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FDA: Blood Pressure Drugs Not Tied to Cancer Risk

Safety review reveals no increased risk of cancer in patients taking angiotensin receptor blockers

THURSDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified consumers and health care providers that angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are not associated with an increased risk of developing cancer.

In July 2010, the FDA reported that a safety review of ARBs would be performed after a published study found a small increased risk of cancer associated with ARBs. During this safety review, the FDA analyzed 31 randomized clinical trials, comparing data on more than 155,000 patients who were randomized to either ARBs or other treatment and found no increased risk of cancer in patients undergoing treatment with an ARB.

To date, the FDA study was the largest meta-analysis of clinical trials evaluating the association between ARBs and cancer. Drugs categorized as ARBs include candesartan (Atacand), irbesartan (Avapro), olmesartan (Benicar), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), telmisartan (Micardis), eprosartan (Teveten), and several combination drug products.

According to the FDA, "[we have] determined that any concern about a relationship between ARB use and development of cancer has been resolved by this analysis. People currently taking any antihypertensive medication should not stop taking it without talking to their health care professional first."

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