Walmart announced Wednesday it is joining other chain stores in halting the sale of the over-the-counter heartburn drug Zantac amid concerns it contains a cancer-causing chemical.
The nation’s largest retailer said in a statement it was making the move after reviewing a recent product alert from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) saying that ranitidine, which is found within Zantac, could contain low levels of the carcinogen nitrosodimethylamine.
“Walmart Inc. is suspending the sale of all over the counter ranitidine products in stores, clubs and online, including Zantac, Equate and Member’s Mark brands,” the realtor said. “Customers who purchased these products may return them to Walmart or Sam’s Club for a refund."
Walmart joins CVS Health, Walgreens and Rite Aid in announcing it will no longer sell the drug.
Sanofi, the company that makes Zantac, said that the FDA has found that the amounts of the carcinogen in its drug “barely exceed amounts found in common foods.”
“We are working closely with the FDA and are conducting our own robust investigations to ensure we continue to meet the highest quality safety and quality standards,” the company said.
The FDA said last week it was “continuing to test” the drug to further gauge its safety and that patients “could consider” taking other over-the-counter heartburn drugs instead.
Zantac and other generic drugs containing ranitidine are sometimes used to treat ulcers and reflux disease.