One lot of hydrochlorothiazide, a medication used to treat high blood pressure, was voluntarily recalled after the manufacturer received a report that it did not contain the correct medication and, in fact, contained a different medication that may pose serious health consequences to those who take it accidentally.
The issue was discovered when a pharmacy reported that, instead of finding hydrochlorothiazide in a 100-tablet bottle, it found spironolactone, according to a statement from Accord Healthcare Inc. Spironolactone may also be used to treat high blood pressure, but it's also often prescribed for patients with hyperaldosteronism (a condition in which the body produces too much of the hormone aldosterone) and several other conditions.
"Use of spironolactone tablets instead of hydrochlorothiazide tablets poses the risk of contracting hyperkalemia (increase potassium levels) in certain individuals, resulting in adverse events that range from limited health consequences to life-threatening situations in certain individuals," the statement reads.
Luckily, the recall affects only one lot of 12.5 milligram tablets of the drug, lot number PW05264, according to the statement.
To date, there haven't been any reports of adverse reactions. (Also, it's important to note that this recall is not related to the ongoing recall of valsartan-containing blood pressure medications.)
"Based on findings of both preliminary and interim investigations carried out at the manufacturing site, Accord believes that no other lots of hydrochlorothiazide tablets are involved in this mix-up," the company said in the statement. The company is now working with retailers and distributors to arrange for a return of the recalled products.
If you have any of the affected medications in your possession, or if you're not sure whether your medications are included in the recall, contact your pharmacy. They should be able to help you figure it out and set you up with a replacement.