Ranitidine, more commonly known as Zantac, is a well-known and widely used heartburn and stomach ulcer medication. Patients may have become aware that the drug has been recalled following an investigation by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA due to the discovery of low doses of a carcinogen, known as NDMA.
GP surgeries and other healthcare organisations are routinely sent alerts whenever concerns are raised about drugs and medical equipment used in the UK, sent by an organisation called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Association (MHRA). So far, the MHRA has not recommended a recall of Ranitidine (Zantac) but we have been in touch with them and understand that they are consulting their European colleagues in the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to decide what steps, if any, to take next. We will continue to monitor this situation and in the meantime if any patient wishes to know more about the European stance on this issue please do read this article.
Update 8th October 2019
We have now received notification that the manufacturer Glaxo Smithkline has withdrawn the branded medication Zantac from circulation. We do not stock that brand of Ranitidine, but the knock-on effect has been that supplies of the 150 mg version of Ranitidine have been very hard to come by, although we do have some supplies of other strengths.
Update 23rd October 2019
In addition to Zantac, Teva effervescent tablets have now also been withdrawn by the manufacturer. However, the underlying generic drug Ranitidine continues to be considered a safe medicine by the UK authorities and patients are advised not to stop treatment unless your doctor advises you to. Nevertheless, supplies continue to be scarce and if we find that we cannot source it at all your GP will discuss whether an alternative drug would be appropriate.