Popular heartburn drug ranitidine recalled: What you need to know and do

The author of this post has written an update, which you can read here.

If you or a family member take ranitidine (Zantac) to relieve heartburn, you may have heard that the FDA has found a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer) in it. The story is unfolding quickly and many details remain murky. Here is what we know so far and what you should do.

What do we know so far?

On September 13, 2019, the FDA announced that preliminary tests found low levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in ranitidine, a heartburn medication used by millions of Americans. This week, the drug companies Novartis (through its generic division, Sandoz) and Apotex announced that they were recalling all of their generic ranitidine products sold in the US.

These announcements came after a Connecticut-based online pharmacy informed the FDA that it had detected NDMA in multiple ranitidine products under certain test conditions.

Update, October 1, 2019: Major drugstore chains including CVS and Walgreens are pulling Zantac and other generic versions of the heartburn drug ranitidine from their shelves. You can get FDA updates here.

What is ranitidine and which products are affected?

Ranitidine (also known by its brand name, Zantac, which is sold by the drug company Sanofi) is available both over the counter (OTC) and by prescription. It belongs to the class of drugs known as H2 (or histamine-2) blockers. OTC ranitidine is commonly used to relieve and prevent heartburn. Prescription strengths are also used to treat and prevent more serious ulcers in the stomach and intestines. Multiple companies sell generic versions of both the OTC and prescription products.

So far, only Novartis/Sandoz and Apotex have recalled products. Ranitidine distributed by other companies remains on store shelves.

Health Canada, a federal department within the Canadian government, has asked all companies to stop distributing ranitidine drugs there, indicating that “current evidence suggests that NDMA may be present in ranitidine, regardless of the manufacturer.” France has taken the step of recalling all ranitidine products.

What is NDMA and what harm can it cause?

NDMA is an environmental contaminant that is found in water and foods, including dairy products, vegetables, and grilled meats. Its classification as a probable carcinogen is based on studies in animals; studies in humans are very limited.

It is important to know that the NDMA in ranitidine products does not pose any immediate health risks. Neither the FDA nor Novartis/Sandoz or Apotex have received any reports of adverse events related to NDMA found in ranitidine. Although classified as a probable carcinogen, NDMA may cause cancer only after exposure to high doses over a long period of time. NDMA is one of the same impurities that was found in certain heart medications beginning last year and that resulted in the recall of many products.

What should you do if you take ranitidine?

As the FDA and other agencies around the world continue to investigate ranitidine, more details will become available. In the meantime, the FDA is not calling for individuals to stop taking the medication.

However, for many conditions, ranitidine is only recommended for short-term use. If you have been using ranitidine for a while, now would be a good time to discuss with your physician whether you still need it, and whether you might benefit from alternative treatment options, including other drug classes or a different H2 blocker. Based on what is known so far, there is no evidence that other H2 blockers or other heartburn medications are affected by NDMA impurities.

Some people might find antacids useful for relieving heartburn. Lifestyle changes, including avoiding certain foods and beverages, such as spicy foods, large or fatty meals, and alcohol, can also help prevent episodes of heartburn.

Follow me on Twitter @JoshuaJGagne

Listen to Harvard experts discuss the Zantac recall in a special edition of the Living Better, Living Longer podcast.

Related Information: Cooling Heartburn

Comments:

  1. scotty

    after reading all these comments I have a very basic question–is the NDMA added to Zantac by the manufacturer ?(in which case what goes in can also come out, regardless of the legal questions that arise)–or is it some kind of naturally occurring substance ( as in the air, like mold) that cannot be avoided?
    If the former, there is a solution, if the latter, you need to change the recipe, no?

  2. Mary Garcia

    I’m with u Susan DEmore-Zantac together with Zertec is the only thing that works for me-I suffer from GERD and allergies and asthma! What am I supposed to do now??

  3. Carol Owens

    I like many others all over the world have been taking ranitidine dollar general brand or Walmart brand for at least 15 years and for 10 of those years I have taken it daily along with prilosec because ranitidine is fast acting and prilosec is long acting but I can’t always afford to take prilosec with it so 80% of those 10 years have been ranitidine at least 4-16 150mg tablets in 24 hours because ranitidine is only a acid reducer then heartburn usually returns within 8 hours after my first dose of 6 in the morning. So yes I am struggling with what I am going to do and what I can afford because other than ranitidine no other medication has worked for me at all except of course prilosec. I have always been told by my physician that the ranitidine itself isn’t what causes cancer but having GERD and other stomach or esophageal problems that cause severe heartburn and pain along with it being so bad like myself that I threw up for at least 12 years out of the 15 that I had taken ranitidine and what causes cancer is when you do not get the proper treatment for these diseases or stomach issues so years of your stomach acid constantly being thrown up into your esophagus your mouth throat and gums this is actually what causes cancer so basically if you can’t afford insurance and you have been denied medicaid and you continue taking medications that are only a temporary fix and not medicine that heals the problems then fact is you most likely will have esophageal cancer or gum disease or throat cancer and damage so I guess question really is what choice will you make either be in extreme pain or take medication that is only temporarily helping not fixing the problem and either way you end up with cancer so why suffer when the odds are against you no matter which direction you turn

