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Ministry receives alerts on contaminated ranitidine products

October 12, 2019 5:38 am

The Ministry of Health has been informed of an alert on ranitidine medicines, issued by Medicines Regulators around the world.

Alerts are advising that ranitidine-containing products may be contaminated with an impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).

Long-term exposure (over years) can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer.

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The risks from short-term use of ranitidine are expected to be extremely low.

Ranitidine is used for treatment of heartburn, gastric reflux or ulcers.

Permanent Secretary for the Health Ministry Bernadette Welch says in Fiji, ranitidine is available to patients in the form of 150mg or 300mg tablets.

Welch adds that it is usually a prescribed medicine but is also available over the counter.

She says the Health Ministry is now working with the Fiji Medicinal Products Board to monitor developments and assess the situation in Fiji as it evolves.

Welch says they are also working with WHO and other international regulators for regular updates on the situation globally.

The Permanent Secretary says according to the advice being given by Medicines Regulators abroad, the Ministry is not calling for individuals to stop taking this medication.

Welch stressed that if people have concerns regarding their ranitidine they can discuss with their healthcare provider, so they can assess and prescribe an alternative treatment option available in Fiji.

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