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US retailer CVS has become the latest to suspend the sale of a heartburn drug being investigated for links to cancer

Published: September 29, 2019
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Source: bbc.com

US retailer CVS has become the latest to suspend the sale of a heartburn drug being investigated for links to cancer.

It follows concern in several countries over the presence of impurities in Zantac and other ranitidine products.

Canada and France have already announced Zantac recalls. The US and the European Union are investigating.

Health authorities say there is no immediate risk, but patients have been advised to consult a doctor who can prescribe alternatives to ranitidine.

What is the fear about?

On 13 September, both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) published their decisions to review the presence of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in medicines containing the drug ranitidine.

NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen (a substance that could cause cancer) on the basis of animal studies.

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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.

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.

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