The leukemia drug Sprycel, made by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., might cause dangerously high blood pressure in the lungs, health regulators warned this week.
The rare condition affects arterial pressure in the lungs. Called pulmonary arterial hypertension, it causes the heart work overtime to pump blood into the lungs. That, in turn, can raise the risk of a weakened heart muscle.
A dozen cases of PAH have been logged in Bristol-Myers’ global database. None of them is linked directly to the drug and no deaths have occurred as a result.
The drug gained U.S. approval in 2006. The Food and Drug Administration said Sprycel “should be permanently discontinued” if PAH is confirmed in a patient using the medication.