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USFDA finds probable human carcinogen in Zantac

The USFDA has not yet called for Sanofi, the company that manufactures Zantac, to recall it from the market, but has urged people to exercise caution and consult a doctor or a pharmacist before taking a decision.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Published: September 14, 2019 1:59:00 pm
zantac, carcinogen, FDA, indian express, indian express news Strictly speaking, it is the ranitidine medication — sold under the trade name Zantac — that reduces stomach acid production. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

Does Zantac cause cancer? The United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has found low-level human carcinogen in some versions of the popular over-the-counter heartburn drug.

What does this mean? The aforementioned carcinogen has been detected in Zantac and its generic versions, the FDA said on September 13. Some of these medicines contain a nitrosamine impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) at low levels. Based on laboratory tests, the NDMA has been classified as a probable human carcinogen.

What is Zantac?

Ranitidine, sold under the trade name Zantac, helps reduce stomach acid production. A medicine for heartburn, it is commonly used for the treatment of peptic ulcer disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease and Zollinger–Ellison syndrome — a condition in which there is an overproduction of gastric acid in the pancreas.

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What next?

Currently, the USFDA is evaluating the risk this revelation poses to millions of consumers who use the drug. While it has not called for Sanofi, the company that manufactures the drug, to recall it from the market, it has urged people to exercise caution and consult a doctor or a pharmacist before taking a decision.

The USFDA has also said that those who use the drug on a non-prescription basis, could, perhaps, switch to other such similar drugs.

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