On Wednesday, the FDA confirmed that more antacids are being recalled over concerns relating to carcinogens. A known carcinogen, NDMA, has been detected in generic antacids produced by manufacturers Appco Pharma and Northwind Pharmaceuticals.
This is hardly the first news of this exact recall, however.
Back in September 2019, Sandoz, Inc. was the center of a major Zantac antacid recall over concerns that there were confirmed carcinogens in the medication. That 2019 recall affected 14 lots of Ranitidine Hydrochloride, a chemical used in the production of generic antacid tablets.
The FDA also confirmed in Wednesday’s recall that company Mylan Pharmaceuticals is also recalling three lots of similar drug Nizatidine (again).
What Should You Do if Your Medicine Is Recalled?
If you own any of the recalled medication, cease taking it immediately. The carcinogenic substance found within might not have an immediate effect, but prolonged exposure can lead to development of cancer cells over time.
This means that, if you take any of the recalled medications, such as Ranitidine Hydrochloride made by Appco Pharma or Northwind Pharmaceuticals, that you need to discontinue use immediately.
This recall also affects Nizatidine, made by Mylan Pharmaceuticals, a similar drug that is taken for heartburn. Consumers are urged to return the drugs to the pharmacy from which they were purchased in exchange for a refund. Even if you are unable to return the medication, it should be discarded as prolonged exposure increases the risk for cancer.
How Was This Discovered?
The unusually high concentration of NDMA was detected when Adam Clark-Joseph, one of the founders of pharmacy company Valisure, ordered ranitidine syrup for his infant daughter to treat her reflux. The pharmacy performed its usual tests on the substance before sending it along to the co-founder but detected concentrations of known carcinogen NDMA that were unacceptable.
Appalled, Clark-Joseph had his pharmacy test other antacid medications to see if this case was isolated. Valisure CEO David Light stated that the testing revealed “Every batch of every bottle of every manufacturer showed the same results, tremendously high formation of NDMA,” confirming co-founder Clark-Joseph’s fears.
The FDA is still investigating the issue, but numerous recalls have been issued since the NDMA concentrations have come to light.