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Health authorities ban sales of ranitidine-based medicine over carcinogen concern

All Headlines 11:38 September 26, 2019

SEOUL, Sept. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's health authorities said Thursday that they will suspend the manufacturing and sales of some ranitidine drug products that contain a probable human carcinogen.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said a total of 269 ranitidine medicines contain N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a substance known to cause cancer, exceeding acceptable limits.

Ranitidine medicines decrease the amount of acid made in the stomach and are commonly used to treat stomach ulcers and heartburn, which is also called gastroesophageal reflux disease. One of the brand names of ranitidine here is Zantac.

The World Health Organization classifies NDMA as Group 2A, a probable human carcinogen. It is a known environmental contaminant and also found in water and foods.

The agency said it will form a committee to assess possible long-term effects on patients who have been taking ranitidine.

The agency also advises patients taking the products to discontinue use and talk to their doctors about safety concerns and other treatment options.

This photo, taken on Sept. 25, 2019, shows ranitidine drug products, including Zantac, at a pharmacy in Seoul. (Yonhap)

khj@yna.co.kr
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