The United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported finding traces of a cancer causing chemical in the drug Ranitidine marketed under the brand name Zantac.
The chemical known as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is considered a probable human carcinogen because studies in animals showed it can cause cancer. This same chemical was found in some blood pressure and heart medications last year leading to recall of several drugs from the market.
The FDA has reported that the amount of NDMA in Zantac is very low, lower than quantities of the same chemical found in certain foods and water. It is in the process of determining if these quantities pose any health risk to patients.
However, it is important to note that this has not been reported locally in Kenya by the drug regulatory body, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board. All patients currently on Zantac are informed that withdrawal of the drug has not been recommended. Should they feel a need to stop using or change the drug, they are encouraged to consult with their physician and/or pharmacist.