France's health regulator recalled a diuretic used to control high blood pressure after some packets of the drug were found to contain sleeping pills – a mistake feared linked to the three deaths. It is still uncertain, however, whether the patients died as a result of using the wrong drug.
Stressing this was a precautionary measure, the ANSM regulatory agency urged people to return all boxes of Furosemide Teva 40 mg to their pharmacists.
The agency suspended sales of two batches of the drug last Friday after a pharmacist reported sleepiness in a patient.
Prosecutors opened a probe the following day after the death of a nonagenarian in the southern city of Marseille. A box of the pills from one of two contaminated batches was found at the patient's house.
A Teva spokesman said that this was a local incident limited to France only and that the company was conducting its own inquiry into whether there is a link between the deaths and its product.
AFP and Reuters contributed to this report