Zantac and Cancer

The FDA has warned that a popular heartburn medication, Zantac may be contaminated with a cancer-causing chemical. NMDA has been linked to an increased risk of stomach, kidney, bladder, pancreatic and colon cancer and retailers are pulling Zantac and generic ranitidine products from store shelves.

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Zantac Chemical Contamination Linked to Cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned that Zantac, 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, has announced a voluntary recall of the medication due to concerns of cancer that may be caused by NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine).

In addition, retailers whose stores sell store-brand formulations of ulcer medication containing ranitidine are pulling products from sale shelves. Retail drug and big box stores including Walmart, Walgreens, CVS/Target and others have removed certain brands of the antacid medication.

NMDA found in Zantac may be linked to a number of different cancers such as:

  • Gastric or stomach cancer
  • Bladder or kidney cancer
  • Colon or intestinal cancer
  • Pancreatic 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 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, the FDA has not made recommendations that people should discontinue their medications. Health experts advise patients and consumers to talk to their health care practitioner before making medication changes.

Zantac Cancer FDA Warning

Warnings 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, 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 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 CVS-Target, Walmart and Walgreens, along with others have announced that they are pulling store-brand ranitidine and other products 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 Cancer Lawsuits

A number of Zantac cancer lawsuits may be expected. People who took brand-name Zantac medication regularly for at 60 days and were diagnosed with cancer may be eligible to file a Zantac Cancer Lawsuit and should seek legal advice.

Read more about Zantac Cancer lawsuits here.

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