We have an urgent alert for readers today…
The popular heartburn medication ranitidine (often sold under the trade name Zantac) and its generic counterparts are being pulled from drugstore shelves around the world.
This action by some of the nation’s largest pharmacies follows a warning by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that the medications contain at least trace levels of an impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is a known carcinogen at low levels.
Shockingly, the FDA hasn’t issued an outright recall on the drug… or even suggested people stop taking it.
Sanofi, the company that makes Zantac, said in a statement that it is working closely with the FDA and conducting its own investigation. That means the drug company is being left to police its own level of quality control for the time being.
But as it and the federal government lag behind to conduct additional tests, the large chain pharmacies CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid have taken consumer protection into their own hands. They have all stopped selling the drug and have issued statements urging customers to return Zantac and related generic heartburn medications for a refund.
Here’s what you need to know…
Nitrosamines are chemical compounds that have been found to be associated with cancers of the esophagus, mouth and pharynx in humans, as well as the cause of tumors in the organs of lab animals. The nitrosamine NDMA – the one found in Zantac – is a byproduct formed when a drug’s manufacturing process is not vigilantly controlled.
While neither the government nor the drug companies have recommended people stop taking ranitidine, there are alternatives available for consumers, including proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec and Nexium.
Modern medicine is far from perfect. That’s why it’s critical to know all of your options when it comes to both conventional and natural medicine.