Blood pressure pills are recalled amid fears they could cause cancer

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Regulators have recalled thousands of blood pressure pills from pharmacies amid fears they could cause cancer. 

Four types of medications branded as Irbesartan Hydrochlorothiazide have been pulled from shelves because they could contain a carcinogenic ingredient once used in rocket fuel.

It is the latest in a batch of recalls affecting blood pressure drugs and could impact thousands of patients with hypertension – the medical term for high blood pressure.

Officials have yet to explain how the contamination may have occurred – but changes in the manufacturing process were blamed for producing the same potent chemical in other pills that have been recalled worldwide.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) today announced it pulled four batches of the tablets as a ‘precautionary measure’ due to possible N nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) contamination.

It insisted there is ‘no evidence’ the impurity has caused any harm to patients and it reiterated that not all products containing the ingredient irbesartan are affected.

It is unclear how many of the affected products, all made by Actavis – now known as Accord – will be recalled.

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