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Expert Commentary: USciences Professor Discusses CVS Decision to Stop Zantac Sales

Published on October 16, 2019

KYW Newsradio spoke with Dr. Pardeep Gupta, director of the Industrial Pharmacy Lab at USciences, about CVS Pharmacy’s decision to pull the medication Zantac and its generic from shelves over fears that it may cause cancer. 

The story from KYW Newsradio: 

CVS Pharmacy has announced it will stop selling the popular heartburn medicine Zantac and the store's generic brand because of a possible link to cancer. 

CVS's decision was made after several generic versions of Zantac were already voluntarily pulled from shelves. The Food and Drug Administration announced there was a voluntary recall of the drug ranitidine last week. 

Earlier this month, the FDA says trace amounts of the known carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine, or NDMA, was found in some of the heartburn medicine. 

NDMA, is fairly common. Low levels can be found in foods like smoked or cured meats and fishes, but this is definitely worth looking further into, according to Dr. Pardeep Gupta, director of the Industrial Pharmacy Lab at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. 

"The safety of any drug whether it's been on the market for many, many decades or only a few weeks or months cannot be taken for granted," Gupta said.

 The FDA says there's no need to panic, and Dr. Gupta agrees.

"If I were taking Zantac or ranitidine, I would not stop taking it," he said. 

The FDA is suggesting now that people who use Zantac or the generic brand switch over to another drug while more testing is done. 

Gupta agrees, saying that there are other medicines available, and people should talk to their doctors if they have any questions.

Read the full story here.

Categories: News, faculty, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Expert's Blog, Health Tip