CVS has just become the latest global company to suspend sales of the best-selling heartburn drug Zantac, which is being investigated globally for its links to cancer.
CVS follows two other countries, Canada and France, which announced Zantac recalls earlier this month after discovering the presence of a carcinogen found in Zantac and other generic ranitidine products.
Multiple manufacturers and distributors of Zantac around the world have also announced recalls of ranitidine.
What is Ranitidine?
Ranitidine, sold under the trade name Zantac, is an over the counter medication which decreases stomach acid production. Zantac is used to treat ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Ranitidine is used by millions of people worldwide, including infants and pregnant women.
Global Concerns Regarding Impurities Found in Zantac
On September 13th, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) published their decisions to review the presence of NDMA in medications which contain the drug ranitidine.
What is NDMA?
N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is a chemical compound which occurs in drinking-water and food through the degradation of dimethylhydrazine (a component of rocket fuel) as well as from several other industrial processes.
Which Drugstores Have Recalled Zantac?
CVS announced on Saturday September 28 that it was suspending the sale of Zantac and CVS Health brand ranitidine products “out of an abundance of caution.”
Other US pharmacies, which had already issued similar statements about Zantac, include Walmart, Walgreens, and Rite Aid.
Should Patients Stop Taking Zantac?
While health authorities state there is no immediate risk, patients are being advised to consult a doctor who can prescribe alternatives to Zantac.