PINEHURST, NC – Following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s announcement regarding the potential danger associated with taking ranitidine drugs, FirstHealth of the Carolinas is urging people in the Sandhills to clear their medicine cabinets of those products and contact their provider if they have a prescription for medications commonly known as Zantac.
The FDA on April 1 requested manufacturers to withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine drugs from the market immediately. This recommendation comes amid an ongoing investigation of a contaminant known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is common in ranitidine medications.
The FDA says the impurity in some ranitidine products increases over time and when those products are stored at higher than room temperature. NDMA is a probable human carcinogen and is a substance that could cause cancer.
“The FDA is committed to ensuring that the medicines Americans take are safe and effective. We make every effort to investigate potential health risks and provide our recommendations to the public based on the best available science. We didn’t observe unacceptable levels of NDMA in many of the samples that we tested. However, since we don’t know how or for how long the product might have been stored, we decided that it should not be available to consumers and patients unless its quality can be assured,” Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.
FirstHealth recommends that people stop taking Zantac products and dispose of them. Follow these FDA guidelines to safely dispose of unused medicines. Patients taking prescription ranitidine products should contact their provider to proceed with additional treatment options.
Given the current spread of COVID-19, many providers are utilizing telehealth options. Contact your provider to find out if a telehealth visit is an option for you. FirstHealth patients can download the MyChart app to schedule a virtual visit with their provider.