Heartburn medicine found to contain cancer-linked chemical

Henrietta Brewer
October 3, 2019

The FDA issued an official recall on Topcare 75mg ranitidine products, but no other Zantac brand products and Topcare brand ranitidine products have been recalled.

"In order to safeguard the health of Kenyans, you are instructed to recall of all ranitidine products from the Kenan market."
Customers who purchased these products can return them to Hy-Vee for a full refund.

"In addition, you are required to submit to the board the details of all the products that you have imported into the country in the last three years", the board's chief executive Dr Fred Siyoi said in a circular.

Meijer is joining a national list of retailers who are pulling over-the-counter heartburn drugs over concerns that they contain a substance that could cause cancer.

Drugmaker Sandoz is recalling ranitidine hydrochloride capsules in the United States because of confirmed contamination with the probable human carcinogen. Apotex Corp., which makes ranitidine tablets sold at Walmart, Walgreens and Rite Aid, has also recalled the drugs.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in an update Wednesday that its "early, limited testing" has found unacceptable levels of NDMA in oral product samples of ranitidine, a generic drug used to treat a condition commonly referred to as heartburn, and that it is expanding its testing samples of other H2 receptor blockers and proton-pump inhibitors "to help inform this ongoing investigation".

Last month, the FDA identified the carcinogenic chemical as a type of nitrosamine called N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA.

The FDA is continuing to evaluate whether low levels of NDMA in ranitidine pose a risk to patients.

Since previous year, the FDA has been investigating NDMA and other impurities in blood pressure and heart failure medicines known as angiotensin receptor blockers or ARBs. Yet that study also noted that research into long-term cancer risk is needed.

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