  4. Gay Percy

    As soon as I heard there might be a problem, I bought a two year supply. It should be my choice if I take it. I should be able to sign a waiver. The quality of my life plummets even if I try something else. The other meds tell you to take it for only a short time. That doesn’t work for me at all. Quality over quantity.

  5. Sherry McCune

    I stopped taking it. I’m looking for something else to take that is safe. My heart sunk when I saw it on the CBS World news last evening. It scared me to death! Life is hard enough without taking something that would eventually and unknowingly kill you! What is this world coming to? Money is the root of all evil! Do not take generic meds either! They are made in India with poison additives we do not need or they leave out ingredients we do need! I researched it!!!

  6. vick ZELLERS

    Does Omeprazole contain the MDA in a dangerous amount

  7. Wm. Starkey

    Been on 150mg 2x per day for 5 years or so. Called my pharmacist when these seemingly deliberately vague articles began appearing. Pharmacist told me at the time (apx. 6 weeks ago) that only over the counter Zanex was effected by recall. Upon refilling my RX last week, after another series of vaguely factual articles had been released, I asked my pharmacist if my prescription was safe. She checked her computer and said my prescription was from a non-involved manufacturer and was not included in recall. Am seeing my ear, nose and throat Dr. who prescribed this medication next month and will discuss options with him. Ranitidine has worked extremely well for me.

  8. Ann Marie

    What about the LIQUID form that is prescribed to infants for reflux???
    Nothing has addressed the liquid form.

  9. April Strunk

    It is coming back?

  10. michael kiser

    I took protonix for years. pepcid and nexium did not truly work. nexium caused a terrible aftertaste and gave me awful GAS.. zantac is the only thing that worked after the insurance company stopped paying for protonix.. i’ve been taking generic zantac 75 mg three to four times a day for about ten years now… wonder if that causes problems.. (sigh)…

  11. Elisa

    I don’t know, I think I am going to continue to take it. I appreciate the education but, anyone that suffers like I do, know that there is not much relief out there and not everything works for each individual person. NDMA is a carcinogen and found in many daily things like water, dairy, meat, etc. I just will take my chances because even the air we breathe is dangerous. In my opinion I would rather think of it helping more so then slowly killing me.

    • Jonathan

      I don’t know what all you have tried, but I could suggest drinking higher PH water such as alkaline water. My father-in-law used to have to take a heartburn pill after each meal. After switching to alkaline water, he seldom takes a pill. Some people just need to change something in their diets to find relief. A lot of people look for a pill to treat the symptoms of a dietary insufficiency. If you just don’t care, go to a cancer hospital and asking someone how it feels to go through chemo. I say this as a father to my toddler that has to take immunotherapy to correct her continuous battle with OMA(Opsoclonus Myoclonus Ataxia) from Neuroblastoma (cancer). We were prescribed Zantac for a month when she was a newborn. This was before discovering she was born with pyloric stenosis as the medicine only seemed to make her spit up more. I do not believe this to be the cause of her cancer, but it may have been a contributing factor, as the cancer was not in her CT scan from when she had surgery to correct the pyloric stenosis. Basically she wasn’t born with the tumor. My only hope is that whoever reads this, is a little more cautious then I was about the chemicals they put in and on their bodies, and the body of their loved ones. It is no wonder that cancer is 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women, when the food, clothes, drugs, shelters, and ,as you mentioned, air contain harmful man made chemicals. For example, for years I used to use head and shoulders for men, because I had a dry itchy scalp, and thought it smelled good. After my daughters pyloric stenosis surgery, we switched our lifestyle to introduce more natural products. I switched to a natural shampoo and conditioner, and the dryness and itchiness stopped the next day.

    • Theresa Miller

      I hear what you’re saying and if you experience severe heartburn then it is absolutely necessary to find relief, however EACH of these pills is 400% OVER what is considered safe. Unlike the levels found in meat, water, etc. So, with so many other options it just doesn’t make sense to proceed with this drug under these circumstances.

  12. Michelle Frost

    I’ve taken it for years and took 150mg at least once a day throughout my entire pregnancy. I’m now concerned about my baby.

