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CVS Suspends Sale Of Heartburn Drug Over Cancer Fears

CVS Pharmacy said that it suspended the sale of all Zantac brand and CVS Health brand ranitidine products citing a recent alert by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that ranitidine products may contain a low level of nitrosodimethylamine, which is a probable human carcinogen.

The company noted that it is taking the action "out of an abundance of caution." The FDA is not recommending that patients stop taking ranitidine at this time. There is no recall of the products, but customers who purchased these products can return them to CVS for a refund.

The FDA is continuing to evaluate whether low levels of nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA in ranitidine pose a risk to patients. The levels that FDA is finding in ranitidine from preliminary tests barely exceed amounts found in common foods, the company said in a statement.

Ranitidine is an H2 Blocker that is taken to provide heartburn relief. CVS Pharmacy will continue to sell other over-the-counter H2 Blockers, including Pepcid, Tagamet and its respective generic equivalents, famotidine and cimetidine, CVS said.

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