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Pfizer Recalls Some Batches of Its Blood Pressure Medication

Five lots of Accupril contain too-high levels of impurities that can raise the risk of cancer.

A black and gray blood pressure cuff.
Edmund Lowe Photography/Getty Images

Pfizer issued a recall Friday for select lots of Accupril, the name brand for Quinapril HCL tablets used to treat high blood pressure

The specific batches contain higher-than-acceptable amounts of nitrosamines, impurities sometimes found in some foods and drugs that may raise the risk of cancer in higher levels over a long period of time. 

The recalled tablets (10, 20 or 40 micrograms in 90-count bottles) were distributed from December 2019 through April 2022. Lot numbers and expiration dates of the affected tablets can be found on the recall announcement, also posted by US Food and Drug Administration. Patients taking Accupril should contact their doctor or pharmacist to see if they have the recalled medication. 

If you have the recalled tablets, consult with your doctor about alternative treatment options, Pfizer said. According to the American Heart Association, you should never stop taking your blood pressure medication or change doses without consulting with your doctor first. Uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension) can lead to heart disease and stroke.  

Pfizer said in the announcement that it isn't aware of any adverse events related to the recalled tablets, and that the benefits of the medication (controlling blood pressure) are still believed to outweigh the risks. While nitrosamines may be linked to cancer risk in higher levels, the impurities are also commonly found in foods including some dairy products, meats and vegetables. 

The concern is higher-than-acceptable levels being consumed over long periods of time, which has prompted the FDA to further investigate and test medications for nitrosamines. In March, Pfizer recalled some batches of other blood pressure medications for the same reason. 

"As our investigations and testing continues, along with the investigations done by other drug regulatory agencies, we may find low levels of nitrosamines in additional drugs," the FDA says on its nitrosamine information page.

Read more: How to Survive a Heart Attack

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.