Pfizer voluntarily recalled three blood pressure medications this week due to a concern over an organic compound found in them. The compound could pose a risk to cancer over time, according to Pfizer. The tablets contain an amount of nitrosamine above the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) level.

Pfizer will recall six lots of Accuretic tablets, one lot of quinapril and hydrochlorothiazide tablets and four lots of quinapril HCl/ hydrochlorothiazide tablets.  Nitrosamines are common in water and foods, including cured and grilled meats, dairy products and vegetables.

Everyone is exposed to some level of nitrosamines, but these impurities may increase the risk of cancer if people are exposed to them above acceptable levels over long periods of time.  These products designated for the treatment of hypertension helps lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular events, primarily strokes and myocardial infarctions.

The products have a safety profile that has been established over 20 years of marketing authorization and through a robust clinical program. To date, Pfizer is not aware of reports of unfavorable events that have been assessed to be related to this recall.

Pfizer believes the products are believed to be of risk according to data currently available. Even though there is a risk of cancer for taking the medicine over a long period of time, there is no immediate risk.

Patients currently taking the products should consult with their doctor about alternative treatment options. You can find out the specific lots affected by the recall here.  You can also find a full list of the recalls are on Pfizer’s website here.

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