  13. Joan

    I have two bottles of Zantac one hour for the other on you I threw out the packaging I want to return it because of my concerns. Do I return it to the company and do they except the return? I cannot return it to the store I purchased it because I don’t have the packaging don’t have the receipt. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you

    • james p moroschan

      Being taking Ranitidine for about 4 years for acid reflux going to talk to my doctor if I should stop taking medication no affects from the specifed ingredient NDMA seeing if I should have a test done

  14. John Goldsborough

    Famotidine (Pepcid) is a reasonable alternative.

    • Corine Steele

      Famotidine does not work the same as Ranitidine…I have already tried this.

    • Michele

      Interesting enough…I called the FDA last month about the Zantac. When I asked why it was still on the shelves, I was told “we are still testing it, along with other inhibitors”; when I asked what others, I was told Pepcid. Great! another doctor gave me that for my severe acid reflux.
      Just thought I would let someone know.

  15. Valerie Adkins

    Oh my gosh, my daughter and I are panicking about stores taking this product off the shelf. We both have GERD and this has always worked by just one 150 mg dose at bedtime per day. We tried to go to pharmacy to stock up but already pulled off the shelf. I’ m much more worried about cancer of my esophagus than the POSSIBLE chance of a carcinogen in ranitidine. Bring it back!

    • Susan DAmore

      I totally agree , I am much more worried about cancer of the esophagus, I have serious gerd issues ! Please bring it back , it’s the best otc for gerd. Also, I frequently suffer from skin rashes, and this helps when combined with zyrtec to clear up rashes!!!

  16. Sandra Green

    I am in Australia and have been taking Ranitidine (Zantac) twice a day it has been used as a blocker as I have chronic Urticaria. What is considered a high dose and over what period of time?

  17. Jo

    I’ve been taking Zantac for over 20 years so why the big concern NOW!! I am fine but wont be if I can get this drug. I cant take other alternatives as they don’t agree with me, so my health will go down hill very fast if they dont sort this out asap.. I dont want too go back to being really ill that worry’s me a lot. Too take away a drug millions take is a nightmare. I hope they will sort this as not everyone can take something else.

  18. Jewell Hoskin

    What do I change yo for gerds

  19. Caroline

    I have Barrett’s esophagus. I’ve been on omperizole in the morning and ranitidine after dinner. Never feel my reflux but I have stomach burning.
    Wonder what’s next.

  20. Donna

    Cigarettes cause Cancer yet no one removes them from shelves WHY? Because too many top evil people in the world would lose their precious money!
    Including big pharma!

  21. Michele

    So my physician put me on Zantac a week ago…..after buying to bottles I found this out. I called the 800 number on box and the woman told me it was NOT pulled off the market bu if im afraid of getting cancer than its up to me to not take it. I was amazed she said that considering Im asking her if its safe to take and her response was if Im Afraid? WTH? So do I take it or not????

  22. Tony

    Is the NDMA found in Zantac/Ranitidine in batches from US drug factories or imported from foreign countries (e.g. those typically found in discount stores)? What is the level of NDMA found by the CT pharmacy?

  23. Marilyn Tucker

    Why is Ranitdine is on Recall for I take it

  24. Wendy Durance

    Thank you for the info on this product. I too have been using this in a 300mg for quite some time now. Hopefully I will be able to find an alternative that is safe and works. I have stopped mine immediately and returned it to the pharmacy.

  25. E Peck

    It’s important to be clear in your statements regarding product recalls.

    Two drug manufacturers have voluntarily withdrawn their products from the market indefinitely due to NDMA contamination. As of this writing, the FDA has NOT issued a blanket recall of all ranitidine products.

    Sandoz has voluntarily recalled its 150mg and 300 mg ranitidine tablets. Apotex has voluntarily recalled its 75 mg and 150 mg ranitidine products in all delivery formats.

    For those who asked, Pepcid (famotidine) and Tagamet (cimetidine) are the same class of drug as Zantac (H2 blockers). They work more slowly than ranitidine does.

    —-
    https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/sandoz-inc-issues-voluntary-recall-ranitidine-hydrochloride-capsules-150mg-and-300mg-due-elevated

    https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/apotex-corp-issues-voluntary-nationwide-recall-ranitidine-tablets-75mg-and-150mg-all-pack-sizes-and

    • J Bone

      Be careful substituting Tagamet (cimetidine) for Zantac (ranitidine). Tagamet (cimetidine) has many drug-drug interactions that Zantac (ranitidine) does not. I would feel okay with suggesting Pepcid (famotidine) in place of Zantac (ranitidine)

      Your Pharmacist

  26. Jill C

    Well, the “big guy,” Zantac’s ranitidine is also pulled. So, there goes the theory of trampling only makers of generics.

