On April 1, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that all ranitidine (brand name Zantac) products be removed from the market due to contamination with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen. They believe “the impurity in some ranitidine products increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures and may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels” of NDMA. NDMA is present in water and foods and is not harmful at low levels, but higher levels may cause cancer. Not all ranitidine products have been found to contain NDMA, or even dangerous levels of it, but it has been found that levels increase over time.
Ranitidine is a histamine H2 receptor antagonist and works to reduce the production of stomach acid. It has been used off-label in cats to treat and prevent ulcers in the stomach and small intestines. If your cat is currently receiving ranitidine, you should ask your veterinarian about alternative medications to manage his condition.