(CMR) The Health Services Authority has confirmed that it is aware of concerns recently brought to light with the drug ranitidine potentially containing cancer-causing agents. However, it advises patients to continue taking their medication as prescribed until further advised.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning on September 13 stating that it:
“has learned that some ranitidine medicines, including some products commonly known as the brand-name drug Zantac, contain a nitrosamine impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) at low levels. NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer) based on results from laboratory tests. NDMA is a known environmental contaminant and found in water and foods, including meats, dairy products, and vegetables.”
Ranitidine is a commonly prescribed medicine for countering acidity and is on the World Health Organisation’s ‘Model List of Essential Medicines’.
Ranitidine is an oral drug that blocks the production of acid by acid-producing cells in the stomach. It is sold under brand names such as: Zantac, Zantac 75, Zantac 150 Maximum Strength, Deprizine FusePaq.
The HSA shared:
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a statement regarding the safety of the drug ranitidine (Zantac®) after the detection of low-levels of contamination.
The FDA and several health regulatory bodies including the Health Canada and the European Medicines Agency are conducting an evaluation on this matter.
The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) is aware of the issue and is closely monitoring the evaluation. Once the aforementioned agencies release more information, the HSA will provide an update. In the meantime, the organization is recommending that patients continue taking their ranitidine as prescribed.