  27. Wanita B Sanborn

    My husband has taken ranitidine for years prescribed by VA, he now has esophageal cancer. Had we known it caused cancer he would have taken only omeprazole for the acid reflux. We wonder now if he should take anything at all.

  28. Selva Kumar

    What is considered to be a high dose and over and period of time ??

  29. Bonnie

    My vet had me giving my golden 1/4
    Tab of 150 mg tab of Zantac for acid reflux
    I have been giving her this for about 7 months now
    I will not give her anymore for sure.
    I switched her to Pepcid.
    So it’s more then people that take Zantac and I would like to know how much does it take to affect a dog.
    I would feel terrible if this hurt her
    Also what kind of cancer did it cause. Thank you

  30. jhgibbs

    Personally, I am more concerned about cancer from not taking the medication. Zantac treats GERD, a known cause of esophageal cancer.

    • Chrissie Putty

      My thoughts as well..

    • BARBARA PARRISH

      I have Severe reflux ( causing swelling in the esophagus). Zantac is the only medicine I can have and it works! Can’t use PPI’s because of arrhythmia. Now there is NO zantac or generic available here and I am so Sick! What are we supposed to do?!!

    • Terrie Seymour

      I’ve been taking 2 Zantac a day for 14 years mainly because it was prescribed for me by my immunologist to keep my anaphylaxis under control but also to help with reflux.
      I hope they return it to the shelves asap

  31. Viry

    I use the generic version of zantac, but I will no longer use it. How do I dispose of it?

  32. Allie

    I took 300+mg, for a while 600mg, of Ranitadine Rx per doctor’s orders for decades. Where do I sign up for a class action group? Switched to Omeprezol. My Doctor says that that it also has its own issues. I’m off of everything now just to be safe I’d rather deal with GERD than stomach cancer, but the damage is done. Thanks, Big Pharma!

  33. Melinda

    Ughhh I NEVER take pills unless I absolutely have to and was put on Zantac 150 2x a day a year ago. I only take 1 pill nightly of 150mg and it’s honestly been a lifesaver! I have a 1cm small hiatal hernia and have cut out chocolate, coffee, teas, citrus, tomatoes, etc and I still get a sour stomach/nauseated felling every single night unless I take this. I’m honestly super upset because this is the only thing that works and I have to keep taking it or be sick every single night:(

  34. Clayton Owens

    Let’s face it, living causes Cancer!

    • Carol

      The number of drugs that turn out to be bad for us and/or our dog’s is ever changing. My Golden Retriever took Apoquel for her allergies. She was later diagnosed with cancer and, after surgery was to began chemo treatments. I was told by 2 Oncology veterinarians that she would have to come off Apoquel before chemo could begin, because it could cause tumors in large breed dog’s. She was given an injection of Cytopoint which helped her allergies. Unfortunately, the chemo could not keep the aggressive cancer at bay.
      Did Apoquel help or hurt?

  35. Jane

    Why is that product needed to manufacture Zantac?

  36. Ricardo A Dominguez

    I’ve been taking generic Zantac 150 mg for at least 15 years every day first thing in the morning before breakfast, that’s how it works better for me. Should I be concerned about it? Is this considered low dose or high dose? Should I stop taking it? This is the best over the counter medication that controls my acid all day long. Please somebody let me know what I should do.

    Thank you!

  37. Reyna Rodriguez

    Everything, cause cancer… even use the cell phone… the wifi… i use ranitidine for my 3 pregnancies…. and now…… i take one pill before spleep…… thanks Ranitidine…😘😘😘

  38. Leslie Bovenzi

    10 years ago….After my carcinoid cancer diagnosis and subsequent surgery, I was placed on Zantac 150mg bid. This new revelation is frightening! So, what am I to be on the watch for? What type of cancer does this cause?? I’m truly sick to my stomach now!!!

  39. Chris

    The bottom line is if someone gets cancer, let alone dies from it …there will never be a way to attribute it to Ranitidine.
    Still, I have signed onto a class action lawsuit, yet highly doubt much of it comes to it. Perhaps some safeguards for people in the future.
    F*CK big Pharma!!!!

    • Karen

      my Sister has Stage 4 cancer and has been taking zantac for years for ulcers. is this what caused her cancer, now wondering and a little angry.

    • Brenda

      Big Parm could care less about humans-What is with the FDA we need new people they are suppose to protect us not consistently change their minds after 2 years and Azure
      totally agree with you. Its really all about the money!!!

    • Bev

      What is the path to join this class action lawsuit you joined? I was prescribed the 300 mg for 90 days and just finished script but DO NOT want to refill script… than you so much for input!!

    • Raymond mckinney

      I have taken this drug for 7 years every day im 34 now i have this to deal with.

