Another Indian generic drug company is recalling an important heart medicine called metoprolol. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories determined that their 25 mg metoprolol tablets did not dissolve as expected. Over a million pills are affected by the voluntary recall, although it may be difficult for patients to tell if their metoprolol is one of the two lots affected. This action comes on the heels of a recall by another Indian drug company, Wockhardt. In May, Wockhardt removed over 100,000 bottles of its metoprolol because it too had dissolution problems.
This beta blocker heart medicine is prescribed to patients with irregular heart rhythms, angina and high blood pressure. Shortly after the brand name Toprol-XL lost its patent in 2006, some patients have complained that the long-acting generic metoprolol did not seem to work as well as the brand name. The quality control problems that have surfaced over the intervening years seem to vindicate the patients’ reports of their experience.
We have been concerned about this issue for years, so it is good that quality control problems with this long-acting medication are finally being brought to light. Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Harry Lever, MD, has been paying attention to how faulty pills affect his patients, and The New York Times wrote about it earlier this week.