The FDA ordered the popular heartburn drug Zantac and other manufacturers of prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine drugs to be pulled from the marketplace immediately.

At issue: the contaminant N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Found in some ranitidine products, NDMA levels were found to increase over time and when stored at higher room temperatures, exposing consumers to unacceptable levels of the compound. The World Health Organization classifies NDMA as a probable carcinogen. Exposure to this compound can increase cancer risk as well as organ and bone marrow damage, tumors, and gene mutation.

FDA Investigates

In the summer of 2019, the FDA posted recalls for the heartburn drug when independent laboratory testing found NDMA in ranitidine. At the time, the agency did not have enough scientific evidence to recommend whether individuals should continue or stop taking ranitidine medicines, and continued its investigation. The regulator then warned the public in September 2019 of the potential risks and to consider alternative over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription treatments. Last week, the FDA announced that after additional testing, all prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine drugs need to be removed from the US market.

What To Do

The FDA advises consumers taking OTC ranitidine to stop using the products and dispose of them properly. Consider using other approved OTC products instead. Patients taking prescription ranitidine should consult with their healthcare provider about other treatment options before discontinuing the medicine. There are other drugs approved for the same or similar uses as ranitidine that do not have the risks of from NDMA. To date, the FDA reports it did not find NDMA in Pepcid, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec or Tagamet.

NDMA contamination has been triggering warnings and recalls on multiple drugs recently. If you or a loved one currently use Zantac or have used it in the past and have developed cancer, you may be able to file a ranitidine lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturers. It is important to consult with a personal injury attorney experienced in medication recalls who has the resources to vigorously pursue justice on your behalf. If you have been harmed by a dangerous or defective medication, consider contacting me for a free consultation.