    • GL

      Take into consideration all the good meds they have brought forth. H2 blockers saved my life from a devastating grade c esophagitis that severely constricted my esophagus twice in my life. Every item you ingest, especially medicines, come with a certain amount of risk, especially over the long term as they learn more and more about each of them, how they interact with certain people with certain medical conditions, and with other medicines. Not making any excuses for anybody, but let’s not tear down the whole industry due to something no one, including the FDA, has any specific proof of yet. In every situation, use your God-given critical thinking skills and evaluate what’s right for your particular circumstance(s).

      • Dan K

        Well, I am not sure this is entirely accurate: ‘something no one, including the FDA, has any specific proof of yet.’ It sounds like NDMA is a known carcinogen – not much doubt about that. And no one seems to be disputing the lab that reported the contamination, altho I am sure a lot more testing will be done. At the moment, I am most upset by the fact that my pharmacy did not notify me of this – perhaps because their source for this medication is not from these manufacturers? We are certainly not competent to understand the product managerial and delivery chain – well, *I* am not! But some proactive communicating from the pharmacy would be nice…

    • James

      Yes, funny how Canada ( with gov. Sponsored health care) pulls Zantac, yet here in the good ol USA and big pharma and multi billion dollar insurance companies tell us everything is fine, nothing to see here. Money profits over health.

    • Judith Bernz

      Bravo, re last sentence!
      Research grant $’s perished. Reliable research protocol- double-blind study no longer exists.
      Pharma’s conduct research & are open-label making results meaningless.

    • Gail lowery

      One and a half years ago I had to go into the hospital for emergency surgery. I had a bleeding ulcer. When the surgeon got to taking care of my ulcer they discovered a tumor. Turned out to be cancer. I’m am still going through numerous CT scans and tests. So far I’m 1.5 years cancer free.

  40. April

    My husband been taking this he just bought a box today

  41. Dr Shilpa reddy

    Proton pump inhibitors like pantoprazole has been proven through many studies that it has a high risk of cancer over years of usage……..nobody is talking about it…
    Even with high level NDMA contaminated drugs like valsartan studies have shown that it is not linked to cancer….
    Why are we making low levels NDMA in Ranitidine an unnecessary issue….

    • Sharon Wiggins

      Why is Valisure saying “alarmingly high levels of NDMA found” & FDA is saying “very small amounts of NDMA found.”

    • Dave

      Someone has a new medication to come out on the market cheaper to manufacture…. Different patent that they can squeeze for maximum profit

    • Donald Kelman MD

      Having used ranitidine 150 QD for decades (since before the patents ran out), & realizing that higher-priced non-generics still under patents produce higher profits all down the line, my cynical nature raises some questions. Are all the generics going to disappear, leaving only patented, newer drugs, available, even though ranitidine has been tested by millions of the ultimate lab rats, (us), with remarkably few issues attributed. Also, do all batches have NDMA, or just some, and do all manufacturers have the issue, or just some. Who raised the issue first — FDA or a pharma company? If pharma, do they have a more lucrative new &/or patented “heartburn drug”.
      (“-codone” drug problems history justifies such suspicions, since they are associated with thousands of deaths, yet are still abundant on the market). It was obvious (as a neurosurgeon) that they were highly addictive early on, yet “pain control as a vital sign” became an accreditation issue for hospitals, and ensured lax controls and pressure to up the pain meds on demand. Much more could be said but gets off the current topic.
      Why this fear-driven data-deficient action, causing withdrawal from the market without any human cases found, stoking fear for patients, while lethal drugs are still tolerated on the market en masse?

      • Donald Kelman

        It would seem best for everyone to take a deep breath, and wait for FDA to complete/oversee more statistically-valid studies, since NDMA risk numbers are from rat studies, and extrapolated to humans, without adequate human studies, and it is important to understand that NDMA is widespread in food, water, work environs, etc., so we are already-exposed. Some of the risks with ranitidine are hypothetical,& the current studies are from one source & need more research even though it has probably been dosed millions or more times in humans, much of it for chronic diseases long-term, without known cancer generation. I have been on it for decades and will continue until I see more convincing data on risks, without concerns of conflict-of-interest bias, or inadequate statistical basis. Like all research, it needs to be tested more than once, a basic science principle. Fear is a poor management guide.

    • Judith Bernz

      PPI’s proven to cause osteoporosis.

      FDA habitually allows products containing toxins to line drug store isles.
      Look up PPD.
      Judicious to assume if info about Ranitidine leaked through claiming minor risk- we must assume major risk

    • Judith Bernz

      Because Pharm’s not trustworthy & reliable peer-reviewed double-blind meta-studies are unavailable.
      Does that answer your question?
      A no-brainer.

  42. Marcy

    You know, the acid reflux I get and take this medication for can cause esophageal cancer if acid keeps burning it. So what can we do?

