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Ranitidine sales continue in Cancun despite recall

Cancun, Q.R. — After a public advisory was issued by the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (Cofepris), some Cancun pharmacies continue to sell ranitidine.

In a statement in October, la Comisión Federal para la Protección Contra Riesgos Sanitarios (Cofepris) said “Pharmacies and distributors are being asked to suspend the marketing of medicines that contain ranitidine in their formulation,” yet inspectors report still being able to find the drug for sale in some Cancun pharmacies.

Drugs containing ranitidine were found likely to contain N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a known carcinogen.

Ranitidine, sold under the trade name Zantac among others, is a medication which decreases stomach acid production and is commonly used in treatment of peptic ulcer disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and Zollinger–Ellison syndrome.

A recent recall statement from the FDA says “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has learned that some ranitidine medicines, including some products commonly known as the brand-name drug Zantac, contain a nitrosamine impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) at low levels. NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer) based on results from laboratory tests. NDMA is a known environmental contaminant and found in water and foods, including meats, dairy products, and vegetables.

The FDA has been investigating NDMA and other nitrosamine impurities in blood pressure and heart failure medicines called Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) since last year. In the case of ARBs, the FDA has recommended numerous recalls as it discovered unacceptable levels of nitrosamines.”