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Latest Update on Heartburn Drug Recall



Firms producing antacids Ranitidine and nizatidine (brand name: Axid) have willingly recalled over a dozen lots of unexpired drugs in 150 mg and 300 mg weights. Precise lots of the recalled medications can be found on the FDA’s website.

According to the FDA, the medications may contain “unacceptable” quantities of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a substance the World Health Organization (WHO) has categorized as a “probable human carcinogen.”

David Light, CEO of online drugstore, Valisure, notified NBC News that Ranitidine is “inherently unstable.” In other words, the existence of NDMA in the medication isn’t the outcome of poor manufacturing processes, but the molecular composition of Ranitidine itself. When exposed to heat, it breaks down, forming NDMA.

“Regardless of how we looked at it, it was breaking down within 15 minutes and forming NDMA. It was reacting with itself” to bring about the carcinogen, Light explained.

Based on hypothesis, Ranitidine could break down while in hot delivery vehicles, or even when stored in steamy restrooms.


None of the recalled drugs have been attributed with injury or harm. There is also no scientific indication that using those heartburn prescriptions, be it short-term or long-term, causes cancer.

Testing conducted by the FDA on recalled Ranitidine observed NDMA degrees comparable to the quantities discovered in grilled and smoked meats.

“The link between NDMA and the development of cancer is still very poorly understood,” explained Dr. Scott Gabbard, a gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic. “Patients should not freak out, but I think they should discuss this with their physician.”


Numerous people depend on Zantac for heartburn remedy; the sales of over-the-counter and prescription Ranitidine topped $221 million in 2018 alone, according to a research of the pharmaceutical firm IQVIA.

However, countless people are now worried about the connection between cancer and ranitidine.

Other heartburn drugs, such as famotidine (Pepcid), cimetidine (Tagamet), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) and omeprazole (Prilosec) have not tested positive for signs of NDMA.

The purpose of heartburn drugs is to diminish stomach acid, but lifestyle modifications can support, too.

“Losing weight, even as little as two to three BMI points, can significantly improve symptoms,” Gabbard said to NBC News. He also explained quitting smoking and cutting back on dietary fat can also be beneficial.

Recent recalls of prominent antacids, including Zantac and its generic version, Ranitidine, as well as another drug, nizatidine, have left spots on pharmacy shelves empty. However, they remain in our medicine cabinet.

Philadelphia Unsafe Drug Attorneys

If you or someone you know has been injured by heartburn medicine or some other potentially dangerous drug or medical device, please contact our attorneys immediately for a free consultation at 215-462-3330.

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