Zantac recalled by FDA

Zantac recalled by FDA

Denny Mathew, Staff Writer

Earlier this past September, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found a harmful chemical in Zantac, a drugstore heartburn medication, that could possibly be linked to cancer. The chemical is known as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a semi-volatile organic chemical. In excess, it can be toxic to the liver and causes cancer in rats, as found through cancer research. The carbon-based compound is seen in commonly cooked foods but is not found in excessive amounts.

The FDA ensured that consumers should not panic, but suggests switching to another over-the-counter drug while the agency tests more samples. CVS Pharmacy took this advice and removed ranitidine-the generic brand name of the medication- to eliminate any traces of the carcinogen in their stores.

Sanofi, the company that makes Zantac, released a statement on the new findings of their product: “At Sanofi, we remain committed to being transparent with our patients and consumers and will share an update when one is available. There are currently no plans to stop distributing or manufacturing Zantac or other ranitidine products outside of Canada. We are working closely with the FDA and are conducting our own robust investigations to ensure we continue to meet the highest quality safety and quality standards”. Drugmaker Novartis had already announced it will no longer distribute generic versions of Zantac due to the discovery. Sandoz, the division of Novartis that makes a generic version of Zantac said it “has not received any reports of adverse events related to use of the product as part of this recall. Patients should consult with their physician and/or pharmacy for alternative treatment options”.

Although it is not a dire emergency that Zantac is sold in a main-brand pharmacy, consumers should be cautious of the amount they are prescribed and consult their doctors for an alternative medication for heartburn treatment.