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The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that it had detected low levels of a cancer-causing contaminant in samples of heartburn medicines containing the drug commonly known as Zantac. It was advising patients who take over-the-counter versions to consider switching to a different medication.

No recalls have been initiated, and the agency said patients who take prescription versions of the drug, known as ranitidine, should consult with their doctors before stopping.

Zantac, the brand-name version of the drug, is sold by Sanofi, but generic versions are widely sold. The FDA has not identified any specific products that were affected.

A spokeswoman for Sanofi said the company does not plan to recall the product.

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