Zantac Pulled From Shelves by Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS Over Carcinogen
The pharmacy chains are pulling the heartburn medication from shelves after the Food and Drug Administration warned that it had detected low levels of a cancer-causing chemical in samples of the drug.
The pharmacy chains Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS have moved to stop selling the heartburn medicine Zantac and its generic versions after the Food and Drug Administration warned this month that it had detected low levels of a cancer-causing chemical in samples of the drug.
A Walgreens spokesman said in a statement on Monday that the company had pulled the drug from its shelves “while the FDA continues its review of the products.” A Rite Aid spokesman said the company was “in the process of removing Zantac and generic versions sold under the Rite Aid name from its shelves.”
Walgreens and CVS, which announced its move on Saturday, both noted that the drug, which is known as ranitidine, has not been recalled. The companies said customers who had bought the products could return them for a refund.
The European Medicines Agency is also reviewing the drug. Canada has ordered a halt to all distribution of ranitidine while it investigates. In its warning on Sept. 13, the F.D.A. said that it had found low levels of a cancer-causing contaminant, a type of nitrosamine called nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, in the heartburn medications.
Nitrosamines can cause tumors in the liver and other organs in lab animals, and they are believed to be carcinogenic in humans. NDMA can form during manufacturing if the chemical reactions used to make the drug are not carefully controlled, the F.D.A. has said.
Remember: Drugs are dangerous whether pushed or prescribed!
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