FDA Logo Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) presumably are a widely recommended group of medications for controlling high blood pressure. Sometime back it was feared that these blockers interfere with cancer development. Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that ARBs do not raise the chances of being diagnosed with cancer.

In this safety review, the FDA thoroughly inspected 31 randomized clinical trials that compared patients taking an ARB to patients not taking an ARB, looking for the incidence of cancer. ARBs are probably employed alone or in combination with other medications to tackle high blood pressure and other heart-related conditions. Some of these combination drug products reportedly include Atacand (candesartan), Avapro (irbesartan) and Cozaar (losartan). Others allegedly are Benicar (olmesartan), Diovan (valsartan), Micardis (telmisartan) and Teveten (eprosartan).

“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,” added Mary Ross Southworth, Pharm. D., deputy director for safety in the Division of Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Sustained increased hypertension supposedly heightens the threat of death, heart attacks, stroke, heart failure and kidney failure. Hence, it is important to keep blood pressure at normal levels. A variety of treatments have been developed to control high blood pressure and ARBs are an important group of such treatments.

The FDA claims that people on any antihypertensive medication can continue taking it.