The Food and Drug Administration said on Friday that it had detected low levels of a cancer-causing contaminant in samples of heartburn medicines containing the drug commonly known as Zantac.
It was advising patients who take over-the-counter versions to consider switching to a different medication.
But no recalls have been initiated, and the agency said patients who take prescription versions of the drug, known as ranitidine, should consult with their doctors before stopping. The European Medicines Agency is also looking into the issue.
Zantac, the brand-name version of the drug, is sold by Sanofi, but generic versions are widely sold. The F.D.A. has not identified any specific products that were affected.
If you take Prilosec or Zantac for acid reflux, a beta blocker for high blood pressure, or Xanax for anxiety, you may be increasing your risk of depression. More than 200 common medications sold in the U.S. include depression as a potential side effect. Sometimes, the risk stems from taking several drugs at the same time. Now, a new study finds people who take these medicines are, in fact, more likely to be depressed.
Common over-the-counter medicines should be avoided by older people as they have been linked to memory loss and problems in thinking, scientists have discovered. Treatments for colds and flu, hay fever, allergy and heartburn tablets containing anti-cholinergic drugs had the effect for one month after treatment, a study found. Effects associated with taking the drugs included having slower brain processing times and smaller brains overall. Well known treatments including the heartburn medicine Zantac, Night Nurse Liquid containing Promethazine and the sleeping tablet Nytol, containing diphenhydramine, are included among drugs that may result in the effects, the research said.
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