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Generic Zantac tabbed in a voluntary recall amid cancer concerns

Kristian Dyer

A popular drug to combat heartburn may be linked to cancer, causing a voluntary recall of the product.

The statement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is for a voluntary recall of generic versions of Zantac, a heartburn drug that is served in tablet form. The need for the recall stems from the presence of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).

There is no current recall for "brand-name drug Zantac," although the FDA is currently testing it.

According to the World Health Organization, NDMA is listed “as probably carcinogenic to humans.” This has earned it a Group B2 rating from the Environmental Protection Agency, meaning that “There is inadequate evidence that it can cause cancer in humans but at present, it is far from conclusive.”

The message from the FDA is clear however that “Consumers taking OTC ranitidine could consider using other OTC products approved for their condition.” These generic versions of ranitidine tablets are distributed at Walgreens, Walmart and Rite Aid.

According to the FDA, not all ranitidine medicines are part of this recall. In addition, in their release, the FDA announced that they are “not recommending individuals stop taking all ranitidine medicines at this time.” Consumers are advised to consult their health care professionals to pursue the wisest course of action.

At the present time, the FDA is continuing to test a wide range of ranitidine products. In addition, the organization has released testing methods for regulators.

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