Pfizer issued a second round of Canadian recalls this week as the country’s drug regulator continues to weed out meds with an excess of potential cancer-causing impurities.
Pfizer Canada has recalled all lots of the blood pressure drug Accuretic because of the presence of higher-than-allowed levels of a type of nitrosamine called N-nitroso-quinapril. The recall covers eight Accuretic batches across 10/12.5-mg, 20/12.5-mg and 20/25-mg strengths, Health Canada said.
The product pull comes just three days after Pfizer Canada said it was recalling 15 lots of another blood pressure drug, Inderal, on similar nitrosamine impurity concerns.
Nitrosamines, which are harmless at lower levels, crop up in various foods, drinking water and the air. Their potential to cause cancer requires long-term, high-level exposure, which Health Canada defines as “every day for 70 years.”
The regulator said there’s no immediate risk in continuing to “temporarily” take Pfizer’s recalled med. In fact, patients can continue to take Accuretic as prescribed and don’t need to return the drug to the pharmacy. They should, however, talk to a doctor about treatment alternatives, Health Canada said in its recall notice.