That burning feeling in your chest after you eat a heavy meal could be heartburn. Or it could be worry over the drugs you’ve taken to treat that heartburn. Among the top medical stories of 2019 was the discovery of contaminants in common medicines, and ranitidine — best known as Zantac — took up a large share of those headlines. A cancer-causing substance known as NDMA has been repeatedly found in one of the most popular antacid drugs in the United States.
The scary news continues in 2020. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration announced voluntary recalls of prescription forms of ranitidine by two generic drug companies, Appco Pharma and Northwind Pharmaceuticals, bringing the total number of ranitidine recalls to 14 in the past five months. The agency also reported that Mylan Pharmaceuticals recalled three lots of Nizatidine (Axid), a similar drug, again because of NDMA.
This week’s recalls are a new cause for alarm for the 15 million Americans who take ranitidine at prescription levels, and the millions more who regularly take lower-dose, over-the-counter versions. More than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month. Zantac was once the best-selling drug in the world.
Bianca Ryan, the season 1 winner of America’s Got Talent, took to Twitter after the voluntary recalls this fall: “I’m literally hyperventilating, like, I’ve been taking Zantac every single day for the last 10 years for my GERD,” she wrote, referring to gastroesophageal reflux disease, a frequent or more serious form of heartburn, which occurs when acid from the stomach flows up into the esophaagus “So—what do I use now?! And they found what in it?!”
© 2020 Health Impact News