High Blood Pressure Pills Recall: Irbesartan Drugs Recalled After Potential Cancer Risk


A total of 44 lots of irbesartan drugs are being recalled due to the presence of a chemical called AZBT. AZBT is a chemical formed during the manufacture of ibersartan and found in the medicine. However, there is a limit to the amount of AZBT allowed in the medicine. In these 44 lots, the levels of AZBT present are higher than what is authorized.

Tests done on the effects of AZBT on people who take irbesartan have shown that long-term exposure to the chemical may increase that person’s risk of developing cancer.

However, the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said affected patients should not stop taking the affected drugs because “the risk of stopping is greater than the risk associated with short-term exposure. to ABZT above its acceptable level in packs. that they already have ”.

He adds, “Failure to treat a patient’s high blood pressure or heart problems can lead to damage, so patients should not stop their treatment unless there is clinical advice. “

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At the time of writing, there is currently no evidence that patients affected by this have been harmed either in the UK or elsewhere and at the MHRA.

Irbesartan is a popular medicine used to treat high blood pressure to help prevent heart attacks.

It is also used as a preventive treatment to reduce the risk of stroke in the patient.

Other uses of irbesartan include use on patients who have suffered from heart failure or for those who have recently had a heart attack to recover.


Together with other international partners, has set limits for the amount of AZBT allowed in its products.

Dr Alison Cave, MHRA Safety Officer, said in response to the recall: “This recall is a precautionary measure to prevent further exposure to AZBT above the acceptable safe limit. There is no evidence that this substance caused harm to patients. “

Continuing, Dr Cave said: “It is important that healthcare professionals check their inventory for quarantine and return these lots to their supplier using the process approved by their supplier, [and that the MHRA has] asked companies to implement control measures to ensure that the levels of the substance are at or below the required level ”.

This is not the first time that irbesartan has had to be recalled in response to defects in its compound.

According to Blood Pressure UK, around one in three adults in the UK has high blood pressure, with around 31% of men and 26% of women currently diagnosed.

Remarkably, according to the charity, more than half are undiagnosed or not receiving treatment.

It is recommended that, aside from medication, ways to lower blood pressure include reducing alcohol consumption and smoking, as well as trying to reduce your caffeine intake and stay active.

However, for those taking irbesartan, news of a third recall will create doubt as to its safety, until the investigation is complete.

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