RECALL NOTICE: Zantac may contain impurities

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to make this extra post about a fairly big recall on Zantac and other additional prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine drugs.  Remember if you have one of these products, please stop using them and return  the remainder to Costco for a full refund (with or without the receipt).

For more information visit the official Government of Canada recall notice: https://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2019/71029a-eng.php

Important Recall Notice
Zantac 150mg 150ct (All provinces except Quebec)
Costco item #955331
Zantac 150mg 50ct (Quebec only)
Costco Item #358170

Sanofi is recalling the following items because they may contain the impurity N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) above acceptable levels:

  • Zantac 150mg 150ct (All provinces except Quebec)
  • Zantac 150mg 50ct (Quebec only)

UPDATE: October 18, 2019

Additional prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine drugs, including Zantac, are being recalled by Sanofi Consumer Health Inc., Sivem Pharmaceuticals ULC and Teva Canada Limited because they may contain the impurity N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) above acceptable levels. Please refer to the Affected Products table below for detailed information on the recalled lots.

Should any additional recalls be necessary, Health Canada will update the table below and inform Canadians.

UPDATE: September 25, 2019

Health Canada requests that companies stop distributing ranitidine drugs in Canada while it assesses NDMA; additional products being recalled 

Additional ranitidine drugs are being recalled by four companies: Apotex Inc., Pro Doc Limitée, Sanis Health Inc., and Sivem Pharmaceuticals ULC. The lots are being recalled as they may have been manufactured using an active pharmaceutical ingredient containing an impurity, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), above acceptable levels. Please refer to the Affected Products table below for detailed information on the recalled lots.

Should any additional recalls be necessary, Health Canada will update the table below and inform Canadians.

Original Information Update: September 17, 2019

Health Canada requests that companies stop distributing ranitidine drugs in Canada while it assesses NDMA; some products being recalled

OTTAWA – Health Canada recently informed Canadians that it is assessing the issue of an impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) detected in some ranitidine drugs. Current evidence suggests that NDMA may be present in ranitidine, regardless of the manufacturer. As a result, and at Health Canada’s request, companies marketing ranitidine products in Canada have stopped any further distribution until evidence is provided to demonstrate that they do not contain NDMA above acceptable levels.

The request to stop distribution means that the existing stock of ranitidine products currently available in pharmacies or at retail stores may continue to be sold. This is different from a recall, since products that are being recalled can no longer be sold.

This is an interim, precautionary measure as Health Canada continues to gather information from companies and to assess the issue with other international regulators.

One company, Sandoz Canada, is recalling its oral prescription products in Canada and other countries after testing identified levels of NDMA above what is considered acceptable if the drug were to be taken over a lifetime. Should any additional recalls be deemed necessary, Health Canada will update the table below and inform Canadians.

Ranitidine is available in Canada over-the-counter (for example, under the brand name Zantac and as generics) and by prescription (as generics). Over-the-counter ranitidine is approved to prevent and relieve heartburn associated with acid indigestion and sour stomach. Prescription ranitidine drugs are used to reduce stomach acid for the treatment and prevention of various conditions, such as heartburn, ulcers of the stomach and intestines, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (commonly known as GERD).

NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen, which means long-term exposure to levels above what is considered safe could increase the risk of cancer. We are all exposed to low levels of NDMA in some foods (such as meats, dairy products and vegetables) and in drinking water. NDMA is not expected to cause harm when ingested at very low levels.

Health Canada continues to gather and share information with other regulators, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency, and with Canadian companies to better understand the issue and whether there may be a risk to Canadians. This includes conducting its own tests and assessing whether the results seen in laboratory tests present a human health risk. The Department will take action if a risk to Canadians is identified, and will continue to inform the public of new safety information.

Health Canada has been working to address the issue of NDMA and similar impurities, known as nitrosamines, found in certain “sartan” angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) blood pressure medications since 2018. Health Canada continues to work closely with international regulatory partners to address the issue. This includes broadening its efforts to evaluate the potential for nitrosamines in drugs other than sartans and measures to address and prevent the impurities.

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