Blood pressure medication recalled due to cancer risk concerns
Pfizer has recalled three blood pressure medications over concerns they are tainted with a possible carcinogen.
The Pharmaceutical giant issued a voluntary recall for its high blood pressure medications according to the company.
The medicines were distributed under three names: Accuretic and its two generic versions distributed by Greenstone — quinapril and hydrochlorothiazide tablets and quinapril HCl/hydrochlorothiazide tablets.
The medications in question are used to treat hypertension, which increases the risk for potentially dangerous cardiovascular events like strokes. High blood pressure is a growing problem: The number of people over 30 with the condition has doubled over the past 30 years, according to a 2021 study.
Per the American Heart Association, high blood pressure is a major illness in the Black community with Black people having a disproportionately higher rate of this disease and it developing earlier in life for Blacks.
Pfizer made conflicting statements in a news release. They said that the tablets contain higher levels of nitrosamines, which pose a cancer risk. They then went on to suggest that “there is no immediate risk to patients taking this medication.”
Pfizer’s news release said, “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 company said it’s not aware of any reports of adverse effects resulting from the use of the medication and added that the products have a safety profile established over more than 20 years, according to the release. Distributors and wholesalers should stop use and distribution and “quarantine the product immediately,” the release said.
Pfizer recommended that patients taking the medication consult with their doctor about alternative treatment options.