HSA flags heartburn medication

FDA issues drug recall after cancer link

Commonly used heartburn medication ranitidine, a generic version of the brand name Zantac, has been flagged by local health authorities after the United States Food and Drug Administration issued a recall of the drug.

According to US media reports, the FDA alerted healthcare professionals and patients about a voluntary recall of 14 lots of prescription ranitidine capsules distributed by Sandoz Inc.

The recall was triggered after the detection of low-levels of contamination of nitrosamine, a substance that could cause cancer.

Ranitidine is used to decrease the amount of acid created by the stomach.

The Health Services Authority said in a statement this week, “The FDA and several health regulatory bodies, including the Health Canada and the European Medicines Agency, are conducting an evaluation on this matter.”

It said it is aware of the issue and “is closely monitoring the evaluation”.

“Once the aforementioned agencies release more information, the HSA will provide an update. In the meantime, the organisation is recommending that patients continue taking their ranitidine as prescribed,” the HSA stated.

The Authority said it currently does not stock the ranitidine brand.

However, it assured, “The HSA continues to closely monitor the updates from various regulatory bodies on the matter and will provide further information as it becomes available.”

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