More heartburn meds recalled as Health Canada investigates impurity levels
A sign is displayed in front of Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa on Jan. 3, 2014. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
TORONTO -- Health Canada has recalled even more ranitidine medications while it continues to investigate levels of an impurity known as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in the drugs.
According to the latest recall notice on Friday, Dominion Pharmacal, Laboratoire Riva Inc., Pharmascience Inc. and Vita Health Inc. are all recalling batches of their prescription and over-the-counter products “as a precautionary measure.”
Prescription ranitidine drugs are commonly used for treating and preventing ulcers in the stomach and intestines. They are also used to treat acid reflux and heartburn associated with acid indigestion and sour stomach.
The recalls are part of an ongoing recall of 27 ranitidine products so far. Last month, Health Canada announced it was collaborating with the U.S. Food and Drug Agency and the European Medicines Agency in investigating these drugs.
More details on affected products from each company can be found on Health Canada’s website.
The impurity NDMA is concerning because it’s been classified as a probable human carcinogen, which means long-term exposure to unsafe levels could increase a person’s risk of cancer, according to a Health Canada release.
The government agency urged people taking prescription ranitidine, including recalled products, shouldn’t stop taking it until they’ve spoken to their doctor or health care provider, “as the risk of not treating the condition may be greater than the risk related to NDMA exposure.”