Sanofi announced last Friday that it was recalling their over-the-counter heartburn medication, Zantac in the U.S and Canada. This comes a month after the FDA initially alerted the public that their product contained cancer-causing substances. Many generic versions of the drug were recalled long before Sanofi issued their recall. Sanofi’s recall comes after major chains such as Walgreens and CVS pulled the product from their shelves. Some countries have even requested a halt in the distribution of all ranitidine products. Sanofi said in a statement: “Sanofi is committed to transparency and will continue to communicate results with health authorities from the ongoing testing, and work with them to make informed decisions based on available data and evidence.”
Back in September, the FDA announced that it found a type of nitrosamine called N- nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA in samples of Zantac. NDMA is known to be carcinogenic in humans. Along with Zantac and other ranitidine products, NDMA was also found in Diovan. A blood pressure medication, that has also been recalled. In the FDA’s statement, they said they found unacceptable levels of NDMA in Zantac. However, the levels the FDA found were lower compared to what Valisure’s testing found. Valisure is an online pharmacy that conducted some testing on the product and believes that the ranitidine molecule when in certain conditions, such as when being digestion, creates NDMA.
The FDA is advising people who take the over-the-counter version of Zantac, to switch to another medication. If you take a prescription version of Zantac, you should speak with your doctor before switching to something else.
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