October 1, 2019 | By Kourtney Kemp, MD, FACS
Recent news reports have focused on the potential carcinogenic properties of components within Zantac and its generic versions. In fact, some pharmacies have pulled these products from their shelves, although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not officially recalled them. The component in question is a nitrosamine impurity known as N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, which has been classified as a probable human carcinogen based on lab tests. Low levels of this impurity have been found in some acid-reducing and heartburn medicines, such as Zantac.
What should you do if you currently take Zantac for your heartburn?
First, talk with your physician before you stop any medication. If you are taking Zantac to relieve symptoms of heartburn, perhaps there are other options for you.
At the Twin Cities Heartburn Center, we recommend that you consider a complete diagnostic work-up to uncover the actual cause of your heartburn. We can do this right here at our Maple Grove offices. Many people have self-medicated using over-the-counter medications such as Zantac for years without knowing the true cause of their heartburn. But these medications can mask symptoms of something more serious, including chronic damage of the esophagus or esophageal cancer.
If you currently take Zantac and are worried about continuing to use it, please let us help you diagnose the cause of your heartburn and offer alternative treatment options.