Update on Ranitidine/Zantac

As you may have read, the FDA recently released a warning regarding Ranitidine a medication frequently used for heartburn.  They reported that they found low levels of a carcinogenic impurity called NDMA (N-nitodimetylamine) in some ranitidine medications including the brand name version, Zantac.  Recently, this same impurity was found in other blood pressure medications that were recalled. NDMA is classified as a probable carcinogen for humans and is often found as a contaminant from the environment in water and food.  It likely only causes harm when ingested in large quantities.  The FDA did not recommend a recall of Ranitidine or recommend patient discontinue the medication at this time.

However, as there are similarly effective medications on the market, we recommend transitioning to a different medication within the same class.  Famotidine, which has the brand name of Pepcid, has a similar mechanism of action and effectiveness. If feasible, we recommend switching to an equivalent dose of Famotidine.  Famotidine, like Ranitidine is available over-the -counter but also is at times prescribed. If we have prescribed Ranitidine for you in the past, please contact us to change the prescription to Famotidine.

Ranitidine 75 mg          Famotidine 10mg

Ranitidine 150mg         Famotidine 20mg

Ranitidine 300mg         Famotidine 40mg

As stated above, NDMA likely only causes harm in large quantities so you should not panic or become concerned about your safety. Our recommendation to switch medications is only being performed in an abundance of caution.  Please contact us if you have any questions or we can be of help.


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