Pfizer withdraws a drug to treat blood pressure due to a carcinogen

Pfizer Inc said it was recalling shipments of the drug Accuretec, a blood pressure drug, and of two cheaper, authorized versions of the drug because of high levels of nitrosamines, in the form of potentially cancer-causing impurities.

The company added that it has not received any reports of negative effects associated with the drug so far.

Nitrosamines are common in water and foods, including cured and grilled meats, dairy products, and vegetables. Exposure to impurities above acceptable levels over long periods may increase the risk of cancer.

However, Pfizer said there was no immediate risk to patients taking the drug.

The drug company said patients currently taking these products should consult their physicians about alternative treatment options.

This month, Pfizer Canada withdrew Accuretek due to the same impurity.

Last year, the drug company also withdrew the anti-smoking drug Chantix due to the high levels of nitrosamines in those pills.

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