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CVS Suspends Zantac Heartburn Drug Due to Cancer Fears

By rlsmetro on
New Jersey

United States retailer CVS has joined in with hundreds of pharmacy establishments to suspend the sale of a heartburn drug being investigated for links to cancer.

According to CVS officials, 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.

Officials say NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer) based on 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 deficient levels, EMA says.

Ranitidine products are used to reduce the production of stomach acid in patients with conditions such as heartburn and stomach ulcers.

Officials say Zantac is an over-the-counter and on prescription.

It follows concern in several countries over the presence of impurities in Zantac and other ranitidine products.

CVS's officials announced on Saturday that they were suspending the sale of Zantac and CVS Health brand ranitidine products "out of an abundance of caution."