Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

FDA complete ARB cancer review

The Food and Drugs Administration has completed a safety review of angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) after they were linked with an increased risk of cancer.

This review of 31 randomised clinical trials involving almost 156,000 participants, of whom 84,461 were treated with an ARB, found no increased risk. The review analysed the data for new cancer cases, cancer-related death, breast cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer. There was no increase in risk for any of these outcomes.

Action: Clinicians and patients can be reassured by this safety review. It is important to note that the overall evidence still places ARBs are still second line to angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs).

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