Another one bites the dust. This time it’s Zanatac, the popular over the counter (OTC) drug sold at almost all American drug stores. The histamine blocker Zantac is used to treat ulcers, heart burn and stomach acid problems. Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid have all pulled the product off their shelves out of “an abundance of caution” over a detected link between Zantac and cancer. So, what is the deal here?
Zantac, also known by its chemical compound name rantidine (produced by Sanofi), and it’s generic versions have all been but completely pulled from the market while the manufacturers work with the FDA to determine the cause. What did the FDA find? On Sept. 13, the FDA said it detected low levels of the cancer-causing contaminant nirtosodimethylamine (a type of nitrosine or NDMA) in the medication. This contaminant can cause tumors to grow in the liver and other internal organs.
The issue is another example of a product the FDA originally cleared, but in the end turned up to cause cancer. The issue was first detected, not by the FDA or the manufacturers of Zantac, but an online drug store called Valisure.
Valisure does a really good thing… they independently test drugs they sell to verify their chemical contents and safety. As it turns out, a co-founder’s infant daughter was taking the drug for acid-reflux. This encouraged them to test the product which lead to the discovery of the carcinogen in multiple formations of rantidine.
If you are taking medication for heartburn, acid reflux or other stomach issues we encourage you to look for the active ingredient rantidine.
If you do take a product containing this compound, discontinue and ask your medical professional for an alternative. You also may want to investigate natural alternatives including a diet change and improved nutrition (taking Organic Wheatgrass and/or Spirulina supplements are a great way to ensure you are getting nutrients, live enzymes and balancing pH levels which help control acid reflux and heart burn).
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Overall, avoid taking medications like Zantac that contain cancer causing carcinogens. Unfortunately, the FDA often says one thing is safe, then reverses itself sometime later. We see this in dietary recommendations and medications. Stick to natural, organic products to ensure health for you and your family… the FDA doesn’t change their minds about them!