MS Cardiologist Explains Risks of Losartan, Withdrawn on Suspect of Causing Cancer

Pharmaceuticals Sanofi Medley announced last week the recall of all batches containing the active ingredient losartan of the market. The action was taken after impurities were discovered in the tablets that could cause mutations and increase the risk of cancera. The drug is indicated for the treatment of heart conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart failure, and hypertensionO.

Sanofi and Medley specify, in a note, that the collection of the batches was voluntary and preventive. “The action is carried out in agreement with the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) and in collaboration with the regulatory bodies of other countries, after having verified the presence of mutagenic impurities in the products which, in time, may increase the potential risk of adverse events. long term. Importantly, to date, there is no data to suggest that the product containing the impurity caused a change in the frequency or nature of adverse events.”

What are the risks for those who use it?

According to cardiologist Gabriel Doreto, communication director of the Brazilian Society of Cardiology of Mato Grosso do Sul, the risks are low. “The problem is that Medley Pharmaceuticals published a note in which a ‘potentially’ mutagenic substance was detected in their products which contained Losartan (alone or in combination with other drugs)”, underlines initially the specialist.

The drug Losartan, Gabriel continues, as it is known today, is one of the oldest drugs used to control high blood pressure and to treat heart failure and does not carry any cancer risks in itself. “The withdrawal of Medley products was a preventive action and patients who used these products should not be worried,” he explains.

What to do?

According to the cardiologist, it is enough to make the appropriate exchange, preferably for the same drug, but from another company. “The change can be made by any doctor or even with the proper advice of the pharmacist, respecting the same type of medicine and the same dosage.”.


The Brazilian Society of Cardiology itself has expressed itself in a note on this subject. She lists the safety to historical benefits of using Losartana. “We also emphasize that this class of drugs has strong scientific evidence, produced over decades, in the treatment of several cardiovascular risk factors and diseases. BRA, we consider that this is not the ideal method for this evaluation, with many confounding factors that can confuse the results”.

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