NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/CNN) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says they are investigating after a cancer-causing substance is found in a common heartburn and acid reflux medication.
According to the FDA on Friday, small amounts of N-nitrosodimethylamine – or NDMA – were discovered in the drug Zantac.
It was also found in the over-the-counter medication’s generic versions too.
NDMA is the same carcinogen that prompted a massive recall of several blood pressure medications in July.
Numerous recalls were also launched after the FDA found “unacceptable levels” of nitrosamines in several of those common drugs containing valsartan.
A recall for Zantac has not been issued.
The FDA says people shouldn’t panic, but suggests switching to another over-the-counter drug while the agency tests more samples.
“At this time there are no company recalls and FDA is not urging companies to recall. So far, NDMA has been found in ranitidine in low levels and we are not calling for consumers and patients to stop taking ranitidine at this time,” FDA spokesman Jeremy Kahn said via CNN.
NDMA can cause harm in large amounts, but the levels the FDA found in preliminary tests of ranitidine “barely exceed amounts you might expect to find in common foods,” according to a statement from Dr. Janet Woodcock, research director for FDA’s Centers for Drug Evaluation and Research.
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