Ranitidine (ZANTAC) Removed from Market By FDA

Ranitidine is an H-2 receptor blocker marketed in the United States as Zantac. It is sold over the counter (OTC) without a prescription at the 20 mg dosage and with a prescription at the 40 mg dosage. It is used for peptic ulcer treatment, gastritis treatment, heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux and other diseases in which gastric acid causes inflammation of the lining of the stomach and discomfort.

It is being recalled because when manufacturing this product, new techniques are apparently inadvertently producing a probable carcinogen known as NDMA (N-Nitrosdimethylamaine). The longer the ranitidine sits around, the more NDMA is found. None of the levels measured are believed to be toxic.

Ranitidine is a relatively inexpensive blocker of histamine-2 receptor sites resulting in less digestive acid secretion in the stomach. The NDMA in the production product is the same chemical that resulted in the blood pressure medicine losartan and similar products being recalled. There are several alternative H-2 receptor blocker drugs on the market to replace ranitidine or Zantac. NDMA has not been found in Pepcid (famotidine), Tagamet (cimetidine), omeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) or omeprazole (Prilosec).

Globalization started during the Clinton administration, and encouraged by subsequent Republican and Democratic administrations, has resulted in pharmaceutical manufacturers moving their plants to Asia and other overseas areas where labor is cheaper, and regulations are less rigid. Ronald Reagan eliminated the Food and Drug Administration’s testing lab which set the gold standard for protecting Americans against tainted drugs. Prior to this action, no pharmaceutical product ever reached the American market and had to be recalled.

Subsequent administrations reduced the funding for the FDA, especially in the inspection department. With production now overseas, and virtually unregulated, we are dependent on the goodwill of foreign governments, and the liability attorneys for big pharma, to protect us from tainted products. Almost all antibiotics, both oral and intravenous, and all IV solutions are produced overseas in addition to most of the oral generics we are forced to take by our insurer every day.

We are currently living in a civilization altering pandemic with Coronavirus COVID-19. When this plague is under control, the country will need to reset our economy. My hope is that the big pharmaceutical firms will be legally forced to bring the pharmaceutical manufacturing back to U.S. soil. At the same time, the FDA inspection division needs to be funded fully to ensure that the products we need and ingest are safe and pure!

One Response

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