Skip to content

Zantac and Cancer

by Dr. Andrew T. Brady, Chiropractic Physician

PIllsIn September 2019, the FDA was made aware that a popular over-the-counter heartburn medication that millions of Americans take had contained dangerously high levels of a chemical that can cause cancer called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). In independent lab tests, the amount of NDMA found after consuming a single 150 mg tablet of Zantac produced as much as 300,000 ng of NDMA, which is 3,000 times the amount the FDA accepts as “reasonable.”

After several other independent labs found similar findings, Walmart, CVS, and a few other major retailers of the drug voluntarily pulled it from their shelves. Zantac had been FDA-approved since the 1980s. The FDA did not force a recall and instead recommended that patients keep taking their medication until more data is available! Can you believe that?

The other crazy thing is that according to a Jan. 8, 2020, press release from, the FDA is advising pharmaceutical manufacturers of the medications to conduct their own testing and recall them if NDMA levels are above the daily acceptable intake level. That is like the police asking a murderer to conduct their own investigation of the crime scene and report back to the police as to what they found. Don’t take my word for it, look this up.

The total number of people who have developed gastrointestinal-type cancers or have been harmed by Zantac and its generics is still vastly unknown and may never be known for certain. When I read reports like this, which seem more frequent, it makes me feel sad for the people who have been directly harmed by a drug and wonder if they were given the correct knowledge to make educated healthcare decisions by their doctor.

There is a health cost that comes with chronically treating symptoms. In the case of Zantac, the cost could be cancer. A part of me wonders if people who have just been pumping themselves with Zantac to treat their heartburn were ever educated about what might be CAUSING their heartburn and addressing that instead. Unfortunately, in the American sick care system, it’s “you have this symptom, here is a drug that will help take it away,” instead of doing investigative searching as to why someone might have heartburn.

It is up to YOU to educate yourself and gather the knowledge to make better and more informed choices about your health. The one who ends up paying the ultimate price for situations like this is not the pharmaceutical company, not the doctor who prescribed it, and not the pharmacist who dispensed it, but YOU.

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

If you’re interested in learning more, contact Spine Integrative Wellness today and book your first visit with us! We have same-day appointments available.

Chiropractor Hudson | (234) 284-8002