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Ranitidine Does Not Increase the Risk of Cancer, Study Suggests – Renal and Urology News

Ranitidine does not pose an increased risk of cancer when compared to other histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs), according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.

For this study, researchers analyzed data from health claims and electronic health record databases in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France, South Korea, and Taiwan.

The study included more than 1.1 million individuals who were at least 20 years of age, had no history of cancer, and who used H2RAs for more than 30 days between January 1986 and December 2020. The cohort included 909,168 new users of ranitidine and 274,831 new users of other H2RAs.


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The crude incidence rate of cancer was 14.30 events per 1000 person-years among ranitidine users and 15.03 events per 1000 person-years for users of other H2RAs.

After propensity score matching (n=217,406 in each group), the risk of all cancers was similar with ranitidine and other H2RAs — 18.11 and 17.82 per 1000 person-years, respectively (hazard ratio [HR], 1.04; 95% CI, 0.97-1.13; P =.24).

For all cancers excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer — the primary outcome — the risk was similar with ranitidine and other H2RAs — 15.92 and 15.65 per 1000 person-years, respectively (HR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.97-1.12).

When the researchers looked at individual cancers, they found no association between ranitidine and an increased risk of leukemia or breast, prostate, lung, colorectal, bladder, liver, pancreatic, stomach, thyroid, uterine, ovarian, esophageal, gallbladder and biliary tract, cervical, or lip/oral cavity/pharynx cancers.

The researchers also looked at the primary outcome — all cancers excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer — across databases and regions. They found no significant differences in risk between the ranitidine and H2RA groups in the AmbEMR (HR, 1.00; 95%CI: 0.97-1.03) and CUIMC (HR, 0.97; 95%CI, 0.87-1.08) databases. However, ranitidine use was associated with a higher risk of the primary outcome in the SIDIAP (HR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.01-1.34) and NHIS-NSC (HR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.02-1.20) databases.

The risk of all cancers excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer was not significantly higher with ranitidine in the primary meta-analysis of results from 4 databases (HR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.97-1.12) or in the meta-analysis of results across 11 databases (HR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.99-1.08).  

In addition, a subgroup meta-analysis showed no significant difference in the risk of the primary outcome between ranitidine users and other H2RA users in the US (HR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.97-1.03) or Europe (HR, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.99-1.19). However, the risk of the primary outcome was higher among ranitidine users in Asia (HR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.02-1.18).

“These findings suggest that a history of ranitidine use is not associated with an increased risk of cancer compared with use of other H2 receptor antagonists, but further research is needed on the long-term effects of ranitidine on cancer development,” the researchers concluded.

Disclosures: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.

Reference
You SC, Seo SI, Falconer T, et al. Ranitidine use and incident cancer in a multinational cohort. JAMA Netw Open. Published online September 19, 2023. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.33495

This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor