Heartburn Medication Has Also Been Recalled
Again, the detection of cancer-causing impurities triggered the recall, but the cause of the contamination is still under investigation.
Until we know a little more information, it seems prudent to just switch to another heartburn medication thats over-the-counter, says Ganio. For prescription-strength ranitidine, consult with a prescriber to see if theres another medication that he or she would recommend.
To help you stay on top of all the latest information regarding drug recalls, the FDA maintains a dedicated webpage that is updated regularly.
Is There A Link Between Blood Pressure Medication And Cancer
Dec. 3, 1999 — Do blood-pressure-lowering drugs cause cancer? Could they possibly prevent it? These issues were addressed here at a special session on cancer risks at the 14th Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension . Although one study found ACE inhibitors to be protective, another sparked controversy by linking diuretics to renal cell carcinoma .
Treatment with an ACE inhibitor not only can lower blood pressure and protect kidneys but also can significantly reduce one’s risk of dying from cancer — especially a woman’s risk of death from breast or gynecologic cancers, according to John L. Reid, professor of medicine at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Reid is the lead researcher for a study of 5,297 patients taking antihypertensive medications who were followed-up for 16 years.
Reid tells WebMD that recent studies suggest that some antihypertensive treatments are cancer-causing, but he disagrees with these findings. “The only cancer in which we have seen a slight increase in incidence is renal cancer, and let me say that this is a very, very rare cancer,” he says.
In the study, 1,559 patients with high blood pressure were treated with an ACE inhibitor, while the other patients were treated with a variety of other antihypertensive agents. Among the patients treated with ACE inhibitors, there were 60 cancers there were 267 cancers among the patients taking other agents.
Can I Get Cancer From Taking Arbs
The FDA states that the risk of anyone actually getting cancer from taking a contaminated blood pressure pill is very, very small. In a statement, the FDA estimated that, in a worst-case scenario, if 8,000 people took the highest dose of a contaminated valsartan medication every day for four years, it might cause one cancer case among those 8,000 people.
This represents an extremely low risk to anyone who takes an ARB to reduce their blood pressure.
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More Than 30 Batches Of Pills Used To Treat High Blood Pressure Have Been Contaminated By An Impurity That Can Increase The Risk Of Cancer
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The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency stressed that they are recalling batches of the drugs from pharmacies and suppliers rather than patients and that there is no evidence they have caused harm, although investigations are ongoing.
The recall affects 31 batches of drugs containing Irbesartan and 2 containing Losartan, medicines which are used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, type 2 diabetes and kidney disease in adults who also have high blood pressure.
Patients who take the affected drugs should speak to a doctor or pharmacist, the MHRA say, and should not stop taking their medicine without doing so. Government advice states that the health risk of suddenly stopping medication is higher than the potential risk posed by the impurity.
Dr June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA, called on healthcare staff to check their batches of sartan-containing drugs while the agency further investigates the issue.
Patient safety is our watchword. Were recalling batches of certain sartan-containing products as a precautionary measure while we continue our investigation. Its important that healthcare professionals check their stock to quarantine and return these batches, she said.
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Efforts To Improve Drug Quality
Dr. Samaan underscores that the drugs themselves are not the problem, but poor manufacturing processes that allow contaminants to be introduced.
If you have a clean version of the drug, there is no reason to worry about this particular issue, she says.
Many of these products, however, are manufactured as inexpensive generics outside of the United States, which makes it more difficult to assure quality control.
A lot of the products are sourced overseas, and we dont have transparency in knowing where these products are coming from, says Ganio.
The FDA maintains that it is taking regulatory and advisory steps to prevent the presence of unacceptable levels of these impurities, including actions to improve quality control abroad.
The agency points to a warning letter dated August 8, 2019, which it recently sent to a company in India that was not meeting good standards for drug production.
We rely on the FDA to ensure the safety of our drug supply. But when drugs are manufactured overseas, it is becoming increasingly clear that the oversight is not as careful or consistent as we have come to believe, says Samaan.
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Check Your Medicine Cabinet: Blood Pressure Medications Recalled Over Potential Cancer
Lupin Pharmaceuticals is voluntarily recalling several batches of two blood-pressure drugs with high levels of a known carcinogen, per the FDA.
Certain Irbesartan tablets and Irbesartan and Hydrochlorothiazide tablets contain more of the impurity N-nitrosoirbesartan than is safe.
Patients are advised to keep taking their medications but should contact their doctors to seek an alternative treatment.
Two potentially lifesaving blood-pressure drugs could be causing more harm than good, according to a recall notice posted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . Lupin Pharmaceuticals announced a voluntary recall of all of its Irbesartan tablets and Irbesartan and Hydrochlorothiazide tablets, many of which could contain high levels of a cancer-causing impurity.
The recall was issued last week after testing revealed that several batches of both medications, which are used to lower blood pressure, exceeded acceptable levels of the impurity N-nitrosoirbesartan, a probable human carcinogenmeaning it could cause cancer, based on laboratory testing, the FDA explains. More than 90% of the over 300 known N-nitroso compounds were found to be carcinogenic when tested on animals, per the FDA.
Out of an abundance of caution, the FDA notice reads, Lupin is recalling all batches of Irbesartan tablets and all batches of the drug Irbesartan and Hydrochlorothiazide tablets in the United States. The full list of recalled lot numbers is available at the FDAs site.
