Two major retailers have pulled a popular heartburn medicine due to growing concern about carcinogens. CVS and Hy-Vee announced yesterday via press releases that they would be pulling the sales of all over-the-counter Zantac and ranitidine products. The action is being taken out of an abundance of caution due to a recent industry-wide product alert from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that ranitidine products may contain a low level of nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen.
The FDA is continuing to evaluate whether low levels of NDMA in ranitidine pose a risk to patients. The levels that the FDA is finding in ranitidine from preliminary tests “barely exceed amounts found in common foods.” The FDA issued an official recall on Topcare 75mg ranitidine products, but no other Zantac brand products and Topcare brand ranitidine products have been recalled. Customers who have purchased the products can take them back to both retailers, with a receipt, and receive a refund. Other popular over-the-counter heartburn medications like Pepcid and Tagamet can still be purchased. Customers who have concerns should consult their doctor or pharmacist.