The FDA has asked all stores selling Zantac and all people using Zantac to stop immediately. The Food and Drug Administration says the acid reflux and heartburn drug may contain a human carcinogen. The contaminant known as N-Nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, poses a risk to human health. The PubChem website explains the dangers of NDMA:

N-Nitrosodimethylamine is a volatile, combustible, yellow, oily liquid nitrosamine with a faint characteristic odor that decomposes when exposed to light and emits toxic fumes of nitrogen oxides when heated to decomposition. N-Nitrosodimethylamine is primarily used in laboratory research to induce tumors in experimental animals.

Not all samples tested contained elevated levels of NDMA, but levels can increase depending on how the product is stored. In higher temperatures the contaminant increases more than lower temperatures. The FDA has been testing the product for carcinogen levels and human safety and alerting the public of possible dangers since September of 2019.

The FDA recommends consumers dispose of any remaining Zantac drugs and switch to another recommended option if needed. The FDA says Pepcid, Prilosec, and Nexium are acceptable alternatives. CNN reported last year that Walgreens, Walmart, and CVS had already pulled the product from shelves due to concerns.

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