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Ranitidine, drug used to treat heartburn, withdrawn from Kenyan market

The prescription drug relieves heartburn and is sold in Kenya as Neotack.

In Summary

• Pharmacy and Poisons Board issued a directive to pharmacies in Kenya to retrieve and quarantine all medicines that contain ranitidine sold in local pharmacies.

• The Board also asked doctors to prescribe available alternative medicines adding that Kenya will not import any more ranitidine products.

Medicine at one of a Pharmacy in Kenya.
Medicine at one of a Pharmacy in Kenya.
Image: JACK OWUOR

A Facebook post claiming that Ranitidine, a drug used to treat heartburn, will no longer be available in Kenya is TRUE.

Ranitidine is an over the counter and prescription drug which relieves heartburn and is sold in Kenya as Neotack. The post adds that the ban order was issued after the drug was linked to cancer in the United States.

On September 2, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board issued a directive to pharmacies in Kenya to retrieve and quarantine all medicines that contain ranitidine sold in local pharmacies. The Board also asked doctors to prescribe available alternative medicines adding that Kenya will not import any more ranitidine products.

 

On September 13, the US Food and Drug Administration announced that tests on the drug found low levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen.

The report by the FDA added that the organization is not asking individuals to stop taking ranitidine at the moment. However, it asked patients taking ranitidine prescription who wish to discontinue the drug use to talk to their doctors about other treatment options.

According to the World Health Organization, NDMA can occur in drinking-water through the degradation of dimethylhydrazine (a component of rocket fuel) as well as from several other industrial processes.”

PesaCheck has looked into the claim that the Pharmacy and Poisons Board has directed the withdrawal of Ranitidine, a drug used to treat heartburn in Kenya and finds it to be TRUE.

This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact-checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.

By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platforms, third-party fact-checking organisations like PesaCheck are helping to sort fact from fiction. We do this by giving the public deeper insight and context to posts they see in their social media feeds.

Have you spotted what you think is fake news or false information on Facebook? Here’s how you can report. And, here’s more information on PesaCheck’s methodology for fact-checking questionable content.

This fact-check was written by PesaCheck Researcher James Okong’o, was edited by PesaCheck Deputy Editor Ann Ngengere and was approved for publication by PesaCheck Managing Editor Eric Mugendi.