SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Zantac, which is a heartburn relief drug, is being pulled from a local pharmacies after the FDA says it contains possible cancer causing agents.
As the FDA continues investigating, Lewis Drug is taking action.
People who pick up their medications from Lewis Drug will no longer see Zantac, also known by it’s generic name Ranitidine, on store shelves.
“We’ve decided just out of an abundance of caution to protect our customers while the FDA continues to do their investigation just to remove it from the shelves,” Lewis Drug Pharmacist Courtney Feist said.
Feist says the drug is commonly prescribed for symptoms including heartburn, acid reflux, and ulcers– but is now under the microscope of the FDA.
“Only two manufactures have actually voluntarily recalled prescription Zantac, or Ranitide but a lot of chain stores including Lewis have voluntarily chosen to pull it off their shelf, due to concern for a potential human carcinogen or a cancer causing substance,” Feist said.
That substance is NDMA– which the FDA classifies as a probable human carcinogen.
Larry Streleck is happy his pharmacy is taking action.
“I’m really glad they did because there might be a contaminant that you don’t know you’re taking and it can cause you medical problems in the future, and it may not be tomorrow or the next day but further down the road,” Streleck said.
The FDA isn’t calling for people to stop taking the drug at this time, however Feist says until investigations are complete the drug won’t be available at any Lewis Drug locations.
And while patients may not be able to find these products on the shelves anymore, pharmacists say there are other options to treat your symptoms.
“A similar medication in the same class is Famotidine or Pepcid, available over the counter and as a prescription similar to Zantac,” Feist said.
People currently taking Zantac who would like to stop should call their pharmacist or doctor to discuss other options.
“The biggest thing I would say to patients is not to overreact or freak out, this is simply just over abundance of caution,” Feist said.
Other stores that have pulled Zantac from store shelves include Walgreens, Walmart and CVS.
The FDA has been issuing statements throughout its investigation into Zantac.
If you’d like to take a look at their recent statements, click here.