Retailers Pull Popular Heartburn Drugs After FDA Finds Cancer-Causing Chemical

A few times ago, the FDA announced it had found a low-grade chemical that can cause cancer in a group of drugs commonly used to treat heartburn. A chemical called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is the same FDA carcinogen found in common heart drugs. According to the FDA, NDMA is an environmental pollutant usually found in food – including dairy goods, meat, and vegetables. 

NDMA is a contaminant classified as a possible carcinogen to humans by the agency for research on cancer. This means that it is a compound that can cause cancer. However, because of this, there are so many FDA heartburn drug cancer warnings given to the manufactures to make less use of NDMA in medicines that are used to treat heartburn. 

FDA warns of probable carcinogens in Zantac, other heartburn drugs

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However, the FDA announced that it had found low NDMA levels in several ranitidine drugs, including the brand name used to treat Zantac acid and generic versions of the drug. Medicines are available only by prescription and without a prescription (OTC). Therefore, the FDA does not issue withdrawals for Zantac or any other ranitidine drug.

The FDA found "unacceptable" levels of NDMA in acidic drugs:

The agency said it continues to test samples of ranitidine from various manufacturers and is investigating the potential effects of the chemical in patients who have used the drug. In addition, the FDA has asked manufacturers to run their own tests of the drug ranitidine to see if it contains NDMA and submit samples of the FDA drug for review by agency scientists. The FDA said it would provide additional information on the matter "as soon as it becomes available"