Health Canada clears AstraZeneca stomach drugs

Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:38pm EST
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Health Canada lifted its warning on Wednesday on two AstraZeneca drugs used to treat acid-related stomach disorders after it determined there was no obvious link between the treatments and heart attacks and cardiac deaths.

The agency said after a six-month review that it found no evidence supporting an increased cardiovascular risk while using Nexium, while it said it was "unable to definitively conclude" if there was increased cardiovascular risk associated with the long-term use of Losec.

Health Canada said in August that it was reviewing studies that showed patients using Losec or Nexium may have experienced more heart attacks or cardiac deaths than patients who underwent anti-reflux surgery.

The agency said it will work with manufacturers to include current study data in the Canadian Product Monographs for Losec and other omeprazole-containing drugs.

It also suggested that patients who were taking the drugs not change their medication unless instructed by a doctor.

($1=$0.98 Canadian)

(Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Renato Andrade)