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CVS suspends sale of Zantac and similar generics

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NATIONWIDE (WOWO): CVS pharmacies have pulled the sale of all Zantac brand products after the FDA found a possible cancer-causing substance.

The popular over-the-counter heartburn medicine will no longer be found on CVS shelves until further notice, according to a statement by the company.

CVS Pharmacy has suspended the sale of all Zantac brand and CVS Health brand ranitidine products until further notice. This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution due to a recent Product Alert from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that ranitidine products may contain a low level of nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is a probable human carcinogen.

The FDA is continuing to evaluate whether low levels of NDMA in ranitidine pose a risk to patients. The levels that FDA is finding in ranitidine from preliminary tests barely exceed amounts found in common foods.

Zantac brand products and CVS brand ranitidine products have not been recalled, and the FDA is not recommending that patients stop taking ranitidine at this time. However, customers who purchased these products can return them to CVS for a refund.

Ranitidine is an H2 Blocker that is taken to provide heartburn relief. CVS Pharmacy will continue to sell other over-the-counter H2 Blockers, including Pepcid, Tagamet and its respective generic equivalents, famotidine, and cimetidine.

Consumers seeking alternate therapy to treat their condition should speak with their healthcare provider or a CVS pharmacist. CVS pharmacists are always available to discuss any questions or concerns that customers may have about their medications.

The news comes after the FDA found some of the generic versions of the medication contain small amounts of a substance that is known as a “probable carcinogen.” While Walmart and Walgreens have pulled the generic version from shelves, CVS is pulling both their store brand and the name brand for the time being.

A formal recall has not yet been issued. Find more details here.

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