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Zantac recall: What to know if you have been taking Ranitidine

Many Americans have trusted Zantac, also known by its generic name Ranitidine, as an over-the-counter or prescription solution to reduce stomach acid and relieve heartburn.

Unfortunately, the FDA recently discovered low levels of a possible carcinogen in some medications that contain Ranitidine. The impurity is known as NDMA or N-Nitrosodimethylamine. It is a chemical linked to 10 different kinds of cancers.

What has been recalled

Currently, two major manufacturers have issued recalls for their products. Both Sandoz and Apotex have voluntarily pulled their products off shelves. Some retailers have gone further and removed other medications containing Ranitidine, as well. You can check what is affected on the FDA's website.

Should you stop using Zantac or Ranitidine?

The FDA has not issued a firm recommendation on whether users should stop or continue to take Ranitidine-containing medicines. Harvard Medical School points out that Ranitidine should only be taken on a short-term basis in certain circumstances.

Alternative medicines are available that have similar effects and can relieve symptoms of heartburn. This recall is a good reason to talk to your doctor. You may be able to find a long-term solution that doesn't pose the same risk of contamination.

The next steps

If you have taken Ranitidine, monitor your health carefully. Developing cancer may be a direct result of taking medication with trace amounts of NDMA. You may be eligible to receive compensation because of the contamination.

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