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Cancer chemicals spark the THIRD recall of blood pressure medications on contamination fears

Thousands of heart patients have been advised to monitor their drugs for fear that drugs may contain carcinogenic chemicals.

Pharmacies across the country are advised to recall the irbesartan drug lots.

    Three batches of heart drugs have been recalled today, amid fears of contamination with carcinogenic chemicals (image)

Getty – Collaborator

Three batches of heart drugs have been recalled today, amid fears of contamination with carcinogenic chemicals (image)

It is the third such call, from the beginning of the year.

The medical and health products regulatory agency (MHRA) has said that there are concerns that the drug may contain carcinogenic chemicals.

Three more batches were withdrawn today, some weeks after the same medication provided by Accord and Dexcel was recalled and other batches from Macleods Pharma UK were hit.

Today's recall concerns the lots made by Actavis Pharma UK Limited, the MHRA said.

Do not stop taking drugs, but see your family doctor – the patients said

The advice to patients is not to stop their medications, as this could put life at risk.

But people are urged to see their family doctor if they think they are at risk.

There is no evidence that the drug caused harm to patients, MHRA pointed out.

The dott. Sam Atkinson, director of MHRA's Inspection, Imposition and Compliance Division, said: "Patient safety is our highest priority and we will take all necessary measures to protect public health.

"The recent recall from Irbesartan shows that we are continuing to investigate the potential contamination of sartan-containing medicines.

"Because of the risk associated with sudden arrest of hypertensive medications, you continue to take your medications as prescribed by your doctor."

"Please talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any doubts about your medicine."

Drugs that treat hypertension, heart attack and heart failure

The sartans are a class of drugs used to treat hypertension, heart attack and heart failure.

Following is a previous recall of drugs for the heart Dexcel and Actavis in July, and Mylan and Teva in November, which contained the same chemical.

The recall occurred throughout Europe and came after an urgent investigation was started on medicines containing another sartan drug, valsartan, produced in a factory in China.

Drugs are recalled across Europe, as experts fear that impurities (N-nitrosodimethylamine and N-nitrosodietilamina), which could be carcinogenic, could be found in drugs as a result of a change in the production process.

"Currently there is no evidence that NDMA or NDEA medicines have caused harm to patients," added Dr. Atkinson.

The European Medicines Agency and other EU regulatory authorities are working together to study how widespread the problem is and the potential impact for patients.

THREE BATCHES REMEMBERED TODAY

THESE are the three batches of Actavis Pharma UK Ltd medicines that are recalled.

1. Irbesartan 300 mg film-coated tablets, PL30306 / 0108

Lot number: 191018

Expiry date – 05/2020

Package – 1×28

First distribution – 30 November 2018

2. Irbesartan 300 mg film-coated tablets, PL30306 / 0108

Lot number – 191118

Expiry date – 05/2020

Package – 1×28

First distribution – 20 December 2018

3. Film-coated tablets of Irbesartan / Hydrochlorothiazide 300/25 mg, PL 30306/0267

Lot number – 263918

Expiry date – 06/2020

Package – 1×28

First distribution – 21 November 2018

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