care dollars.”
At Tria Health, that’s precisely what we do—we manage the whole patient, and discuss all their conditions, prescription medications, over-the-counter medications and their lifestyle. Our pharmacists educate their patients about their medications and make recommendations to the patients and their prescribing physicians to improve clinical outcomes.
A Tria Health Patient Success Story
During an initial pharmacist consultation, it was documented that the patient’s HgbA1c was too high – indicating poorly controlled Diabetes. In addition, the patient had significant financial difficulties affording certain medications increasing medication non-adherence. The patient was initially prescribed Metformin, but stopped taking the medication due to stomach problems without replacing it with any other diabetes medication. The pharmacist recommended a prescription of Glimepiride since it is inexpensive, very effective, and generally well tolerated. The patient’s physician agreed with the recommendation and the patient has achieved a HgbA1c of 8% in one year
In addition, the Tria pharmacist recommended switching from brand-named Benicar-HCT, a blood pressure medication, to a similarly available generic blood pressure medication called Losartan-HCTZ. The generic version saved the member $40 every 30 days and the patient’s blood pressure remains well controlled on Losartan-HCTZ.
The patient initially had success and then set-backs with smoking cessation. The Tria pharmacist worked with them to achieve sustained smoking cessation and improved health by identifying appropriate therapies and by providing ongoing education and coaching.
This success story illustrates that by managing the whole patient, and all their conditions, can and will improve clinical and financial outcomes.