Zantac found to contain traces of cancer-causing chemical

US drug authority says cancer-causing contaminant found in heartburn medicine

Carcinogen in heartburn drugs; schools should warn students

Since previous year, the FDA has been looking into the presence of impurities in various types of medication, leading to multiple drug recalls over past months.

Low levels of a "potentially dangerous" cancer-causing chemical has been found in Zantac, a popular drug that treats heartburn.

Nitrosamines can cause tumors in the liver and other organs in lab animals and are believed to be carcinogenic in humans.

A study published previous year in the medical journal BMJ found no "markedly increased short term overall risk of cancer" among users of the valsartan drugs contaminated with NDMA. Yet that study also noted that research into long-term cancer risk is needed.

NDMA contamination is found in the environment, including in food and water; the FDA notes that the levels found in ranitidine drugs at this time are "barely" above what you'd find in commonly available foods.

Sanofi says the company does not plan to recall the product. "So far, NDMA has been found in ranitidine in low levels and we are not calling for consumers and patients to stop taking ranitidine at this time", he said. The agency will publish an update on the matter in the future when it has more information. It works by decreasing how much acid is created in the stomach. The US Good and Drug Authority (FDA) said the drug, which goes by the brand name Zantac, contains nitrosamine. The over-the-counter version of Zantac "has been around for over a decade and meets all the specified safety requirements for use in the OTC market", according to a statement issued by the company.

In a statement yesterday, the Ministry said that its Department of Pharmacy and International Control is coordinating with international regulatory bodies to follow up on the latest developments, especially since no institution or international organisation has so far chose to suspend or withdraw preparations containing ranitidine.

People can report adverse health reactions with ranitidine to the FDA's MedWatch.

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