Class 2 pharmacy level medicines recall for Zantac (POM) products
Patient safety update: Class 2 pharmacy level medicines recall for Zantac products – actions to take for pharmacy teams dispensing/supplying these products
A Class 2 medicines recall drug alert (Ref: EL(19)A/24) has been issued by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for all unexpired stock of four Zantac products listed in the table below — this is a pharmacy level recall alert which requires action within 48 hours of the alert being issued on 8 October 2019:
|Zantac product||Product licence (PL) number|
|Zantac Syrup 150mg/10ml||PL 10949/0108|
|Zantac Injection 50mg/2ml||PL 10949/0109|
|Zantac Tablets 150mg||Pl 10949/0042|
|Zantac Tablets 300mg||PL 10949/0043|
GlaxoSmithKline is recalling all unexpired stock of Zantac prescription-only-medicines (POM) from pharmacies due to potential contamination of the active ingredient in Zantac (ranitidine) with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) as an impurity — this is a precautionary measure as NDMA has genotoxic and carcinogenic potential. The MHRA’s press release provides further details about this drug alert.
Advice for healthcare professionals, including pharmacy teams
Pharmacists and pharmacy teams are required to:
- Stop supplying the affected products immediately
- Quarantine all remaining stock and return it to their supplier using their agreed process
- Provide the following advice to patients making enquiries about the issue:
- Do not stop taking their medicines – stopping treatment can pose more of a health risk than the contaminant presents
- Patients do not need to see their doctor until their next routine appointment/treatment review
- Speak to their doctor if they have concerns
GSK can be contacted as below:
- Stock control enquiries — refer to the GSK website or contact 0800-221-441
- Medical information enquiries — email email@example.com, or via the Live Chat facilityor on 0800 221 441 (option 2)
It is important to note that an MHRA investigation into other potentially affected products is continuing. The MHRA is working with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and other medicines regulators to determine any possible impact. The MHRA will provide further updates as the investigation progresses.
Please note: the following over-the-counter Zantac products have not been affected by the recall as they are produced by a different company:
- Zantac 75 Relief (PL 02855/0081)
- Zantac 75 Tablets (PL 02855/0082)
NPA patient safety support
- The NPA patient safety section of our website is freely accessible as part of the NPA’s Medication Safety Officer (MSO) role for independent pharmacies in England with fewer than 50 branches.
NPA Members are advised to contact the Pharmacy Services team on 01727 891800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice and support.
Produced by the NPA Pharmacy Services team October 2019.