CVS suspends sale of Zantac, other ranitidine products over risk of possible carcinogens

CVS Pharmacy has suspended the sale of all Zantac brand and CVS Heath brand ranitidine products, the company said in an announcement on Saturday. 

The company is taking the action out of an “abundance of caution” due to a recent product alert from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that ranitidine products could contain a low level of nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is “a probable human carcinogen,” the announcement said. 

The suspension will go on until further notice, the company said. 

FILE: In this photo illustration, packages and pills of Zantac, a popular medication which decreases stomach acid production and prevents heartburn, sit on a table on September 19, 2019 in New York City. The FDA recently announced that is has found s

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

Zantac brand products and CVS brand ranitidine products have not been recalled, but customers who purchased these products can return them to CVS for a refund, according to the company.

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The FDA is not recommending that patients stop taking ranitidine at this time, the announcement said. 

Ranitidine is an H2 Blocker that consumers take for heartburn relief, according to the company. 

CVS Pharmacy will continue to sell other over-the-counter H2 Blockers, including Pepcid, Tagamet and its respective generic equivalents, famotidine and cimetidine, the announcement said.