If you’ve followed the story of the popular acid reflux and heartburn drug Zantac over the past year or so, you probably saw this coming. A recent CNN article reported that the FDA is requesting that manufacturers pull all prescription and OTC ranitidine drugs (aka Zantac) from the market immediately. The announcement came via an FDA News Release published last Wednesday, April 1st.
The FDA determined that the impurity in some products increases over time when stored at higher than room temperature. The impurity in question is N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), and it’s a probable carcinogen, meaning that it could cause cancer. Low levels of NDMA are present in many foods and in water, but new information suggests sustained higher levels of exposure may increase the risk of cancer in humans. The FDA sent letters to all manufacturers of ranitidine requesting they withdraw all products from the market.