EMA to further clarify safety profile of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines


   The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started a review of HPV vaccines to further clarify aspects of their safety profile. These vaccines have been used in around 72 million people worldwide and their use is expected to prevent many cases of cervical cancer (cancer of the neck of the womb) and various other cancers and conditions caused by HPV.
The current review, which is being carried out by the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC), will look at available data with a focus on rare reports of two conditions: complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS, a chronic pain condition affecting the limbs) and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS, a condition where the heart rate increases abnormally after sitting or standing up, causing symptoms such as dizziness and fainting, as well as headache, chest pain and weakness).
Reports of these conditions in young women who have received an HPV vaccine have been previously considered during routine safety monitoring by the PRAC but a causal link between them and the vaccines was not established. Both conditions can occur in non-vaccinated individuals and it is considered important to further review if the number of cases reported with HPV vaccine is greater than would be expected.
In its review the PRAC will consider the latest scientific knowledge, including any research that could help clarify the frequency of CRPS and POTS following vaccination or identify any causal link. Based on this review, the Committee will decide whether to recommend any changes to product information to better inform patients and healthcare professionals.
While the review is ongoing there is no change in recommendations for the use of the vaccine.
The press release is available by clicking here .
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Nathalie Macle
Stakeholders and Communication Division

European Medicines Agency
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London, E14 5EU
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