Generic Blood Pressure Drugs May Be Tied to Increase in Adverse Events — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
October 4, 2017

Generic Blood Pressure Drugs May Be Tied to Increase in Adverse Events

By Kelly Young

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Lorenzo Di Francesco, MD, FACP, FHM

Switching from brand name to generic angiotensin II receptor blockers may be associated with an increase in adverse events, according to an observational study in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Using Canadian databases, researchers studied 135,000 patients aged 66 years and older who used losartan, valsartan, or candesartan in the 24 months before and 12 months after each drug went generic.

Valsartan and candesartan saw statistically significant increases in monthly rates of adverse events (e.g., hospitalizations and emergency room consultation) following generic commercialization (absolute difference of 17% over brand name). Losartan's adverse event rate also increased between the two periods, although the difference was considered clinically — but not statistically — significant.

The researchers write: "Along with bioavailability differences between generic and brand-name drugs, some differences in user's characteristics could partly explain our findings."

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