Pfizer has voluntarily issued a recall for a high blood pressure medication, Accuretic (quinapril HCl/hydrochlorothiazide) as well as two authorized generics distributed by Greenstone (quinapril and hydrochlorothiazide and quinapril HCl/hydrochlorothiazide) to the consumer level because of the presence of a nitrosamine, N-nitroso-quinapril, above the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) level.

Pfizer will recall six lots of Accuretic tablets, one lot of quinapril and hydrochlorothiazide tablets and four lots of quinapril HCl/hydrochlorothiazide tablets. The recall is voluntary and stems from the tablets containing higher levels of nitrosamines, which pose a cancer risk to patients. However, Pfizer confirmed in a news release "there is no immediate risk to patients taking this medication."

"Nitrosamines are common in water and foods, including cured and grilled meats, dairy products and vegetables. Everyone is exposed to some level of nitrosamines. These impurities may increase the risk of cancer if people are exposed to them above acceptable levels over long periods of time," Pfizer said in the news release.

According to the company data, there were no reports of adverse effects resulting from the use of the medication. The products have a safety profile established over more than 20 years. The medications treat hypertension, which increases the risk of potential and dangerous cardiovascular problems like strokes.

Pfizer believes the benefit, as well as risks of the products, remain positive based on the currently available report. Although long-term ingestion of N-nitroso-quinapril may be associated with potential increased cancer risk in humans, no immediate risk is reported. Patients who are currently taking the products should visit and consult their doctor about alternative treatment options. Distributors and wholesalers should also stop the use and distribution. They should "quarantine the product immediately," the release concluded.

High blood pressure is a growing problem across the world. According to a 2021 research, the number of people over 30 with the condition has doubled over the past 30 years. Hypertension can be diagnosed at the primary health care level. There are available low-cost treatments that can effectively control hypertension. Improvements in the detection, treatment and control of hypertension have also progressed worldwide.

Pfizer headquarters in Madrid Headquarters of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer in Madrid, Spain. Photo by Cristina Arias/Cover/Getty Images