Walmart suspends sale of Zantac, other products containing ranitidine over cancer risk

Walmart will suspend the sale of Zantac and all forms of heartburn medication containing the drug ranitidine after the Food and Drug Administration warned of potential cancer risks.

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The world’s largest employer joins other companies including Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS Health in halting the sale of products containing ranitidine.

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Last month, the FDA said it found ranitidine, which is used in some heartburn medications like Zantac, contains N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) at low levels. The federal agency said NDMA is a “known environmental contaminant” that is found in water and foods like meats, dairy products and vegetables. It classifies NDMA as a substance that could cause cancer. However, it did not call for people to stop taking the medication.

Zantac, the brand-name version of the drug, is sold by Sanofi, but generic versions are distributed by other companies.

“Zantac has been around for over a decade and meets all the specified safety requirements for use in the [over-the-counter] market,” Sanofi said in a statement after the FDA’s announcement.

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One distributor, Sandoz, a unit of Swiss pharma giant Novartis, halted the distribution of generic versions last month.

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Walmart said customers who purchased the products can return them to Walmart stores or Sam’s Club locations for a refund.