Health Canada Requests that Companies Stop Distributing Ranitidine Drugs

Health Canada stops distribution of Ranitidine, also known as the brand name Zantac.

Health Canada stops distribution of Ranitidine, also known as the brand name Zantac.

Health Canada recently informed Canadians that it is assessing the issue of an impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) detected in some ranitidine drugs. Current evidence suggests that NDMA may be present in ranitidine, regardless of the manufacturer. As a result, and at Health Canada’s request, companies marketing ranitidine products in Canada have stopped any further distribution until evidence is provided to demonstrate that they do not contain NDMA above acceptable levels.

Ranitidine is available in Canada over-the-counter (for example, under the brand name Zantac and as generics) and by prescription (as generics).

NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen, which means long-term exposure to levels above what is considered safe could increase the risk of cancer.

What you need to know:

  • A stop in distribution does mean the product has been recalled. Only a few brands of medications have been recalled. Health Canada has NOT recommended that people using Zantac stop.

  • The concern is an increased risk of some cancers over a lifetime of use.

  • There is NO reason to think Ranitidine poses an immediate risk to your baby if you have been using it during pregnancy.

  • If you have been using Zantac in your pregnancy talk to your midwife about your options.

To read more about this issue click here.

Krista Fairles