Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has recalled its three blood pressure pills after finding that those contain elevated levels of nitrosamines, a chemical compound that can cause cancer in patients.
The company recalled Accuretic and two generic brands as the pills had access levels of nitrosamine, which can put someone at risk of cancer if they are exposed to elevated levels.
Risk of Cancer
However, some levels of the compound are normal and found frequently in food and drinks being consumed usually but Food Drug Administration has maintained that consistent use of drugs with detected impurities is harmful.
The recall was issued on Monday and Pfizer has not reported any adverse impact related to the impurities.
Last week, Pfizer's Canadian branch had also recalled Inderal, another blood pressure drug, for similar reasons.
According to FDA, "Nitrosamine impurities may increase the risk of cancer if people are exposed to them above acceptable levels and over long periods of time, but a person taking a drug that contains nitrosamines at or below the acceptable daily intake limits every day for 70 years is not expected to have an increased risk of cancer."
A large number of drugs that are being recalled now were distributed in Puerto Rico and around the US. People who are consuming these drugs are immediately being asked to stop them.
Pfizer's Share Went Down
Pfizer's recall of pills led to a fall in its share price as its value went down by nearly two percent.
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. These impurities may increase the risk of cancer if people are exposed to them above acceptable levels over long periods of time.
Pfizer believes the benefit/risk profile of the products remains positive based on currently available data. Although long-term ingestion of N-nitroso-quinapril may be associated with potential increased cancer risk in humans, there is no immediate risk to patients taking this medication. Patients currently taking the products should consult with their doctor about alternative treatment options.