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High Blood Pressure Medication Symptoms
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A web-based drug retailer has notified the Food and Drug Administration that a chemical found in a common blood pressure medication may cause cancer.
In a citizen petition filed to the FDA last week, Valisure, an internet pharmacy operating in 37 states, revealed high levels of dimethylformamide in the hypertension medication valsartan, produced by at least five common drug manufacturers. Dimethylformamide, or DMF, has been associated with cancer and other illnesses.
The drug store urged the FDA to recall valsartan products and consider officially lowering the allowable level of DMF from 8,800,000 nanograms to less than 1,000 nanograms.
FDA spokesman Jeremy Kahn is telling consumers his agency will evaluate Valisures claim, but to continue taking their blood pressure medication unless their doctor recommends otherwise. Talking to CNN, Kahn also notes, The amounts of DMF being reported are more than 100 times less than those determined by international standards as the level of concern to patients.
Since July 2018, several other blood pressure drugs, called angiotensin II receptor blockers , have been recalled following the discovery of other problematic chemicals, including carcinogens N-Nitrosodiethylamine , N-Nitrosodimethylamine and N-Nitroso-N-methyl-4-aminobutyric acid .
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Patients Shouldn’t Stop Taking Their Medication Without Consulting Doctor Or Pharmacist
Several heart and high blood pressure drugs that contain valsartan are being recalled because of a substance that can cause cancer.
Health Canada says the medications were supplied by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceuticals of China and that the valsartan used in the affected products contains an impurity known as N-nitrosodimethylamine .
NDMA is a potential carcinogen that could cause cancer with long-term exposure. The recall was issued by the manufacturers of several drugs involving five companies.
Drugs containing valsartan are used to treat high blood pressure and help prevent heart attacks and stroke. They are also used by patients who have had heart failure or a recent heart attack.
Health Canada says patients taking the drug should check with their pharmacists to learn if their medicine is being recalled.
Don’t suddenly stop this medication, especially if it works for you.- Mina Tadrous, U of T
But the agency also said that anyone taking medication that contains valsartan should continue to take it unless told to stop by their doctor or pharmacist.
Nardine Nakhla, from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, emphasized that point in an email to CBC News.
Mina Tadrous, with the pharmacy faculty at the University of Toronto, said valsartan is a commonly used drug for people with high blood pressure. He said that in announcing the recall, Health Canada is being “extra cautious, because there was some sort of negative lab result.”
Whats Driving The Spike In Recalls
A common thread among all of these recalls is that the drugs, or ingredients in the drugs, were all made in China or India.
American drug companies since the 1990s have increasingly used factories in other countries to manufacture their products. About 40% of finished medications are made overseas, the Government Accountability Office says. Nearly 8 out of 10 active pharmaceutical ingredients, which are made into pills at other plants, are, too.
This globalization of the nationâs drug supply helps keep prices down, as it is cheaper to have them made in other countries. But with lower costs sometimes comes lower quality control.
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Various Blood Pressure Medications Show Similar Results
The report investigates five different types of antihypertensive drugs: angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors , angiotensin II receptor blockers , beta blockers, calcium channel blockers , and diuretics.
Study authors estimate how these medications impact the chances for all types of cancers and the risk of dying from the disease. They also take into account differences in age, gender, body size, smoking habits, and each patients antihypertensive prescription history.
During an average trial period of four years, 15,000 new cancer diagnoses were reported. Regardless of age, size, or health history, researchers say none of the five drugs dramatically increase the risks for cancer.
Looking at the hazard ratio for developing cancer, the study reveals all of the high blood pressure medications remain within a few points of the average cancer risk. The report also finds no evidence taking blood pressure drugs will lead to breast, colorectal, lung, prostate, or skin cancers.
Our study has addressed an ongoing controversy about whether antihypertensive medication increases the risk of developing cancer, the epidemiologist from the University of Oxford adds. We used the largest individual-level randomized evidence on antihypertensive medication to date and provide evidence for the safety of blood pressure lowering drugs in relation to cancer.
Where Did The Story Come From
The researchers who carried out the study were from the Jewish General Hospital and University of Toronto in Canada. The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and published in the peer-reviewed British Medical Journal on an open-access basis, making it free to read online
While reporting in the UK’s media was accurate, it failed to make clear that, for most people, a 14% increased risk of lung cancer is actually very small in absolute terms. If you don’t smoke and have none of the other major risk factors for lung cancer, your risk of getting it is very small. A 14% increase from this would still be a very small risk.
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Blood Pressure Drug Linked To Possible Small Increased Risk Of Lung Cancer
“Blood pressure pills taken by millions may raise risk of lung cancer,” reports The Daily Telegraph.
Researchers used medical records to compare cancer outcomes for almost 1 million patients treated with different high blood pressure drugs. They found people who took one type of drug, called an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor , were 14% more likely to get lung cancer than those taking another type, called an angiotensin receptor blocker .
However, this increase in risk for individuals is extremely small and is massively outweighed by known risk factors for lung cancer such as smoking. For example, smoking 15 to 24 cigarettes a day increases the risk of lung cancer in men by around 2,600% .
Researchers believe the reason for their finding could be that ACE inhibitors lead to an accumulation of a naturally occurring substance called bradykinin in the lung , and this might be linked to cancer growth.
However, at this stage we can’t be sure whether ACE inhibitors directly caused the increase in risk. It’s possible that other factors, including people’s smoking habits, may have differed between those taking the different drugs and so may be influencing the results.
The finding needs to be followed up with more research.