Valsartan versus Losartan

Since 2018, several batches of high blood pressure medications Valsartan and Losartan have been recalled for containing high levels of cancer-causing chemicals. However, the Losartan recalls have not been as extensive as Valsartan's.

Patients who sustained liver damage after taking Valsartan or who developed cancer after taking Valsartan could be eligible to file suit against the Valsartan manufacturers. These Valsartan lawsuit and Losartan lawsuit plaintiffs may be entitled to significant financial damages to pay for their medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering.

In this article, our personal injury lawyers discuss Valsartan vs. Losartan in the following respects:

Some Losartan batches have been recalled due to NDEA impurities, which can cause cancer.

1. Classification

Both Valsartan and Losartan are pill-form ARBs, which is short for angiotensin receptor blockers. Angiotensin II is a hormone that causes blood vessels to constrict.

Valsartan and Losartan work by blocking Angiotensin II, thereby allowing the blood vessels to relax and dilate. This dilation, in turn, helps bring down the person's blood pressure as well as the heart's workload.1

Other basic identifying information about Valsartan versus Losartan is below:



Chemical formula: C24H29N5O3

Chemical formula: C22H22ClKN6O

Molar mass: 435.519 g/mol

Molar mass: 422.91 g/mol

Elimination half-life: 6 hours

Elimination half-life: 2 hours

Melting point: 240.8°F (116-117°C)

Melting point: 363.2°F (184°C)

ATC code: C09CA03 (WHO)

ATC code: C09CA01 (WHO)

DrugBank: DB00177

DrugBank: DB00678 

2. Indications

Both Valsartan and Losartan are prescribed to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). Both are also prescribed for:

  • enlarged heart
  • heart failure
  • erectile dysfunction
  • diabetes prevention

Valsartan is also prescribed to manage post-myocardial infarction (heart attacks). Meanwhile, Losartan is also prescribed to manage:

  • hypertension with left ventricular hypertrophy
  • nephropathy for type II diabetes
  • atrial fibrillation prevention
  • kidney disease
  • diabetic kidney disease
  • stroke prevention
  • gout
  • high urine calcium.2

3. Side effects

Potential side effects of both Losartan and Valsartan include:

Blood pressure medications carry various possible side-effects that are largely manageable.
  • dizziness
  • impotence
  • upper respiratory infection
  • cough
  • palpitations
  • back pain
  • abdominal pain
  • somnolence (sleepiness)
  • paresthesia (burning or prickling skin sensation)
  • headache
  • vertigo
  • syncope (fainting)
  • dyspnea (labored breathing)
  • constipation
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • pruritus (itchiness)
  • rash
  • myalgia (muscle pain)
  • arthralgia (joint pain)
  • edema (swelling from fluid)

Potential side effects specific to Valsartan include: 

  • nasal congestion
  • anemia
  • depression
  • sleep disorders
  • migraine
  • tinnitus (ringing in ears)
  • atrial fibrillation
  • cerebrovascular accident "CVA" (stroke)
  • urticaria (hives)
  • photosensitivity
  • tongue swelling

(Learn more about Valsartan side effects, complications, and injuries.)

Potential side effects specific to Losartan include:

  • viral infection
  • fatigue
  • diarrhea
  • rhinitis (stuffy or runny nose)
  • sinusitis
  • pharyngitis
  • asthenia (lack of energy)
  • dry mouth
  • dyspepsia (indigestion)
  • flatulence
  • muscle cramps
  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • chest pain
  • anorexia
  • angioedema (rapid swelling).2

4. Pharmaceutical companies

Brand-name Valsartan -- called Diovan -- is manufactured by Novartis. Brand-name Losartan -- called Cozaar -- is manufactured by Merck Sharp Dohme

The following are some of the pharmaceutical companies that produce generics of both Valsartan and Losartan:

Several pharmaceutical companies have recalled blood pressure medications that may have been contaminated with NDMA and/or NDEA.

Other Valsartan generics are produced by the following pharmaceutical companies:

Other Losartan generics are produced by the following pharmaceutical companies:

5. Recalls

Many former Valsartan-users were prescribed Losartan when their pill bottles were recalled for having impurities. However, several Losartan batches have also since been recalled for impurities.

To check if your batch is safe and does not increase cancer risks, check the FDA's list of currently marketed medicine here.

5.1. Valsartan

Hundreds of batches of Valsartan have been recalled due to excessive amounts of the genotoxin and carcinogen NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine). It appears that the impure lots were manufactured by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals, located in Linhai, China, as far back as 2012.

The first Valsartan NDMA recall occurred on July 6, 2018, and recalls have continued into 2019.4 The FDA created a comprehensive website that lists all the recalled batches here.

Not all Valsartan batches have been recalled. Brand-name Valsartan (Diovan) manufactured by Novartis is still on the market.

5.2. Losartan

On September 21, 2018, the European Medicines Agency said it would review Losartan for impurities after German authorities found batches contaminated with the carcinogen NDEA (N-nitrosodiethylamine).5 The FDA has since created a comprehensive website that lists the recalled batches here.

Like NDMA, sufficient amounts of NDEA can cause various cancers, including:

  • colorectal cancer
  • pancreatic cancer
  • liver cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • stomach cancer

6. Lawsuits

People who developed from cancer from contaminated batches of either Valsartan or Losartan may be able to sue the pharmaceutical companies. Possible claims include negligence and defective manufacturing.

Just recently, a Valsartan MDL (multi-district litigation) formed in New Jersey that is expected to consolidate thousands of plaintiffs' lawsuits. Plaintiffs could be eligible to receive large financial settlements for their:

  • medical bills
  • pain and suffering
  • lost wages
  • loss of future earnings

Note that if the victim dies from cancer, his/her estate may be able to bring a lawsuit. Also, the victim's family may be able to bring a wrongful death suit.

Male receptionist waiting for your call.
Call our personal injury attorneys at (855) 396-0370 for a FREE consultation.

Call a personal injury attorney...

If you got cancer after having ingested contaminated high blood pressure pills, the personal injury attorneys at Shouse Law Group want to help. We are here to do all we can to diligently investigate your claim, effectively negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies, and tirelessly litigate your case.

You can contact our skilled and caring personal injury attorneys now at (855) 396-0370 for a free consultation and case evaluation. Make sure to act as soon as possible before the Valsartan deadline to file your lawsuit passes.

Legal References

Free attorney consultations...

The attorneys at Shouse Law Group bring more than 100 years collective experience fighting for individuals. We're ready to fight for you. Call us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 855-LAW-FIRM for a free case evaluation.

Regain peace of mind...

Shouse Law Defense Group has multiple locations throughout California. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

Office Locations

Shouse Law Group has multiple locations all across California, Nevada, and Colorado. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

Call us 24/7 (855) 396-0370