Pfizer recalls blood pressure drugs over cancer-causing agent

US pharma giant, Pfizer, says it is recalling a blood pressure drug due to elevated levels of a potential cancer-causing impurity.

The company warned consumers about several tainted lots of accuretic and two other versions of the drug — quinapril and hydrochlorothiazide tablets – because of the presence of a nitrosamine above the acceptable daily intake level.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, “Nitrosamines are common in water and foods, including cured and grilled meats, dairy products and vegetables. Everyone is exposed to some level of nitrosamines.

“These impurities may increase the risk of cancer if people are exposed to them above acceptable levels over long periods of time.”

The medications are prescribed for the treatment of hypertension to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, primarily strokes and myocardial infarctions.

The recall is voluntary, according to the company, adding that as of Monday, it had not received any report of adverse events related to the drugs.

Pfizer added, “Although long- term ingestion of N-nitroso-quinapril may be associated with a potential increased cancer risk in humans, there is no immediate risk to patients taking this medication.”

The company suggested that patients taking the tablets should consult with their health care provider or pharmacy to determine whether they have been given an affected batch.

It also noted that the product lots were distributed nationwide to wholesalers and distributors in the United States and Puerto Rico from November 2019 to March 2022.


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