U.S. FDA flags probable cancer-causing impurity in common heartburn drugs

(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday that some medicines containing ranitidine, including Sanofi SA’s Zantac, had traces of a probable cancer-causing impurity called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) at low levels. The European Medicines Agency said it will also start a review of the over-the-counter heartburn drug. (bit.ly/2masHyV) The FDA has been investigating NDMA and other nitrosamine impurities in blood pressure and heart failure medicines called Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) since last year. ARBs such as valsartan, the generic version of Novartis AG’s Diovan, have been recalled by drugmakers such as Mylan NV, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Novartis’ Sandoz, as the drugs have been found to contain probable carcinogens.

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