Interrupting treatment with losartan, which is used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure, can pose health risks, according to the pharmaceutical company. O g1 consulted experts to determine what those risks are and what patients taking the drug should know right now. Take note of the following points:
- What exactly is losartan, and how is it used?
- Why is Medley getting the meds?
- What are the consequences of discontinuing treatment?
- Is it necessary for patients to discontinue their treatment? Is there anything else on the market?
- 1) What exactly is losartan and how is it used?
- Losartan is an antihypertensive drug that is used to lower a patient’s blood pressure. It is used to treat hypertension and heart failure (a condition in which the heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump blood properly).
According to the Ministry of Health, one in every four Brazilians is hypertension
“Cardiovascular diseases are among the leading causes of death worldwide.” “We use this antihypertensive medication to control blood pressure and keep it at acceptable levels, which reduces risks for patients,” explains cardiologist Talo Menezes Ferreira of Instituto Dante Pazzanese de Cardiologia and Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein.
Heart Failure Symptoms
Arterial hypertension is a silent disease that affects approximately 35% of the Brazilian population.
There are several types of antihypertensive drugs; blockers and receptors for angiotensin (a hormone that raises blood pressure) are the most common and widely used. Several drugs, including losartan, are in this class of blockers.
2) What is the purpose of Medley collecting the medications?
Sanofi Medley announced the recall of three drug formulations containing the active ingredient losartan from the market due to impurities discovered in the tablets, which can cause mutations and increase the risk of cancer.
The recall applies to all Sanofi/Medley product lots:
losartan potassium + hydrochlorothiazide 50 mg + 12.5 mg losartan potassium + hydrochlorothiazide 100 mg + 25 mg losartan potassium 50 mg and 100 mg losartan potassium 50 mg and 100 mg
According to Anvisa, the impurities, known as nitrosamines, were discovered in 2018 during a global alert involving regulatory agencies from around the world.
According to Anvisa, these compounds, which are commonly found in water, smoked and grilled foods, dairy products, and vegetables, are safe at normal levels and pose a low risk to the population’s health.
Clinical studies have not yet confirmed that these impurities can cause a cell’s DNA to mutate into a cancer cell.
“These impurities have the potential to cause mutations.” As a result, there is a possibility that these impurities promote some genetic mutations, though this is a low probability. These are data that humans do not yet have a good understanding of. However, once these impurities are identified, there is a possibility that they will increase the risk of cancer”, says Weimar Sebba Barroso of the Brazilian Society of Cardiology’s Scientific Committee (SBC)
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“There are no data to suggest that the impurity-containing product caused a change in the frequency or nature of adverse events related to cancers, congenital anomalies, or fertility disorders,” Sanofi/Medley said in a statement to g1. “As a result, there is no immediate risk associated with using these losartan-containing medications,” the company added.
The Brazilian Society of Cardiology (SBC) also stated in a statement released on Thursday (10), “to date, no similar problems have been reported in other drugs belonging to the class of angiotensin receptor blockers or even losartan in monotherapy or combination by other pharmaceutical companies.”
3) What is the impact of treatment interruption?
Losartan “abrupt treatment interruption” has risks, according to Sanofi Medley.
“The health risk of discontinuing these drugs abruptly without consulting your physicians or without an alternative treatment is greater than the potential risk posed by impurity at low levels,” the company stated.
Is it necessary for patients to discontinue treatment? Is there anything else on the market?
According to the experts interviewed by the g1, patients should NOT stop taking their hypertension medication and should instead seek medical advice.
According to the experts, there are several classes of antihypertensive drugs that can be used in place of losartan, and only medical advice can determine which drug should be adjusted based on the patient’s profile.
“The people should not be afraid or desperate.” On the contrary, the medical community fully supports their efforts to find health care and adjust their medications. “Never discontinue treatment without first seeking medical advice,” warns cardiologist Talo Menezes Ferreira.