All Zantac products and generic versions of the heartburn medication should be taken off pharmacy shelves immediately, the Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday.
This includes prescription and over-the-counter forms of the antacid. The move comes after months of investigation into certain lots of ranitidine that were found to contain trace amounts of a contaminant called N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA).
The World Health Organization has classified the contaminant as a "probable human carcinogen."
The FDA "has determined that the impurity in some ranitidine products increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures," the agency wrote in a news release.
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That "may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels of this impurity," the FDA wrote, but added that the agency had not actually detected a level that would be considered "unacceptable" in many tested samples.
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