Health chiefs recall another 25 batches of blood pressure pills ‘because they contain an impurity that may cause cancer’

  • The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency issued the notice 
  • The alert concerns 25 batches of irbesartan-containing medicinal products 
  • Irbesartan is a prescription-only medicine used to treat high blood pressure

Another 25 batches of high blood pressure pills have been recalled over fears they contain an impurity that causes cancer.   

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which polices the safety of drugs used in Britain, said the move was ‘precautionary’.  

All of the affected medicines contain irbesartan, which is used to treat high blood pressure.

But they also have been found to have an impurity called (5-(4’-(azidomethyl)-[1,1’-biphenyl]-2yl)-1H-tetrazole).

The recall has only been issued to pharmacies and wholesalers so patients do not need to check their own medication.

The medicines watchdog said there is ‘no evidence’ that the chemical impurity has caused any harm to patients.

Experts stressed people should not abruptly stop taking their medication without consulting a pharmacist or doctor first.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued a notice concerning 25 batches of Irbesartan-containing medicinal products

A patient has their blood pressure checked (PA)

They warned that suddenly stopping medication for high blood-pressure can be risky.

Dr Alison Cave, MHRA chief safety officer, said: ‘Patient safety is at the heart of what we do.

‘We’re recalling batches of certain sartan-containing products as a precautionary measure while we continue our investigation.

‘It’s important that healthcare professionals check their stock to quarantine and return these batches.

‘If you’ve been taking one of the affected products, continue to take your medication.

‘Speak with your doctor or pharmacist before stopping any treatment, they can address any concerns and can advise you on the best course of action.

‘Previous recalls of these types of products in 2018, 2019 and June 2021 are part of an ongoing investigation.

‘The MHRA is working with other medicines regulators on this issue.’

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