Zantac, the heartburn medicine, is now pulled down from pharmacies and store shelves. The Food and Drug Administration has found certain chemicals that may cause cancer in this drug. Investigations are on and samples of the drug are being tested.
Ranitidine is the substance that may bring in this dreaded disease. The FDA has announced that Zantac and other ranitidine medicines contain some impurities that may cause low levels of cancer.
They are said to contain certain cancer-producing chemicals that are harmful. Though only a low level of the substance is found in the medications, it will not be sold in the markets, henceforth, says the FDA. The FDA will continue to look into the contamination source and risks connected with it on patients.
Though the drug is sold under the brand name Zantac by Sanofi, it is also found in markets in its generic version.
Walgreens, CVS, and Rite-Aid are some pharmacy chains that do not sell Zantac or its generic version. A spokesperson from Rite Aid has said that the company is in the process of removing it from its shelves.
Drugmaker Novartis says that Sandoz, its generic drug division will not be distributing ranitidine in prescription form worldwide and will continue to investigate the findings produced by the FDA.
Apotex which makes the Zantac for pharmacy chains Rite-Aid, Walmart and Walgreens has recalled these products last week.
The FDA is advising those patients taking the drug to switch over to an alternative medication, after consulting with their doctors.
Ranitidine helps to bring down acidity in the stomach. It is also used to prevent stomach ulcers and in gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Patients who have bought these drugs can return them and get their refunds.
The company is also working along with the FDA on this issue. It is making its own investigation in this matter so that quality standards and safety in dosage are maintained.