A new study raises serious concerns about the potential side effects of Microzide, indicating that the blood pressure drug may quadruple the risk of melanoma; a deadly form of skin cancer.
In a letter published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine on May 29, Danish researchers described the findings of a study that examined the link between melanoma and Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide), which has also been linked to the risk of other non-melanoma forms of skin cancer.
As part of the study, researchers looked at 22,010 cases of melanoma diagnosed from January 2004 through December 2015. They then looked at cases involving high Microzide use.
According to the findings, Microzide use was linked to an overall 22% increased risk of melanoma. It doubled the risk of nodular melanoma, and increased the risk of lentigo melanoma by 61%. Microzide use also increased the risk of superficial spreading melanoma by 11%. However, there was no clear dose-response pattern linked to Microzide use.
Researchers also looked at a number of other types of hypertension drugs, but found no association with melanoma risks.
“It is worrying that hydrochlorothiazide use appears to be associated with an increased risk of melanoma, and the particular associations observed for lentigo melanoma and nodular melanoma warrant further research,” the study’s authors concluded.
Previous research by the same group determined that Microzide also increased the risk of lip and nonmelanoma skin cancer; particularly squamous cell carcinoma.
Skin cancer cases in the United States have increased significantly over the past decade, with the number of skin cancer cases in the U.S. reaching more than 260,000 in 2015, costing the U.S. healthcare system hundreds of millions of dollars in related medical costs.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, with about 80,000 cases diagnosed each year in America, resulting in at least 10,000 fatalities.