Recent news has brought a heartburn medication into the media. Brand name Zantac and otherwise known as Ranitidine is a heartburn medication known as a H2 or histamine-2 blocker to decrease the acid in the stomach. This over the counter and prescription medication has found to contain an impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in low quantities. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies NDMA as a probable human carcinogen. NDMA is located in the environment and can be found in water, meats, dairy products, and vegetables. For further information on heartburn or GERD please see blog post from March 18, 2019 “What is GERD?” written by Dr. Christopher Goulet.
We are suggesting that patients on this medication are switched to a different H2 blocker medication, such as Pepcid or famotidine, to treat their heartburn and avoid exposure to further NDMA. Unfortunately, this has led to shortages of other H2 blockers due to the rapid demand this drug recall has caused.
Please do not hesitate to contact your health care provider for any questions or concerns.
For further information you can see the FDA website at: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/statement-alerting-patients-and-health-care-professionals-ndma-found-samples-ranitidine
Shaylan Pease, MPH, PA-C
Digestive Health Clinic