  43. Edward L Klaus

    I have been taking zantac/generic equal in 300 mg dose strength nightly for the past 30+ years along with opermazol 80 mg in the AM. This has been regiment that has kept me in check from my stomach & esophageal bleeding uclers. So now they decide that there is a component in the zantac/ generic that may cause cancer.
    It has taken them long enough to publish information. So if all things being equal, dose this follow that this will follow like the baby talchum powder cover up law suites against these drug manufactures as well.

  44. Ellie Hettich

    Simple. This will continue to happen with all drugs, OTC & Rx. Why? Our drugs are being manufactured in India & China. Why? It’s cheap for Big Pharma . Who is getting rich? Pharma companies!! Look on your Rx paperwork from your pharmacy. Call Congressman, esp the House and yell- bring the drug labs back to the USA

  45. G

    My doctors prescribed ranitidine for me years ago.
    I have a lot of stomach problems. I also have other health problems.
    I felt more and more sick, but doctors told me NOT to stop taking it because my body isn’t able to do what it’s supposed to, on it’s own any more, BECAUSE of taking it for so long.
    I was never warned that it could happen, .. just told to keep taking it.

    At one point I ran out and wasn’t able to refill the prescription for about 4 days.
    I honestly felt a little better off of it than when I took it, although my stomach acid came back.
    I told the doctor, but was told to keep taking it.
    Now, after reading about other countries banning it, .. I’m honestly wondering about ever taking it again !

  46. Charles C

    This Recall is CONFUSING?
    ??? What is considered a High Dosage of the product? and then what is considered over a Long period??? What are the Boundaries we’re dealing with??

  47. Dorothy Vermillion

    I have taken two 300 mg tablets a day for yrs. My creatine has been steadily climbing. Could there be a connection between the two?

  48. wayne irelan

    i have taken the OTC Zantac for at least 8-10 years now. i only take it before a meal i know will be spicy. or after an unexpected spicy meal. and in the odd occasion i get random heartburn. all in all, i take it less than twice a week. it has been at least a week since i last took us one. so i will keep informed of the situation but i do not plan on stopping unless it becomes no longer available and i have no other choice.

  49. Susan Brawley

    Where is it supposed to cause Cancer In your body?

  50. Wendy Nelson

    I been taking ranadinefor months now is it safe I’m freaking out

  51. Thelma L Palacios

    I been taking 150mg for a couple of years now. I consider that a high dose and so worried since I been having stomach issues for a few months now I can’t even keep water down. Just recently a mass was taken out of my esophagus was in for a biopsy only…I am very concerned

  52. Eli calIs

    Is this related only to the generic or to the real thing zantac, thank you.

  53. Tina

    What kind of cancer could Zantac cause?
    Lung? Heart? Liver?
    I’m very concerned because I have been taking it for at least a couple of years.

  54. shelley redding

    this is just crazy I have been taking this stuff for 20 yrs and I have tried all the others and they just don’t work. Now what am I going to do??

  55. Heather

    Why are medications contaminated? Why are pharmaceutical companies not held to Good Manufacturing Practices?

  56. Marsha Griffin

    Ok…..Well I’m Officially Panicking right now!! Because I have been taking the Generic Zantac 150 from Walmart, DG, and Big Lot’s for year’s now…..2 to 3 a day. Can’t afford the high dollar stuff…..can’t stand the taste of chewing up Tums or Rolaids or those type antacids. So how bad have I hurt my body…..and what the Crap do I start taking now!!??

    • Antonia

      I’ve been taking this medication for 6 plus years and even while I was pregnant and breastfeeding. Not sure I’m comfortable with this answer considering my baby pretty much has been taking it while in th womb and now breastfeeding ( he’s 8 months old ). . Am I supposed to just sit here and cross my fingers it didn’t affect him?

    • Melissa Conrad

      I switched to famotidine which is another H2 blocker. I haven’t heard that there are any problems with contamination with this medication. It is over the counter.

    • Jeff

      If you’re taking 2-3 a day it’s probably time to see your Doctor and get a Rx for something better that will last for 12 or 24 hours. Just go non-Zantac and you won’t have to worry. You can get Rxs really cheap with programs like “Good rx”. I mean pennies on the dollar! And no Insurance! Check it out. You might go to the other class like prilosec and nexium which are PPIs. Proton pump inhibitors. I prefer the H2 histamine blockers like Zantac. But I only use it occasionally 0-3 times a week. I am not a Doctor. This is just personal experience.

    • Lex Barkhuizen

      Does Zandoz Omeprazole 20 also have health risks? I have beeb using it for years. Although I had a lap nissan.

    • Aprile

      I was taking prescription Ranitidine and now my doctor has prescribed prescription Pepcid – called Famotidine. Depending on your insurance, it may be a little more expensive than Ranitidine. Hope this helps you.

