Zantac Heartburn Medication Being Investigated for Links to Cancer

Sep 30, 2019 | FDA Recalls, Heartburn, Ranitidine

Canada and France have recalled the over-the-counter medication, and the US and EU are currently investigating. And while health authorities say there is no immediate risk, they advise patients to consult a doctor about alternatives.

Where did this come from?

As reported on BBC, “On 13 September, both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) published their decisions to review the presence of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in medicines containing the drug ranitidine.” We invite you to see the FDA’s Safety Information here, and the EMA’s explanation on ranitidine products.

NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer) on the basis of animal studies. It is found in water and foods, including meats, dairy products, and vegetables, but is not expected to cause harm when ingested in very low levels, EMA says.

Where is it recalled?

In the U.S., CVS, Walmart, Walgreens and Rite Aid have decided to pull it off the shelves. As previously stated, Canada and France have too. Bangladesh issued a temporary ban, and recalls are “under way or pending” in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Macedonia, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland. Even drug makers are recalling products containing NDMA.

Call to Action: Those taking ranitidine should not discontinue use immediately, but instead talk to your doctor about heartburn medication alternatives.


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