Safety Alerts & Recalls
What does this mean?
It is important to avoid drawing too many conclusions from this new study since there are several limitations in the way it was designed. The benefits of taking an ARB are well established and these medicines remain an effective treatment for lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease.
As a result, since the benefits of these ARBs will continue to outweigh their risk for most patients it is important that you do not stop taking your medicine. That said, this news provides another reason to regularly review your blood pressure treatment with your doctor, and discuss other treatment options if you remain concerned.
Angiotensin-Receptor Blockers (ARBs) May Be Linked to Small Increased Risk of Cancer
A new study that combined and reviewed data from multiple studies has found that the popular class of blood pressure medicines, called angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs), may be linked to a small increased chance of developing a cancer.
The researchers who conducted the study warn that more studies and analysis are needed to further clarify the risk. At this time the exact risk of cancer associated with each particular drug in the class is unknown. One of the study's drawbacks is that it is unable to provide more specific information, such as how factors such as smoking, age, and gender may have also contributed to a person developing cancer.
ARBs are used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney problems related to diabetes, and to reduce risk of heart disease. Seven different ARBs are currently available in the U.S: candesartan (brand name Atacand), eprosartan (Teveten), irbesartan (Avapro), losartan (Cozaar), olmesartan (Benicar), telmisartan (Micardis), and valsartan (Diovan). ARBs are also sold in combination with other blood pressure medicines under the brand names Atacand HCT, Teveten HCT, Avalide, Hyzaar (and its generic name losartan and hydrochlorothiazide), Azor, Benicar HCT, Twynysta, Micardis HCT, Valturna, Exforge, Exforge HCT, and Diovan HCT.
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