Home News Zantac: CVS latest to suspend heartburn drug over cancer fears

Zantac: CVS latest to suspend heartburn drug over cancer fears

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BBC
NEWS

US
retailer CVS has become the latest to suspend the sale of a heartburn
drug being investigated for links to cancer. It follows concern in
several countries over the presence of impurities in Zantac and other
ranitidine products. Canada and France have already announced Zantac
recalls. The US and the European Union are investigating. Health
authorities say there is no immediate risk, but patients have been
advised to consult a doctor who can prescribe alternatives to
ranitidine. What is the fear about? On 13 September, both the US Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA)
published their decisions to review the presence of
N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in medicines containing the drug
ranitidine. NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen (a
substance that could cause cancer) on the basis of animal studies.
NDMA is found in water and foods, including meats, dairy products,
and vegetables, but is not expected to cause harm when ingested in
very low levels, EMA says. Ranitidine products are used to reduce the
production of stomach acid in patients with conditions such as
heartburn and stomach ulcers. They are available over-the-counter and
on prescription.

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