Zantac is a prescription and over-the-counter antihistamine and antacid used to treat stomach ulcers and heartburn. In recent studies, Zantac has been found to have severe side effects leading to many forms of cancer.
On April 1, 2020, the FDA announced that all Zantac is to be removed from the market. This includes both prescription and over the counter medications.
The active ingredient in Zantac is ranitidine hydrochloride. This ingredient can produce an impurity known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA. NDMA, in low doses is found in common foods and water presenting no health risks.
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced it is requesting manufacturers withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine drugs from the market immediately. This is the latest step in an ongoing investigation of a contaminant known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in ranitidine medications (commonly known by the brand name Zantac). The agency has determined that the impurity in some ranitidine products increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures and may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels of this impurity. As a result of this immediate market withdrawal request, ranitidine products will not be available for new or existing prescriptions or OTC use in the U.S.
New FDA testing and evaluation prompted by information from third-party laboratories confirmed that NDMA levels increase in ranitidine even under normal storage conditions, and NDMA has been found to increase significantly in samples stored at higher temperatures, including temperatures the product may be exposed to during distribution and handling by consumers. The testing also showed that the older a ranitidine product is, or the longer the length of time since it was manufactured, the greater the level of NDMA. These conditions may raise the level of NDMA in the ranitidine product above the acceptable daily intake limit.” (Read more on the FDA.GOV website)
The FDA has advised that consumers stop taking tablets and dispose of properly.
Zantac has been linked to the following cancers:
Lung cancer (for non-smokers)