Irbesartan Hydrochlorothiazide blood pressure pills were recalled yesterday amid concerns they could cause cancer after being contaminated.
Regulators issued the alert to pharmacies over four batches of medications containing irbesartan as a ‘precaution’.
It is feared they could have been tainted by N-Nitrosodiethylamine, a chemical used in rocket fuel which is thought to be carcinogenic.
All the withdrawn tablets are marketed as Irbesartan Hydrochlorothiazide and made by Actavis.
In a recall notice, the agency said: ‘People should not stop their medication and should speak to a doctor or pharmacist if they have any concerns.’ It has told pharmacies to stop supplying the affected batches immediately.
Dr Sam Atkinson, director of the inspection, enforcement and standards division, said: ‘Our highest priority is making sure the medicines you take are safe.
‘Our investigation into potential contamination of sartan-containing medicines, including irbesartan, is ongoing.
‘At present, there is no evidence that medicines containing NDMA have caused any harm to patients.
‘Because of the risk associated with suddenly stopping high blood pressure medication, people are advised not to stop any treatments without consulting their doctor or pharmacist.’
Health officials in Hong Kong issued a recall of one of the affected products made by Actavis, now known as Accord, on December 20.
The MHRA said it was working closely with the European Medicines Agency to investigate how the impurity occurred.
© Daily Mail