Zantac Recalled: CVS Pharmacy Suspends Sales Due To Cancer Risk


    CVS, the nation’s largest retailer, announced on Saturday that it will suspend the sales of Zantac (ranitidine), a popular heartburn drug, which was found to be tainted with carcinogens.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) are currently investigating the drug. However, France and Canada have already announced the recall of Zantac.

    Health officials said there is no immediate risk; however, patients are advised to see a doctor for an alternative medication.

    On September 13, the FDA and the EMA said that they have found low levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in Zantac, which is a potential carcinogenic, a substance that can cause cancer.

    Zantac is one of the most popular medications prescribed to patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition characterized by too much secretion of stomach acid, causing heartburn and acid reflux. The drug is available over-the-counter.

    On Saturday, CVS Pharmacy said, “Zantac brand products and CVS brand ranitidine products have not been recalled, and the FDA is not recommending that patients stop taking ranitidine at this time.”

    In the United States, Walmart, Walgreens, and Rite Aid had taken a similar decision in order to prevent cancer risk.

    GlaxoSmithKline, the original manufacturer of Zantac, said the company has “stopped distributing its generic version of the drug and recalled its products from India and Hong Kong.” Harvard Health Publishing, which is a part of Harvard Medical School, advised, “If you have been using ranitidine for a while, now would be a good time to discuss with your physician whether you still need it, and whether you might benefit from alternative treatment options.”