Zantac (Ranitidine) Chemical Contamination Linked to Cancer
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned that Zantac (ranitidine), a popular heartburn medication, may contain a cancer-causing agent that has also recently been found in other contaminated medications. Sanofi-Aventis, manufacturer of Zantac (ranitidine), has announced a voluntary recall of the medication due to concerns of cancer that may be caused by NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine). Generic manufacturers of ranitidine products have also recalled their medications.
In addition, retailers whose stores sell store-brand formulations of ulcer medication containing ranitidine such as Rite Aid or CVS Acid Reducer, Walgreens’ Wal-Zan and other store brands labeled as Acid Controller, Acid Reducer, Heartburn Relief or Ranitidine, are pulling products from sale shelves. Retail drug and big box stores including Walmart, Walgreens, CVS/Target and others have removed all generic and brand name formulations of the antacid medication.
NMDA found in Zantac (Ranitidine) may be linked to a number of different cancers such as:
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
The FDA issued a report indicating that the base ingredient, ranitidine, could be contaminated with the industrial chemical agent NMDA. Zantac’s manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis has issued a voluntary recall which has been followed by ranitidine generic manufacturers and retailers who have removed generic products from store shelves.
Though there are a number of alternative antacid medications available both over-the-counter and in prescription form, health experts advise patients and consumers to talk to their health care practitioner before making medication changes.
Zantac (Ranitidine) Cancer FDA Warning
Warnings and action taken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been mirrored by similar warnings issued by European health authorities and other regions. They have warned that ranitidine, including the active ingredient product (API) used in Zantac or other formulations of ranitidine, may be contaminated with N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) which is known to cause cancer.
NDMA is a volatile, organic byproduct of manufacturing of pesticides and other industrial chemicals. It is also used to produce fuels, lubricants and other petroleum-based products. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized NDMA as a human carcinogen and strictly regulates allowable levels in the air, water and soil.
NDMA contamination levels found in Zantac and other ranitidine products have tested at 3,000 to 26,000 times higher than those normally allowed in consumable or other products. NDMA contamination has also recently occurred in other medications.
Most recently, the angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB) blood pressure medication Diovan and products made with the active ingredient, valsartan, have been found to be contaminated with NDMA. The same products have also been discovered to be contaminated with other industrial chemicals including NDEA and NMBA, which have not yet been identified in Zantac products.
Zantac (Ranitidine) Manufacturer Recall and Sales Discontinued
French drug company, Sanofi-Aventis, manufacturer of Zantac has issued a voluntary recall of over-the-counter Zantac medications. Generic manufacturers including Apotex, GlaxoSmithKline, and Novartis-AG Sandoz have also stopped selling their products containing ranitidine in several countries including Canada, Hong Kong, India, and the U.S.
Chain pharmacies and big-box retailers including Rite Aid, CVS-Target, Walmart and Walgreens, along with others have announced that they are pulling store-brand ranitidine and other generic ranitidine from their shelving. Experts have noted that consumers have other alternatives for antacid treatment but should consult their health care professionals before discontinuing or changing medications.
Zantac (Ranitidine) Cancer Lawsuits
A number of Zantac (ranitidine) cancer lawsuits may be expected. People who took brand-name Zantac medication or certain store brands containing ranitidine, regularly for at 60 days and were diagnosed with cancer may be eligible to file a Zantac (ranitidine) Cancer Lawsuit and should seek legal advice.
Read more about Zantac Cancer lawsuits here.