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 products, and 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?
The 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 sources like 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 right away.
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 $150,000.
Tell us your story today at (512) 271-5112 and be sure to set up a free, confidential consultation with our experienced legal professionals.