Angiotensin receptor blockers do not increase risk of cancer, FDA finds

June 17, 2011

Angiotensin receptor blockers do not increase the risk of developing cancer in patients using the medications, FDA announced recently after a safety review.

Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) do not increase the risk of developing cancer in patients using the medications, FDA announced recently after a safety review.

The review was conducted after a meta-analysis combining cancer-related findings from several clinical trials suggested a small increased risk of new cancers reported in patients taking an ARB compared with those not taking an ARB.

FDA evaluated 31 randomized clinical trials involving more than 155,000 patients looking for the incidence of cancer between those taking an ARB and those who were not. The agency is satisfied that patients using the medications are not at an increased risk for cancer and advises those currently taking any antihypertensive medication not to discontinue it until first discussing it with their healthcare professional.

“The FDA has completed its review of controlled trial data on more than 155,000 patients randomized to ARBs or other treatments-the largest evaluation of such data to date-and finds no evidence of an increased risk of cancer in patients who take an ARB,” said Mary Ross Southworth, PharmD, deputy director for safety in the Division of Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in a press release issued by the agency.