    • Lyn

      Let me know if you find out!

    • Nichole

      I could have written your comment! I’ve been taking the generic from Walmart for YEARS!!!

    • Dee

      You can take 1 tsp. baking soda in about 4-8 oz. of water.
      Baking Soda has been an old timers go to for many, many years. Be advised though that it tastes horrible, so have a glass of water to chase it down right after ingesting it. There are many people who will tell you that it’s bad for you to take to much, so limit your intake.

      There’s a book entitled The Lost Ways 2 that will cost you $37.00 if you can afford it.
      BTW Green Tea has Cancer Blocking properties.

    • Carole

      I’m in the same boat – I’ve been taking it everyday for years for GERD. It’s the only thing that actually worked. Now I’m worried and need to figure out something that works…the chew-able antacids don’t work as good for me.

    • Barbara

      Yes Marsha I also am panicking at the moment I’ve been taking Zantac for almost 20 years two times a day for severe acid reflux none of the other medications worked but my doctor told me to switch to Pepcid I don’t trust any of these people anymore

    • T Costa

      Relax tinker bell…..not even proven to be cancerous in humans…..

    • Jason

      Eat radishes for your heartburn/Gerd it helps, very effective

    • Erika

      I am right with you I would take 3 150mg 3 x a day I have gerd really bad from surgeries in my throat. I’m going crazy right now trying to get into a doctor to find out what to do

    • Lisa

      I take 300 up to twice a day. I am not worried about it.

    • Mike Mcgath

      I been taking ranidine from Walmart for about 14 yrs now , 2 to 4 tablets daily , so what do I do now ? Am I at risk for some kind of cancer , someone let me know if I am supposed to get with a doctor or lawyer to see if 14 yrs of taking this stuff has had its toll on me or not

    • Rozmommy

      I agree with you Marsha I have been buying mine from Walmart for years, a few years ago I read it was not good to take Previced or Prilosec but Zantac was a better choice now I hear this
      everything seems to be bad now ,the medicine ,food,air,water. Like you said now what ??

    • Amber

      I have been taking 150mg of ranitidine every day for a little over a year as it helps me with my gallbladder issues. Kinda scared to stop taking it as if I miss one dose I get nauseated and feel like crap that for a few days until I get back on track and I’m terrified to stop taking it. Has anyone used it for similar reason? I don’t want to get gallbladder removed as doctors think that is reason why I feel nauseated but I don’t have gallstones. Hida scan says 92% effective. I need the zantac!

  57. Sharen

    Wow, somehow I just can’t bring myself to continue taking something that might, maybe, in some doses, but we don’t know, may cause cancer! No thanks!

  58. patricia brown

    i dont know what im going to do without zantac it is the only thing i had to keep my tyroied sain

  59. Université Ferhat Abass Sétif

    thanks for all.

  60. Scotia

    It would be useful to know what to equate this risk to. For example, acrylamide produced by frying carbs (chips, French fries etc) in oil is also carcinogenic but no one is talking about closing down McDonalds.

  61. Richard Kates

    Zantac has been my go to med for 15 years. I overspice, over drink , and over coffee. Realizing Zantac is there!
    But now Zantac won’t be there. Sounds like back to alka seltzer or baking soda or lifestyle change.
    Sad.

  62. Jori

    So how about Rx liquid Ranitidine given to children? Is the carcinogen found only in tablet form?

  63. Lize

    What about the many women who took this drug during their pregnancies? How will we know how this affected our unborn babies? How do we keep track of developments ?

  64. Dawn

    What is considered to be a high dose and over what period of time ?

    • Mary Alyce Benner

      I have been taking ranitidine for many years. I have been diagnosed with lymphoma. Is lymphoma a cancer that can occur by taking ranitidine I’m very worried as none of my Drs have told me about this.

  65. Jimmy

    Is NDMA in the liquid, prescription form of Ranitadine or just pill form?

  66. Gerard Gillan

    Zantac has been around ,for two generations Why just this month The Alarm?

    • Sheila

      Possibly because it can take a long time for some issues to show, that did not show during clinical trials. Hence, always be sceptical of the great new wonder drug – it probably hasn’t been tested properly or for long enough.

  67. Kristina Holston

    I have taken 600mg for 14 years. Never had heartburn my rheumatologist put me on it to protect stomach from RA drugs side effects……. this is unnerving!!! Just found out in last month my kidney function tests were a bit off. Dr said will recheck in 3 months.

