FDA says probable carcinogen found in Zantac, similar medications

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Some common heartburn and acid reflux may be contaminated with a cancer-causing impurity.

The Food and Drug Administration says the drug Zantac and its generics contain small amounts of a substance known as NDMA.

FDA officials said the amount of the contaminant barely exceeds levels found in common foods. But the same chemical has been linked to dozens of recalls of blood pressure drugs in the past year.

An FDA spokesperson told USA Today the discovery is not prompting a recall.

She says people shouldn't panic, but the agency says they may want to switch to another over-the-counter drug. Those who are taking the prescription version should talk to their doctor or pharmacist.

The FDA is still investigating that issue and last month sanctioned a manufacturing plant in India that makes some of the medications.

Roughly 80 percent of the ingredients used in U.S. drugs are manufactured overseas.