HYDERABAD: Prescribing ranitidine as medicine for acidity, ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems must be stopped forthwith for patient safety, rather than inspecting manufacturing units in the state, pharma experts have stated.
They observed that the need of the hour is to educate people that ranitidine, the most commonly used medicine for diabetes, heart diseases, ulcers, geriatric and gastrointestinal ailments, has traces of carcinogenic elements. They must shift to alternative medications, suggested Dr Sanjay Reddy, president of Telangana Pharma Society.
He said, “The Drug Controller must, in coordination with the TS Medical Council and health department, issue instructions that doctors stop prescribing ranitidine. Presently, it is only an advisory that is hardly being followed. Doctors must be ordered to stop prescribing this medicine.”
The antacid is used by a large section of the population on a daily basis. This is a cause for concern, as use of this drug leads to buildup of toxic elements in the body and can lead to development of cancer cells, Dr Sanjay warned.
Dr Satya Sunil, a senior consultant pharmacologist, stated, “Ranitidine is available in tablet form in dosages of 150 mg and 300 mg. A large number of people take these tablets for various diseases. Many of them self-diagnose acidity and purchase the medicine. Antacids are among the highly misused medicines in India."
Following the warning by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), it has been found that the existing stocks of ranitidine with wholesalers will last six months while retailers have a stock of three months. There are 26,000 chemists in the state.
To recall these medicines from the retail market is not possible, say drug inspectors.
A senior drug inspector, on condition of anonymity, disclosed: “We are collecting samples from the stocks of manufacturing units and wholesalers to check which batches of these medicines have impurities. Accordingly, those batches will be stopped. It is not possible to recall the complete product from the market, as the medicine is needed by many patients.”...