Generic Ranitidine/Zantac Recalled Due to Carcinogenic Contamination

Zantac shelves

According to a spokesperson from Novartis, the distribution of Zantac by Novartis and ranitidine (the over-the-counter generic drug of this brand) has been halted by worldwide markets after a Connecticut-based pharmacy reported to the FDA that they found extremely high levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable cancer-causing ingredient, in all tested batches of generic ranitidine drugs. (See source articles from Medscape, Associated Press, and

This is one of the same chemical contaminants which plagued certain blood pressure medications manufactured in China over a year ago.

The FDA is working with global regulators to better understand the source of contamination. In the meantime, the FDA recommends that people do not stop their medications, but that they may choose to switch to another type of over the counter heartburn medication that does not include ranitidine, or to talk to their doctors about stopping the medication.

By Cora Rivard, N.D.

Dr. Rivard works with patients from NH and MA with gastro-intestinal concerns, with a focus on GERD and silent reflux. In the majority of cases, in her experience, reflux can be resolved without medications by using a holistic approach which addresses the causal factor(s), which may include: lifestyle, nutritional , and stress management modifications, physical medicine and other natural medicine tools.

Contact Dr. Rivard at for more information.

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