FDA conducts safety review of cancer risk with angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs)

A recently published meta-analysis combining cancer-related findings from several clinical trials is suggesting that angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) may be associated with a small increased risk of cancer. The meta-analysis included data from over 1,000 patients in several long-term, randomized, controlled clinical trials evaluating ARBs for which adverse events related to cancer were captured. The frequencies of new cancer occurrence was 7.2% for patients receiving ARBs compared to 6% for those not receiving ARBs. No statistically significant difference in cancer deaths was noted.

The FDA has not concluded that ARBs increase the risk of cancer. The FDA is reviewing information related to this safety concern and will update the public when additional information is available. FDA believes the benefits of ARBs continue to outweigh their potential risks.

This class of medication includes Atacand (candesartan cilexetil, from AstraZeneca), Avapro (irbesartan, from Bristol-Myers Squibb), Benicar (olmesartan medoxomil, from Daiichi Sankyo), Cozaar (losartan potassium, from Merck), Diovan (valsartan, from Novartis), Micardis (telmisartan, from Boehringer Ingelheim), and Teveten (eprosartan, from Abbott).

For more information visit www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm219185.htm.
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