Throw away any Zantac you have around

You've probably received spam emails inviting you to join class action lawsuits against the makers of over-the-counter heartburn medicine Zantac (ranitidine) as it contains a likely carcinogen. Today, the US Food and Drug Administration requested that all ranitidine products be pulled from store shelves and that consumers properly dispose of any they've already purchased. You should expect even more Zantac class action spam. From CNN:

The FDA noted that an ongoing investigation has determined that levels of a contaminant in the heartburn medications increase over time and when stored at higher-than-normal temperatures, poses a risk to public health.

The contaminant, N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA, is a probable human carcinogen and the FDA has been investigating levels of it in ranitidine since the summer of 2019.

"We didn't observe unacceptable levels of NDMA in many of the samples that we tested," Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in Wednesday's announcement.

"However, since we don't know how or for how long the product might have been stored, we decided that it should not be available to consumers and patients unless its quality can be assured," Woodcock said in part.

More: "FDA Requests Removal of All Ranitidine Products (Zantac) from the Market" (FDA)

image: "Ball-and-stick model of the ranitidine molecule" from A. Hempel, N. Camerman, D. Mastropaolo and A. Camerman (2000).(public domain)