  68. Obaid Ali

    2.5 mg NDMA was found in 150 mg tablet of ranitidine which is 26000 times greater than the permissible limit, if taken one tablet per day. The typical recommended dose for peptic ulcer disease in adults is 150 mg twice daily for 4 – 8 weeks followed by maintenance dose of 150 mg once daily. In this way, 5 mg NDMA is consumed per day that is total 280 mg if used for 8 weeks. It can reach exposure of up to 1 Gm in a year which is alarming. Studies published in peer review scientific literatures reveal the existence of dangerous levels of NDMA in the urine of those who had taken Ranitidin.

    • MaryAnn DiBartolo

      I have been taking Zantac for over 20 yrs do i have to stop taking it ?? I don’t take it everyday maybe 3 times a week

    • Robert Kaus

      Obaid, did you make that up? As far as I know, no one has published the amount of NDMA found. 2.5 mg seems unlikely. You’d be talking about 10% decomposition specifically to this one impurity.

      Also, we don’t know what a dangerous level is for this molecule. It is very carcinogenic to mice and rats, but wasn’t carcinogenic at all to monkeys (see Berkeley’s Carcinogenic Potency Project).

  69. Mary lain

    I have been on prescription ranitidine for 9 years 300 mg 4 x daily .thats a very large dose.

  70. azure

    “It is important to know that the NDMA in ranitidine products does not pose any immediate health risks. Neither the FDA nor Novartis/Sandoz or Apotex have received any reports of adverse events related to NDMA found in ranitidine. Although classified as a probable carcinogen, NDMA may cause cancer only after exposure to high doses over a long period of time. NDMA is one of the same impurities that was found in certain heart medications beginning last year and that resulted in the recall of many products.”
    Given the ubiquity of some carcinogens in the environment, PCBs, TCDD, organophosphates, 2,4-D, et al, why would anyone want to risk orally ingesting even a little bit of another? Has no one at Harvard ever heard of synergistic effects?
    While I can understand health care providers wanting patients to continue taking, for example, some types of “heart” medication, wouldn’t you be serving your patients best by working/lobbying, etc., to find a better source of medications? Or pushing for essential meds to be made in the US AND have strict regulatory enforcement of manufacture of those medications?

    • Daphne

      Exactly. And what is a “high dose” or a “long period of time” ?

    • Ellen Kurtti

      I have been on the generic Zantac for 1 year at 300 mgs a day prescribed by my Dr’s!!!!
      I quit and went to Pepcid.
      Fed up!!!

      • Sharon Wiggins

        FDA is saying “low amounts of NDMA were found in Ranitidine” Valisure is saying “300,000 x what is allowed of NDMA was found”……

        Well, which is it?

        Quite a difference in findings!

      • Charlee Dollens

        Has the pepcid been a good replacement for you?
        I too have been on the same dosage as you for same period of time. My Dr. said to take 20mg of pepcid twice a day.

      • Marjorie Murphy

        I went to Pepcid for 6 days & feel absolutely awful. Now what do I do??? I’m thinking of taking what zantac I have left, hoping they wil manufacture more soon without this impurity. With every other thing that causes cancer, including my GERD if left unchecked, I don’t know if I have any other choice.

  71. Dr Shilpa reddy

    [9/27, 3:29 PM] Shilpa reddy: NDMA in Ranitidine is at a very low dose level equal to what is found in meat, bacon, drinking water ,beer, dairy products etc …

    1. There is no proof of NDMA causing cancer at the dosage levels it is consumed through drug use.
    2. Some articles suggest that NDMA “may” cause cancer in 1 in 8000 people who take medication for a continuous use !
    3. Ofcourse, patient safety is most important, but it seems like the big guys are behind this stuff to trample generic drug makers ( who manufacture other acidity drugs )
    Just to clarify.. A few days of these drugs don’t cause harm. In fact they may save you from serious gastritis. Long term use.. As in months and years causes the lining of the stomach to wear off. This is a risk for cancer.

    • Sharon Wiggins

      I have been on 300mgs a day for 7 years for severe acid reflux. You’re saying my stomach lining has worn off by this and I am at risk for cancer?

      If so, how much of a risk given amounts I have taken.

      I took it so my stomach lining and esophagus lining would not rear down and create esophageal cancer!

    • Sheila

      Most people take a prescribed drug for more than ‘a few days’, especially this type of drug. A friend doesn’t like drugs of any sort, and is on a highly restrictive (i.e. boring) diet to avoid taking these drugs. It sounds as if she is right. Does long term use of things like bisodol also affect the lining of the stomach, if you have gastritis (which is difficult to cure)? Is a boring diet (like my friends – no spices, no alcohol etc) – the answer?

    • Linda Niemi

      I have been on ranitidine by prescription for yrs.150 Mg.once a day. I’m stressed about this cancer thing but it works great.Should i stop taking it & what chances do i have of getting cancer? Should i worry? Please help..

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