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Popular heartburn drug recalled over contamination concerns

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2020 | Mass Tort Litigation |

Acid indigestion, which is commonly referred to as heartburn, is an uncomfortable condition that affects 60 million people in the United States each year. Those in West Virginia who suffer from heartburn know the importance of watching their diet and taking medications to relieve the pain. Though these medications should be free from contamination, a recent recall from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) shows that some forms may not be as pure as once believed.

Ranitidine recalls issued in 2020

Ranitidine is a generic name for a type of over-the-counter heartburn medication. The most popular ranitidine brand is Zantac. In January 2020, the FDA sent out an alert for health care providers and patients to let them know of two voluntary recalls of ranitidine. At the time, Appco Pharma LLC and Northwind Pharmaceuticals were the two manufacturers who were voluntarily recalling ranitidine. It was found that the drugs made by these manufacturers contained unacceptable levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). Several months later in April 2020, the FDA ordered that all ranitidine products be pulled from shelves across the country.

What NDMA contamination means for patients

The compound NDMA is an oily organic yellow substance that has been found in pharmaceuticals for years. It has an acceptable daily intake of just .96 nanograms because it is a known carcinogen. Laboratory tests showed that the manufactured ranitidine drugs had more than the acceptable amount; this puts users at a higher risk of developing cancer.

Cancer and NDMA

Long-term exposure to NDMA puts users at risk of developing stomach, liver, intestinal, bladder, pancreatic and kidney cancers. This why there are several mass torts against the manufacturers. Those who were using ranitidine need to stop using it immediately and talk with a doctor about an alternative medication. It can be difficult to switch to a different medication, but the benefits of a new medication outweigh the risks of continuing to use ranitidine.