You may have noticed that your favorite heartburn medication is no longer
available at stores like CVS and Walgreens.
This is because Zantac and other drugs containing ranitidine have been
recalled for containing unacceptable levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).
What Is Ranitidine?
Ranitidine is an H2 (histamine-2) blocker commonly used to prevent and
relieve heartburn. It is the active ingredient in the popular heartburn
drug, Zantac, and the key component to countless generic versions. Ranitidine
is available over the counter and prescription strengths are used to treat
and prevent ulcers in the stomach and intestines.
While U.S. recalls are still ongoing, France has recalled all ranitidine
Health Canada has asked all companies to stop distributing ranitidine drugs, stating:
“Current evidence suggests that NDMA may be present in ranitidine, regardless
of the manufacturer”
What Is NDMA?
NDMA is an environmental contaminant and a
probable human carcinogen, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). While NDMA is found
in small doses in our food and water, particularly in dairy products,
vegetables, and grilled meats, extended exposure may lead to cancer. The
acceptable daily intake of NDMA is about 0.096 micrograms, but
samples of ranitidine have shown levels well above this, with some medications containing as
many as 0.56 micrograms per dose.
Should I Be Worried?
So far, none of the recalled medications have been associated with illness
or injury. Nevertheless,
long-term exposure to high concentrations of NDMA can cause cancer, and if you’ve taken Zantac or another ranitidine-containing medication
for a long time, you should monitor your health closely.
Additionally, you can no longer buy ranitidine products over the counter,
so if you are taking a ranitidine prescription, you may want to discuss
another option with your doctor. As with any other recalled products,
you should also dispose of any Zantac or ranitidine medications you have at home.
What If I Still Have Questions?
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides regular updates on the presence of NDMA in Zantac and other ranitidine drugs.
Harvard Health Publishing also has
several articles available to answer any questions you may have, and many reputable news
USA Today have compiled articles with consumer information.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer after long-term use of Zantac or
other ranitidine products, we urge you to speak with our attorneys
The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC, handles
product liability claims related to dangerous drugs, and
our firm can help you afford the treatment you need, which on average costs about
Tell us your story today at (512) 271-5112 and be sure to
set up a free, confidential consultation
with our experienced legal professionals.