Zantac- a fairly common drug used for treatment of heartburn, ulcers and acidity- has been pulled off the shelves due to a probable cancer-causing element found in its composition, according to the FDA.
Novartis, the maker of Zantac, is stopping the distribution of the popular heartburn medication worldwide.
The decision was made after an FDA warning of low levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA, a probable cancer-causing chemical found in Zantac and other heartburn medications.
The federal agency said NDMA is dangerous in large quantities, but the amount found in the heartburn drugs barely exceeds levels found in common foods. Agency officials said the FDA is investigating whether low levels of the carcinogen in heartburn medication is a risk to patients and will post its findings as soon as possible.
For now, U.S. health officials said patients can continue to take Zantac and similar heartburn medications, but for prescription patients to consult their doctors if they want to switch to other treatments.