The National Drug Authority (NDA) has warned Ugandans currently using the ranitidine drug for the treatment of ulcers and heartburn to seek medical guidelines of discontinuing usage of the same, as it may cause specific terminal illnesses and effects, at the very most- Cancer.
NDA through a statement signed by their secretary David Nahamya, said they were working based on reports from the United States Food and Drug Authority.
“If you are using Ranitidine, you are advised to contact your prescriber for further guidance on other treatment options,” a statement from NDA reads.
The United States Food and Drug Authority maintains that following research, they have discovered 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.
Although classified as a probable carcinogen, NDMA may cause cancer only after exposure to high doses over a long period of time.
Ranitidine is an over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drug. Ranitidine is an H2 (histamine-2) blocker, which decreases the amount of acid created by the stomach. Over-the-counter ranitidine is approved to prevent and relieve heartburn associated with acid ingestion and sour stomach. Prescription ranitidine is approved for multiple indications, including treatment and prevention of ulcers of the stomach and intestines and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease.