Lifestyle

Urgent Recall Of Common Drugs Due To Cancer Risk Impacts Millions

There's an urgent recall on medications used by millions of Americans - including Zantac and Hyzaar - after the FDA released new cancer risk findings.

If you – or anyone you love – suffer from heartburn, you need to check your medications. Drug companies issued a wide sweeping recall of commonly used medications containing ranitidine (Zantac) after serious cancer risks were unveiled by the Food and Drug Administration. This latest warning comes right on the heels of a recall of the blood pressure drug Hyzaar.

CVS and Walgreens have pulled Zantac and its generic form of ranitidine off shelves amidst this recent discovery. The FDA discovered a “low level” of nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is a probable human carcinogen. The pharmacy chains state that consumers can return the medication for a refund.

Blood Pressure Medication Hyzaar Also Recalled

Zantac isn’t the only drug recall. Another common prescription drug is linked with the likely cancer causer NDMA. Those who take Hyzaar, also known as the generic form of losartan, have been impacted as well. This blood pressure medication is in short supply in some locations because of the latest recall. This is a widely used medication that many Americans use to combat hypertension. RELATED: DOJ Arrests Over 600 People, Including Medical Personnel, In $2 Billion Opioid Bust

Untreated Reflux Can Cause Cancer

Sometimes only certain drugs work for some people. This is a problem for anyone who needs Zantac or Hyzaar. Ironically, untreated heartburn, also known as gastric reflux, can cause esophageal cancer which is a very aggressive cancer.

The Food and Drug Administration has not told people to stop using Zantac. It is believed that manufacturing flaws caused the contaminants in Hyzaar. The FDA is still testing Zantac to determine the cause of this issue.

“The FDA is continuing to evaluate whether low levels of NDMA in ranitidine pose a risk to patients,” CVS said in a statement. “The levels that FDA is finding in ranitidine from preliminary tests barely exceed amounts found in common foods.” RELATED: Doctor Recorded on Camera Berating and Cursing at Teen Patient

As someone who takes both Hyzaar and Zantac, this has put me in a bit of a crunch. I have tried many drugs to control my blood pressure. Side effects from other medications have left me very limited in options. When my last prescription needed refilled, I had to contact six pharmacies before I located one that had this very common blood pressure medication. This drug is typically well stocked but right now it’s a rarity. The only place I could find it was even running low on supply!

For some of us, the low risk of being exposed to a carcinogen is much less than dealing with severe reflux or high blood pressure. But, we should all know the downside to taking these drugs.

More information about these recalls can be found in the video from a pharmacist below.

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